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How did the opinion of firearms get to where it is today?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by GregGry, Nov 21, 2008.

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  1. GregGry

    GregGry Member

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    After spending hours on gunfacts.info, and hundreds (if not thousands of hours) looking into firearms and the RKBA, I am left with a few un answered questions.

    I am young compared to most on here (24). I never shot a firearm until I was 21. My grandfather had rifles/shotguns but I never was able to use any of them (to young at the time he was alive). My father owned a .357 mag revolver for a while, however I never got to shoot it. Since turning 21 I have acquired 2 pistols, a ar15, and a 12ga shotgun. I have expanded my knowledge of firearms from about 0 to about 80 (out of 100, I don't think anyone is really at 100). I never really had to deal with the passing of new firearm laws, I have only read about the silly things that have been done in the past.

    So heres what I am wondering. How did the public opinions of firearms get to where its at today? I constantly hear stories about how easy it was to get firearms through the mail, that kids could in some places (a while ago) take rifles with them to school, and that public opinion on firearm ownership (As well as the NRA) was more like 90% for (rather then the typical 60% I seem to see in polls.)

    Most of my family leans towards anti-gun, and most of the people I went to college with (For police science none the less) tended to lean towards anti-gun. Anytime I brought up anything to do with the NRA, I have often been treated to remarks along the line of "they pay money to cover up the truth and they create nothing but lies". I have tried getting into debates over gun control and I have never gotten any further with most people then being told something like "well I believe what i want, and your entitled to your opinion".

    I completely realize that when our country was formed, firearms were absolutely part of life, and a necessity. Hunting was a requirement of being alive, and protection of oneself and family was a must since there was no one else to do it for you. Since then times have changed and its entirely possible for families to eat food, and survive for their entire lifetimes without owning a firearm. I can see where in the case of cities (Which have police forces a call away), that many families trust the police for protection. However I don't see how so many people in my area have such a negative opinion of firearms in general.

    After looking into past laws and restrictions placed on firearms, and the events that took place in our countries history regarding firearms, I can see that the RKBA has been slowly diminishing over time. I can see that the invention of the tv and other media sources have influenced the population greatly. Is the media really to blame for everything?

    I don't want to rant for hours here, especially because I am sure you have all heard it before. So I will leave with the real burning questions I have:

    How did many people in society (in the case of my city, and I am sure many other cities) decide that relying on the police for protection is a better option then buying a firearm to at least keep in the house?

    Why is it I can often say some untrue statement regarding firearms, and people will say something such as "Yeah i believe it" however when I say something thats true such as gun buy backs don't do anything, I am met with hostility and told I am just speaking like the NRA?

    How did this mindset come about, considering the huge number of gun owners in this country?

    How come the anti-gun mindset is practically written in some peoples DNA, despite often times never having any actual experience with firearms? With some people I can quote books, studies, polls, government reports, and they wont listen to any of it if such information is positive.

    Why is it I that I will listen to a persons complete argument on why they are against firearms, and try to see things from their perspective, yet no one will do the same for me?
     
  2. Hanafuda

    Hanafuda Member

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    (Partial) Answer:

    I'm Mike Wallace.
    I'm Morley Safer.
    I'm Harry Reasoner.
    I'm Ed Bradley.
    I'm Diane Sawyer.

    Those stories and Andy Rooney, tonight on 60 Minutes.
     
  3. wacki

    wacki Member

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    Hanafuda beat me to it. Blame the pseudo-journalists and some real wacko communist/statist professors that find safe haven in the ivory tower.

    case in point:
    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=389344&highlight=biostatistics

    The NRA really needs to take 1/2 of Wayne LaPierre's salary and make a movie just like the JPFO did. The script is already written at gunfacts.info.
     
  4. wacki

    wacki Member

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    heh, when you figure that out you just found the recipe for world peace. Genetic mutations are random and there will always be a certain percentage of the population that will ignore the facts and believe in preconceived notions or childhood teachings. There will always be people that fall for Goebbels argumentum ad nauseum. There will always be a percentage that are sick, that are dumb, that are smart, that are.....

    My suggestion is to find new friends or read the book "getting to yes".
     
  5. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Yes they are , but they have to share the blame with the growth of high density population . The news has turned to propaganda ,and it is not about what you should hear, it is about what they want you to hear.

    It is also about shock and awe ,and intertainment in the sense they are trying to sell commercial time. That means hyping the stories that draw the most attention, and crime is always a good attention getter.

