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How to convert your liberal friends (to win next election)

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by drjoker, Nov 5, 2009.

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  1. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    Simplistic analysis of 3 instances where liberal legislators passed laws that were signed into law. The fourth involved a lawsuit by NYC and the last is merely a quote. This is the best liberals can come up with. The 80% plus firgure is based on the fact that Justices on SCOTUS don't always do the right thing like Souter et al. Right, SCOUTS does not "sign" the liberal inspired laws like the idiotic DC gun ban or the stupid Chicago gun ban. These are the spawn of liberals that SCOTUS rules on. How could Heller have ever gone down 5 to 4 ? It is exhibit one as to how close we are to destruction of the Second Amendment - one man - Justice Kennedy who is marginal as a Justice on these issues. You cited no historical facts to the contrary just nonsense. You should consider the effect of the SCOTUS and the imapct of stupid liberal laws like the DC gun ban and the Chicago Gun ban. So, most liberals are against the Second Amendment and RKBA and most Conservatives are for gun rights. They say 3% of the population is gay and 3% of liberals support gun rights. Hardly enough to warrant wasting resources promoting gun rights to liberals. Any and all resources should be devoted to right thinking independents, the second largest ideological group behind Conservatives. It is the independents who will make or break this issue. The Supreme Court will make the ultimate decisions so it is important to understand that we have 4 good Justices, four bad (liberal) justices, and one (Kennedy) holding the balance of power - barely leaning in favor of gun rights.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    NinjaFeint - If you like "Plugs" the lying gaffe machine more than Palin as a Vice President then so be it. The best way to support the Second Amendment and the RKBA is to support candidates who support gun rights not professed anti-gun politicians like the president and "Plugs." Gun rights and the Second Amendment is # 2 on my list so any anti-gun politicians like the president and "Plugs" are out - never get my vote.
     
  3. gossamer

    gossamer Member

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    So because I wasn't dumb enough to try and prove a negative it's nonsense?

    I'm not even sure what gay's have to do with this conversation. Nonetheless, if you want to continue thinking you can completely ignore liberals in support of the RKBA, then go for it.

    That kind of binary, narrow minded ignorance of historical experience and outright evidence to the contrary reminds me how the 2nd Amendment came to be so curtailed in the first place; people like you stopped caring that people like me exist.

    You ignore your allies to the detriment of nothing but your rights.

    Enjoy your house divided.
     
  4. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    Taking this to a more respecful level, how are we be "allies" if the politicians you vote for and elect work directly against gun rights in general and the Second Amendment and RKBA in particular. I live in California and feel the effect of this every day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  5. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    So by default I should support someone who is inept because she supported RKBA? RKBA is high on my list but the candidate not being an idiot is higher. Like it or not she ruined McCain's chances as much as the Bush fallout did. I do support candidates who support gun rights but that does not entitle them to unconditional support.
     
  6. goon

    goon Member

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    Granted, the democratic party has anti-gun sentiments as part of its party platform. Does that make it more important or less important to gain the support of those who share your beliefs on gun ownership in that party?
    What can a republican do about the democratic party's platform?
    I would suggest that he can't really do a damn thing about it. Go ahead and write your democratic congressman complaining about how he alienated you... He's not gonna give half a pound of flying monkey crap because he never would have gotten your vote anyway if you're a republican.
    Only those who belong to the democratic party really have the power to implement any changes.
    I'm inclined to agree with gossamer's train of thought - pushing potential allies away is a really poor strategy.
     
  7. gossamer

    gossamer Member

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    So do you say the same thing to Republicans who voted for Reagan and Bush Sr and Nixon and Giuliani and Pataki? Because all of them "work[ed] directly against gun rights in general and the Second Amendment and RKBA in particular."

    Judging by this thread you just save your condemnation for liberals and ignore Republicans who vote for candidates who do the same thing.

    You can live in the world as it is, where both Liberals and Conservatives who support RKBA apply pressure to their respective candidates to protect their rights. OR you can pretend it's only the horrible liberals who threaten gun rights and blind yourself to the historically demonstrated fact that members of both parties will take any of our rights away in a second if it means furthering their political career.

    Keep pretending that tyranny of the government only threatens it's citizens when their on the blue team.
     
  8. Ingsoc75

    Ingsoc75 Member

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    Some people, most I would think, wouldn't vote solely based on what candidate supports second amendment rights.
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    And blindly thinking that a political party will protect your rights is foolish.

