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Had a conversation today that I couldn't win

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mr White, May 2, 2008.

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  1. Mr White

    Mr White Member

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    I started working in a different department last July. There are over 1000 people in this department and I still haven't met all of them.

    I knew there was a guy in the department who lost his son in the VT shooting. I met him this morning. We talked about different things at first, mostly hockey and people he knew from the place I used to work. Then I saw his son's picture on his desk and told him how sorry I was for his loss. He told me how hard the past year has been for him and his family and some of what they were going through. I can't even begin to imagine how he must feel.

    After a few minutes, the talk turned to guns. He told me that he used to be an NRA member but that he's not any more because they had turned into the National Machinegun Association and feel that everyone should be allowed to own any gun they want. He went on to say that although he felt the 2nd A was our individual right, why would people need to have a Glock semiautomatic handgun? He was totally against carrying on campus. He didn't see why people should be able to own semiautomatic guns that were meant only for killing people.

    I'm usually not at all shy when it comes to telling antis my thoughts about guns and gun control. I pretty much enjoy the chance to piss them off, but today I could say nothing. I knew what I wanted to say. I knew what I should say, but I just couldn't say any of it to a guy who's lost so much and been through what he has.

    How do you even begin to talk up our cause in a situation like that?
     
  2. Noban

    Noban Member

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    You handled the situation well. The wound is still fresh and he'll be better able to sort out his real feelings as time passes.
     
  3. romma

    romma Member

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    I suppose sometimes you need to gauge when the appropriate time for debate is..

    This morning probably was not it. Especially since it was the first time meeting him.

    Maybe someday he will move beyond his grief. Maybe not though.
     
  4. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    I agree, well done. The only thing that could have come out of that if you had done differently would be to further alienate the guy.
     
  5. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Sounds like you used good judgment to me.
     
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I think you exercised very good judgment sir. When the emotions of losing someone are still so evident its wise to just leave it alone.
     
  7. Nagant

    Nagant Member

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    I'll second what everyone here has said. I think you exercised brilliant judgement in your restraint.
     
  8. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Discretion is the better part of valor.

    You did the right thing.
     
  9. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    YOu did good. He was in no frame of mind to understand facts/logic/truth.
    You can't argue facts with people who are emotional.
    In his pain he can NOT think ratioally. The media/others have taken advantage of his pain/loss.
    I wonder if he ever was a NRA member (for more then one yr) if he thought a Glock was a machine gun.
     
  10. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    You handled the situation as well as it could be handled. The anti gun movement is primarily charged by emotion more than logic, and this man's loss would only add to this.

    That said, nothing really excuses the illogical behavior he displayed, and I don't know if I would have handled it as well as you. I lost my mom a year and a half ago in a car accident. I know what it is like to try and understand a loss, to want something you can put a finger or cast blame on. But I am not out crusading against cheap Korean imports, deer, or icy roads. Sometimes, you have to admit that crap happens, even, or esp, to good people.
     
  11. Mr White

    Mr White Member

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    Thanks, all. After I talked with him and was walking back to my office, at some level I began to think I had failed our cause by not being more outspoken, but deep down I was pretty sure I did the right thing. Thanks for affirming that.
     
  12. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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    You did as good as one could hope to, under the circumstances. He'll most likely blame the tool, not the killer all his life. Sad.
     
  13. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    You just can't talk to people that are ruled by emotion, and have lost their perspective on life.
    It is his problem , not yours. I would just ignore him on anything other than a professional level.
     
  14. Poper

    Poper Member

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    I agree with the previous posters.
    You did very, very well.
    Over time this fellow may become a friend in the real sense. He may be more logical and less emotional in his thought processes then.

    Only too true.

    I have a severely physically handicapped 28 year old daughter who will never walk. Many years ago, I once asked the question "Why MY little girl? Why her?" And I was answered: "Why NOT her?"

    Why not, indeed.