    Large citys and/or heavily populated area's add to the problem as they are more easily influenced by the media, and they also are not rasied in the traditions of hunting and the shooting sports. They truely live in a different world when it comes to firearms as well as other living experiences.
     
  6. john1911

    john1911 Member

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    Media is a big part of it.

    I think a lot of it has to do with people's "Polly Anna-ish" idea that there is no evil/badness in others. Some really believe that no guns would equal no violence. They refuse to see the evil in some people.
     
  7. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    The government has grown and grown and grown some more. With that comes more control, more corruption, and more disdain for personal liberty, and self sufficiency. A large government justifies lots of spending by convincing everyone that their first reaction to any problem should be to look to them for help. eg. Problem? Call the police.
     
  8. HowardCohodas

    HowardCohodas Member

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    I'm as ready to bash the media as anyone, unfortunately, it is a reflection of our society, not the cause of the problem. The mentality of a large portion of the voting populace has become used to demanding services that others pay for and considering them rights. This easily morphs into the "nanny" state where all our needs, wants and aspirations become the state's responsibility to provide. It is an easy step from there to the idea anything that harmful to anyone must (and can) be banned. We are now at the "PSA as Law" society. With this mentality our public servants cater to activists who are large contributors and decide that many things that could and should be a PSA (Public Service Announcement) must instead become a law. Smoking is not good for you. Wearing seat belts may prevent injury. Trans fats may be harmful. Guns in a household of negligent adults may end up in children's hands. You get the idea.

     
  9. wacki

    wacki Member

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    I also blame the pro-gun community. We really haven't waged an effective counter attack. One of the first second amendment supreme court cases didn't even have a lawyer representing the pro-gun side. The anti-gun side was well prepared and had plenty of lawyers though......


    here's the book I told you about:
    http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Yes-Negotiating-Agreement-Without/dp/0140157352

    The key is to ask them lots of open ended questions enable you to find and address their concerns. I know it's difficult but restrain yourself from stating your opinion and whittle away at their pre-conceived notions tiny bits at a time. Most antis 'fear' something and if you talk to them properly it's pretty easy to make them realize they are fearing the wrong thing. Especially if you are well versed with gunfacts.info and Kopel's book The Samurai, Mountie & Cowboy.

    http://www.amazon.com/Samurai-Mountie-Cowboy-Controls-Democracies/dp/0879757566

    Some people are impacted by facts, others are impacted by emotionally driven anecdotes. Switch gears when needed. It takes time and cannot be done all at once. I generally have good luck with anti's and convert about 2-3 a year thanks to those three resources. They are a must read for any pro-rights individual.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  10. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Yep, the national media, particularly the talking heads back when national nightly news from the major stations was popular, combined with RFK, MLK, & other assassinations, and very high crime rates in the 70s and late 80s/early 90s, and the "solution" being "gun control"**, as espoused by said media on a nightly basis.

    Then pendulum is swinging back slowly (thankfully) due to the loss of influence of the network news stations, and the filling of that power vacuum by cable TV, internet, and talk radio mediums, as a source for more and more to get their news & views - as well as the overwhelming success of CCW laws.

    P.S. - and this is huge - the main REASON for the extremely high crime rate is very very simple- it's the war on some drugs propagated by the government. Drug sellers have no recourse through legal avenues (courts and the law) to enforce their contracts and business dealings (since it's illegal), and so violence is the only means for them to use to protect their sales territories (turf, as it were). Not excusing it, just explaining factually. They also have ZERO competition from the captains of industry who are much sharper and could put them out of business in a heartbeat, on a level legal playing field. And the WOSD does little to nothing to curb the DEMAND, so the supply will always be there, legal or not. The war on some drugs is about 75% responsible for the gun laws and anti-gun attitudes that result from fear of violent crime, as well as being responsible for many other insidious inroads to our basic liberties, in the form of the SCOTUS scaling back our 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment protections as well. If you really want to protect gun rights and other civil liberties, one way to help do it is to strongly support the legalization of pot, and support the decriminalization (to a large extent) of the harder drugs. And if we spent just half the money saved from slashing the alphabet soup drug enforcement agencies' budgets as a result of the stopping of the WOSD, on drug use education, prevention, and treatment programs (with the other half being given back to US in the form of a tax cut), then this would also have the benefit of a greatly reduced amount of actual drug USE and ABUSE by our citizens, which would be tremendously helpful to our mental, physical, and financial health as a nation, as an added bonus to beginning to restore civil liberties.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  11. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    +1000

    I've written before and still feel that the war on drugs is the number one reason for anti-gun legislation. Think about WHY anti-gun laws have been enacted. Prohibition created organized crime that used Thompsons and BARs and short shotguns. Those were regulated. The AWB was an answer to drug crime/violence in the 1990s. The ramping up of police military types was the answer to the money made by illegal drug trade and the need of drug runners to heavily arm themselves.