    Focus on promoting support for that right across the political spectrum and you'll be less likely to see any party get much traction in suppressing that right.
     
  10. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    That is why I tend to focus on SCOTUS. That is where this will all go up or down. That is the bottom line. I support Conservative candidates which by definition means my candidate will try and put Conservative Justices on the SCOTUS and support the Second Amendment and the RKBA. With only Justice Kennedy between us and disaster we have much to lose if we compromise. And no I don't support "Republicans" I support Conservatives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  11. gossamer

    gossamer Member

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    Focusing on the SCOTUS is a last-line-of-defense strategy it says that a law will be defeated when it's ruled on after it's challenged in court, after it's been passed, after it's been in effect, possibly after it's been ruled on by lower courts, appealed and agreed to be taken up by the SCOTUS.

    Often times it takes several years before these laws are challenged, and heard before the court. This fact and relying on the SCOTUS truly discounts the damage to our RKBA that these various unfriendly laws do in the intervening time between law's passage and the court's ruling.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I always thought that RKBA advocacy is about more than winning a battle in court. I was under the impression it's as much about public opinion, building advocacy for our rights AND -- at the very least -- building consensus that the Bill of Rights needs to be protected in it's entirety.

    The people who pass the unfreindly legislation are politicians from all walks of life conservative and liberal (I don't think many would argue that Reagan and Bush Sr. were Conservatives - despite their respective laws enacting gun control), and those who have passed laws curtailing RKBA have come out of both parties.

    Look at how many years passed between the time of various gun laws and the time they were decided on by the SCOTUS.

    There is a LOT of damage done in terms of both public perception/opinion and support for the RKBA in those intervening years between the passing of a restrictive law and the SCOTUS possibly overturning them.

    A strategy to only support conservatives or Republicans because they "will" appoint a conservative justice, opens the door to many years of curtailed rights before that SCOTUS strategy can be tested.

    It doesn't prevent RKBA restriction, it only resolves it. It's a defensive tactic.

    I prefer an "offensive" (or better yet, proactive) strategy of bringing people from all parties and all political convictions into this discussion. Engendering all the allies we can, supporting any candidate who supports the RKBA - regardless of their party.

    I don't see any point in alienating, disregarding and using a proRKBA forum as a means for "shouting down" people -- like many in this thread -- who ardently support the RKBA but don't ascribe to "the correct political philosophy."
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  12. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    It is not a "strategy" it is reality. SCOTUS occupies a place never envisioned when the Constitution was adopted - it now functions as a "Super Legislature" and while a few years may seem like a long time, it was for those poor souls who suffered under liberal suppression of gun rights in D.C. until Mr. Heller came along and then the day came when SCOTUS did the right thing but it was a 5 to 4 decision. Why do think FDR tried to "Stack the Court" because the "buck stops" with SCOTUS. So one more liberal Justice and everything you claim to be working for will be "history" and the few years you complain about will be decades, a lifetime, or forever - i.e. as long as this Country exists. The liberal Jusices make up laws out of whole cloth and have now resorted to citing "international law" as authority over our own Constitution. I don't understand how you can ignore the freight train comming down the tracks even if it seems to be far off.
     
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Ounce of prevention vs. pound of cure? Makes sense.

    Add that "conservative" and "liberal" don't have a lot of meaning these days, especially where RKBA is involved.

    A rule of thumb doesn't ensure the rule of law. Make certain where every individual you can stands on RKBA, make certain that you do everything in your power to persuade them that RKBA is good for everyone and make sure you tailor your message to the audience.
     
  14. PublicRelations

    PublicRelations Member

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    I may be mistaken but isn't there a "Pink Guns" organization (or something like that)? that is a gay RKBA org. It doesn't get much more liberal than that. Point is, some "liberals" support RKBA so writing off someone as anti-RKBA because they're liberal will only hurt our cause.
     
  15. legaleagle_45

    legaleagle_45 Member

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    "Pink Pistols"
     
  16. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Member

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    I think the answer is to convert liberals the same way you would convert anyone else. The only difference is that unless they will vote pro-gun, make sure not to do anything to encourage them to vote.

    Can you please enlighten me on Reagan's anti-gun legislation?

    All that consensus does is discourage politicians from making anti-gun laws. If the supreme court really hates guns bad enough, the consensus won't matter. It especially won't matter if despite the consensus, those people still vote for anti-gun politicians who appoint anti-gun judges.

