Gun owners wanting to keep a low profile?

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by AlexanderA, Apr 26, 2018.

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  1. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    The recent threads on pro-gun demonstrations (and the low attendance at them), as well as the relatively low participation rate of gun owners in the NRA, got me to thinking. A lot of gun owners don't want to be publicly identified as such, either because of security paranoia, or because of the justifiable fear that guns might be outlawed, and they might have to go underground with their guns. Some go so far as refusing to buy guns from dealers, to avoid filling out the Form 4473. Needless to say, people with that level of paranoia will not join the NRA, participate in online forums, or attend public events where someone might recognize them.

    The paradoxical thing is that the more people assume that the worst is coming, and behave in these ways, the more likely their antigun fears are to be realized. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Any thoughts?
    JTHunter, .308 Norma and GEM like this.
  2. bassjam

    bassjam Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    I don't think paranoia has anything to do with low NRA membership. I think part of it has to do with the NRA's horrible appearance as a right-wing group (and I say this as a right-winger).

    But even more than that it's simply apathy. Most people just don't care THAT much about their gun rights. My dad and brother have guns and fully support the 2nd Amendment, but they don't care enough to join any gun rights groups. I have a couple other friends that refuse to pay the $40 membership fee because they don't see themselves getting anything physical out of it. One of those guys has specifically brought up the American Hunter / American Fisherman Clubs (or whatever they are called) that periodically gives out stuff for members to trial. He wants that in his membership because he's only looking out for himself, not the collective.
    .308 Norma and GEM like this.
  3. Cump

    Cump Member

    May 18, 2013
    Wasatch Front
    There are probably many other reasons for non-involvement in protests or maintaining privacy (e.g. preference for different types of activism or employment concerns). Honestly, marches aren't my style, and I wonder if they may do more to motivate the opposition than bring people to our side, and I think we have a long history of effect through direct communication with legislators and letter writing and bringing in younger generations (all of which I do, in addition to supporting the NRA and SAF).

    I can understand the appeal of privacy as a public educator: In a school system that enables gun control protests, with unions and administrators who quail or froth at the mouth at the mention of arming teachers, it is easiest to keep your positions concealed along with your firearm (legal in my state). But I think that professional privacy may be even more problematic because we are in a position to have some influence. I have seen some positive effects. After I objected to encouraging students to walk out, the principal held back and limited the school's advocacy. A generic walkout was allowed on campus but not encouraged, and only a minority of students did so. There were no posters or speeches. I have also countered media narratives and rhetoric with my students, and I think it has opened some minds and encouraged others.
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Before someone tosses out the old tired "we have jobs" acorn I'll point out that if you don't care enough to take a day off or to organize an event on a weekend you're not really trying to support the 2A if that's your excuse.

    I don't think we communicate effectively nor do we organize well for these things.

    Our strength does tend to be in influencing elected officials by direct involvement with them. Not money, as the NRA actually contributes less than most lobbies, but in delivering voters at that critical point that decides a politician's fate.

    Our achilele's heel is that we don't work at a low enough level in politics while the opposition has groomed very low level candidates that will become major threats over time through the Anti groups.
    Stevie-Ray and AlexanderA like this.
  5. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    There is a cultural war to make gun ownership akin to something like being a smoker. The difference is that there is no positive benefit for being a smoker. Gun rights are supposedly a positive for the country. I agree and have said that current messaging of this point has not been made well. We get rants that many will find offensive if they are not in the choir. Even many in the choir find some of them offensive.

    A coherent presentation of self-defense and defense against tyranny can be made but wasn't for the most part by the NRA spokespeople.

    Also being a gun owner does not mean you are committed to a strong RKBA position. You just have to look around to find gun owners denouncing the AR platforms for instance. Even folks you think would be supportive have flipped.

    As far as being found out as a gun owner, that does have some personal cultural and societal risks. A trustee at a college was challenged because of being involved in the gun industry and told to quit the connection or the board. She chose the latter IIRC.

    Hiding your guns though, is stupid. What good are they if buried? Your past history is easily discovered nowadays. If you were on this board, they got you. If you bought something with a credit card, they got you. What are you going to do with your secret, buried, ghost gun? Unless you get a beret and start a version of the Marquis, the gun can't be used for hunting, competition or self-defense.

    If ARs are banned and you blaze with yours to defend your home - off to jail you go.

    Can voters be delivered - not if the moral panic is not countered. It will not be, with current messaging IMHO.
  6. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

    Feb 22, 2003
    Mitchi-gun, the Sunrise Side
    Don't know who first came up with it, but as the saying goes, If it's time to bury your guns, it's time to dig them up!
    DoubleMag and entropy like this.
  7. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Southwestern Illinois
    In major metro areas, theft might be of greater concern than the "neighbors".
    P5 Guy likes this.
  8. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Tampa Bay area
    Or theft by neighbors.
    JTHunter likes this.
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