    If you blame media, blame yourself too.

    1) STOP supporting hollywood and it's anti-gun movies. Most movies with guns have an anti-gun theme. Most Hollyweird types are anti-gun. Stop making them rich and powerful!

    2) Cancel your cable subscription. Stop paying NBC, MSNBC, etc. Or demand they be removed from your cable bill.

    3) JOIN PRO-GUN groups. Contribute to pro gun groups.

    4) Buy new guns and support the industry. Private sales are great for saving money but spending money on the industry makes it healthy.

    5) Make it a goal to get people into shooting sports. Take friends and co-workers to the range.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  12. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

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    It's cultural

    The majority of people used to live outside of cities where firearms brought food and defense. It changed when the average child no longer received firearm experience, became parents. Lack of strong role models and two parent households. Liberal minded people became teachers, lawyers and journalists to affect change. After Vietnam the perception of being in the military changed. The majority of Americans became uneducated whiners and unwilling to stand up for what's right. Votes are cast not for the country but what's in it for me. Talk to someone that lived in the Great Depression compared to this dip in the stock market for a reality check.People allowed political correctness to become the way things are, even at the expense of the truth.
    Television stopped us interacting with neigbors and killed social discourse as a pastime whilst brainwashing millions. The nail that sticks out gets hammered down with glee and we rejoice as people are pulled down instead of being saddened. It's the "me" generation in our decline, Neocons and socialists control the world and there aren't enough patriots left to deal with it...
     
  13. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    That was a depressing post . . . . all the more so because I fear you are correct.
     
  14. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    CentralTexas,

    Great post and spot on. Our country is getting bluer and bluer as people are more influenced by urban life and the media. :mad:
     
  15. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    I think that's right.

    Not so sure that the media has as big an effect as a number of folks believe.

    I think there are two big factors affecting general attitudes towards guns:

    1. Urbanization - people aren't growing up hunting, slaughtering pigs, putting down sick animals, etc. They are also more comfortable trusting the infrastructure to do thins that rural people would do for themselves. For example, it's probably not feasible for everyone in Manhattan to have a garden to raise their own vegetables.
    2. De-Militarization - a smaller and smaller percentage of Americans are serving in the military. I was in a Bible Study about 10 years ago, and some military question came up. We did a quick hand count, and not one man in my little group of 10 or so had served in the military. This wasn't a Berkeley coffee shop, this was a very conservative group of men meeting at a BSF Bible study. In my Dad's generation, probably 7 out of 10 would have served. Fewer people are learning about weapons.

    I also suspect - and I am not sure how to verify this - that from a historical perspective America has been becoming a less violent safer place in general in the last 100 years. There are fluctuations, but I think those are local, and the overall trend is down. I could be wrong about that, and don't know how to test it. I don't think they kept uniform stats in the 18th or 19th century.

    Mike
     
  16. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    I can only speak for me. In my day to day life I never thought about guns at all. My life has been one of suburbia with more concerns about work and hobbies and largely auto control motions. I didn't even own a gun until I was 47 and the primary motivation was recreation with a small dose of self protection insurance that I did not really feel I needed but it was there just in case. I live in Atlanta but am from Louisiana and the mayhem during Katrina and how firearms were used opened my eyes. Armed folks could stand their ground and were not be robbed or killed. Go figure. The gun confiscation woke me up too.

    The part I never understood is why law abiding urban poor seem to support gun bans so strongly. My suburb town is absurd with the amount of law enforcement and relative lack of crime. Yet like me many are armed to the teeth and legally so. The only explanation I have heard that makes sense is so many of their relatives are involved in crime they don't want to increase their risk of getting shot in their endeavors by law abiding citizens. It is love and logical only through that lense.

    Plus I will agree there is a constant barrage of anti propaganda and almost no understanding of why we have this right while most the world does not. I am enlightened now much like the original poster and when the chance comes up I educate and preach the American way pertaining to liberty and arms. I always ask them a trick question first. Do guns kill people? Almost always they answer yes. To me it introduces a logic window not about politics or rights but simple logic not to assign emotional qualities to tools.
     