    Just my $0.02

    Poper
     
  15. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I just lost my 22 year old nephew in a car accident this past December, so I have some idea what the father was going through.
    This knocks you off at the knees, so to speak; it's a horrible painful reality of loss that somehow one must learn to live with.
    Even after a year I don't know that the pain won't be lurking just below the horizon of the conscious.
    This man isn't thinking logically or rationally about guns. He may be obsessing with semi autos without understanding a double action revolver will fire as fast.
    Sometimes all you can do is let it go.
    With him, I think you did well. It isn't going to get you anywhere to drege up the intensity of pain this man has.
    Logically, the pain should have been directed at the shoter, not the gun, but humans are not rational animals.
    Let him heal as best he can, and may God comfort him in his agony.
     
  16. Dismantler

    Dismantler Member

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    I am with all of the others on this one, too. You did the right thing.

    This is a special case, but as a rule, I do not talk guns or gun rights with anti-gunners, anyhow. They think that they have the truth/answer just as we do. I do not believe that they will change my mind, why should I believe that I will change theirs?
     
  17. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    you can't fight the fight every time it comes up. its unreasonable to take up every pro/anti gun argument that arises.

    The guy is fixating on the only thing he can blame his angst on for losing his son. I wouldn't deny him that either- even though I think he is misguided.
     
  18. Winter Borne

    Winter Borne Member

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    Ditto Mr. White.

    There are a lot of VA Tech families in my neighborhood, and my nephue is a senior there this year. There was a small group who met in our church weekly after the masacure. I went to a meeting to offer support and it soon turned to an anti-gun theme. I usually rellish these moments to shine the pure light of logic on an anti's mindset, but found myself speachless. I haven't been back to the group as I felt like a hypocrit (sp?) after I said nothing, but really wasn't too sure what to say.

    I believe strongly that the students / faculty should be allowed they're 2nd amendment rights on campus, but felt that the time was just not right to voice it.


    mk
     
  19. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    You don't begin. You should do just exactly what you did. And thank you for having enough class to do it.
     
  20. springmom

    springmom Member

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    You did the right thing. That was not the time to argue. You wanted to express condolences, you did. Maybe, if you become friends, you can eventually do this. But you could not possibly have done anything good in that if you'd gone further with it.

    Good job.

    Springmom
     
  21. scottgun

    scottgun Member

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    Since it usually seems that we are all preaching to the choir here, I would challenge you, is this a valid argument for anti gun people?

    Its difficult to separate the gun from the shooter for someone with such emotional pain. Where no form of logic could prevail over the emotional wound he is experiencing. You did the right thing by not challenging him on the issue.

    Tom Mauser, the father who lost his kid in Columbine, comes to mind. He is a big outspoken anti gun crusader. I haven't experienced anything like that, so its easy for me to follow the line of logic and debunk an emotional position.

    Not all conversions are meant to be won or lost, especially if it means making an enemy in the process.
     
  22. Black Knight

    Black Knight Member

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    Sometimes you need to understand where their viewpoint comes from and just let them vent. You did the right thing. Sometimes we need to fight the fight, other times it is best to walk away. This was a time to respectfully walk away.
     
  23. rse2

    rse2 Member

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    You did the right thing by walking away.

    We will never win any of these "emotional" arguments. Rational, logical discussion is impossible. The fear or pain is too deep. It is pathological not rational. Antis will only change if and when they find themselves helpless in the face of an assault or threat. They will change only if they aren't so hopelessly committed that they see their "truths" proven wrong and then have the stuff to admit it.

    Those on the fence will lean towards whatever the last "sensible" argument or emotional news story they heard was. Simpler that way.

    The "choir" needs to be preached to to keep the fires stoked or we lose.

    We do better when we walk and talk softly I think. Prove by actions.
     
  24. gego

    gego Member

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    I don't agree that one should abandon his principles just because someone else is in the victim position and you feel sorry for him. Does his sorrow justify his illogical thinking?

    I would not have been confrontational, but I would have asked him what would have likely happened if half of the people in the room with his son would have been CCW, in an effort to help him to understand his own faulty thinking.

    I think this fathers reaction is irrational. Maybe he should better consider why he did not encourage his child to secretly carry on campus than to blame guns, but then it seems nobody wants to take responsibility for himself. It seems easier to point the finger elsewhere.
     
  25. Darthbauer

    Darthbauer Member

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    I dont see how someone can blame the shooter and the gun. The gun is a tool and is pretty worthless unless someone is using it. I know if I lost my daughter in a shooting I would not blame the gun, just the scumbag holding it.
     
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