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    Very well put, Mike and CentralTexas

    I went to school in a very large midwestern city in the 1960s, and just about everyone I encountered disliked guns and most thought they should be outlawed. The current mayor almost exploded after the Heller decision.

    I wouldn't sell short the media's role, but I think you have to add in the educational system.

    Some decades ago, Dr. Milton Eisenhower made the statement, widely reported in the several media, that the presence of firearms was more likely to contribute to the deaths of innocents than to prevent them. Had to do, I think, with how the data were analyzed (if two drug dealers had met they were considered "friends, family, or acquaintances," if memory serves).

    Some time after that, the AP announced that it would no longer report incidents in which guns were used to prevent crime or save lives. Anyone remember that?

    And whenever there's a street shooting, what do you see on your TV screen? Some kind of handgun or Kalashnikov, usually.

    Count the negative reports each day, and count the positive ones.

    Not all of that is bias---many positive incidents simply don't qualify as news--but the effect is cumulative and telling.
     
  18. gregormeister

    gregormeister Member

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    It seems its a wide spread syndrome of hoplophobia...Col. Cooper was onto something..

    Maybe its what hip hop culture and violent movies do to the hoplophobes brain..who knows..

    Paranoia replaces common sense and these hoplophobes come into power and decide that the evil "gun" has to go..

    My view is that humans are truly evolving as we discuss this, into an ideal that one day the American people will be gun free and never cause harm to their fellow man, but then I guess we'll have to do away with knives, ball bats, hockey sticks, bottles, maybe glass altogether.....
     
  19. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    The element of necessity has switched. Less good folks need a gun these days, and more bad folks do.

    What that does after a while is reverse itself, hence, concealed carry.

    I agree 100% with the war on drugs being to blame for much of this. I've supported the legalization of all drugs for quite some time now, and think we could do fine if we legally treated them like alcohol. That being said, I don't really think the legalization of marijuana will ever happen.
     
  20. RPCVYemen

    RPCVYemen Member

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    Do you have a citation for that? I'd be interested to read it.

    Mike
     
  21. Match14

    Match14 Member

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    From my perspective it seems that Urbanization is the largest cause of the attitude shift. I have met very few rural folk who have been anti RKBA, heck I've even seen Amish at gun shows that I've been to.
    Me, I've lived the the city/town all my life and there don't seem to be much you can do in the city with a firearm, except person protection. Therefore I think that on a percentage basis that less city folk buy firearms than rural folk. From my experience, those that live in the city and don't own a firearm seem to think that nothing will ever happen to them which would warrant them owning one.
     
  22. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    I never bought the urban vs. rural thing and I think hunting has very little to do with it. After 1850s, unless you lived in rural Wyoming, you could pretty much buy meat at the local butcher shop. I think all the anti-gun nonsense happened in the 1960s. Left-wing radicalism started building in the 1930s, but was primarily confined to the Soviet Union. For whatever idiotic reasons, people in the 1960s seemed to think that we needed to change our political ideology and part of that was gun control. You must also consider that the 1960s brought about 3 huge gun-related shooting incidents: the shooting of President Kennedy, the University of Texas tower shooting, and the assassination of MLK Jr. These were all very emotional events for people. The gun control acts were piecemeal ways of dealing with this. The GCA '68 in particular, really didn't do very much to affect most people. Never-the-less, the laws were an emotional response to a perceived break-down in society.
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My granddaughter came home from kindergarten and very vocally told me that I should get rid of all my guns, because they are really bad!

    They are teaching it in pre-school now!

    rcmodel
     
  24. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Member

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    Funny you should say that. My niece's teacher tried the same thing, (teaching about how guns are "scary" and "bad") to which my niece (6yrs old) piped up with, "I shot my Uncle's rifle (a .22lr) and it wasn't scary at all." Then, all the other kids started in with how the teacher was wrong and how they've all use used guns and that guns weren't bad. Needless to say, the teacher (young city liberal) was taken aback...

    The answer to the dilemma of bad teachers is good parents/grandparents/family. A child taught in a loving family will stand up to any outsider.

    "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Pr22:6)
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That's all well & good, but it isn't happening in 95% of American suburban (young city liberal) homes.

    Heck, my son has an Obama sign in his yard, and he was raised hunting & shooting every kind of gun there is.

    rcmodel
     
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