    See above.
    Maybe.
    Yes, unless the other candidate was also anti-gun.

    The only way to prevent it is to either not elect anti-gun politicians, or really scare them.

    The machine gun ban was snuck in to a bill that was intended to protect gun owners. I think it's the same bill that stops registration. IIRC, the NRA supported this bill, it was to stop an out-of-control ATF.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  17. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    The big one would be signing the Mulford Act in 1967 banning Californians rights to carry guns on their person or vehicle in any public space. Then he signed the Gun Control law of 1986, Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act that was the bs about copkiller bullets and a few other bits and pieces throughout his political career.

    Then there was the old being one of the biggest spokesman in support of the Brady bill including the big speech he did in 1991 "I support the Brady Bill and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay." There are many myths about Reagan being some big conservative hero for some reason.

    He wasn't as antigun as say Nixon however. The Bush family sign ons had more to do with protecting domestic markets by banning certain imports of firearms.

    Luckily nowadays we have an administration that has done more acts to remove gun control than we seen by most the other administrations of the past 50 years combined and haven't seen anything new but one or two crazies putting forward ideas that got shouted down. It really odd after listening to the year of ranting and raving about how we would have all our guns taken away and be in FEMA camps by now.

    Of course it is just easier to make fun of liberals as all gun grabbing traitors, rather than take a serious look at the issues.
     
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to have to prune more posts for wandering too far afield into politics and political bickering and negativism.

    The discussion is about how to convert so-called "liberals" to RKBA neutral or support.

    Let's try to come up with ideas about how to get everyone under the RKBA tent that can be persuaded to it and make the rest at least understand the fanatical antis are lying to them so they don't support their positions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  19. CubJ3

    CubJ3 Member

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    If it's any consolation, I am a gun enthusiast and a liberal who has miraculously managed to get my super knee jerk liberal wife to understand and AGREE with the second amendment. Once she understood the basic premise that guns don't kill people she came around. Took a while though...... and I'm very tired.
     
  20. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    I'm late to the party here, but let me suggest a couple things. I'm a college professor--I teach, among other things, how to generate political power and social change. (And FWIW, I don't fit the label "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." I can and I do!)

    One of the most effective, if not the most effective, ways to engage people on controversial issues is not to make statements--it's to ask questions.

    Making statements in an argument is akin to pushing on someone's chest to move them backwards--they resist. Questions, by contrast, draw people in, and if asked the right way, compel them to think.

    Further, and this is can sometimes be the best use of questions, they make others who are observing the interaction think. It can be easier to think about the answers, and consider them fairly, when one isn't directly involved.

    For instance, you might simply ask this: What do you think Chicago is doing wrong? They have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and still it doesn't seem to work. The criminals don't seem to care--how will more restrictive gun laws, which keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, affect the criminal element?

    Or, more simply: Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation; what would be your assessment of how that has worked out for them?

    Or: I can see why around here we might not need concealed carry so much, since there's very little violent or other crime. I wonder if the same situation holds for people who live in high-crime areas. What do you think?

    Or: A lot of places have concealed carry; what happened to crime after the law allowed that to occur?

    Or: I wonder what percentage of people who have licenses to carry a firearm ever actually use them in a crime. Any idea?

    Or: I wonder what happens to crime rates in places after citizens are allowed to carry firearms for protection? Any idea?

    Or: I see you have a strong opinion about this. What has led you to this conclusion?

    In other words, buried in the "question" is a statement about things you ask them to consider.

    The trick with this is to not be accusatory, or mean, or combative--it's to ask meaningful questions in a respectful way.

    I used to be anti-gun, until in fact about 2 years ago. I didn't change my mind because of any life-event like being robbed--I just decided that perhaps I should have this skill. As I looked into gun ownership more and more, I realized that many of the reasons I'd been anti-gun were not really well-thought-out. The evidence just kind of piled up after a while. But I didn't have anyone telling me--I was allowed, in a way, to come to my own conclusion.

    I believe that with a lot of people, they have a strong, emotional position that can't be easily changed in one sitting. They have to be exposed to ideas that need time to take root and grow. Plant a seed, see what grows.

    I'll extend this a bit in a following post, but I also believe that many of the arguments pro-gun people make are counterproductive--they are threatening to anti-gun people, and in fact serve to harden them in their position.

    I believe also that anti-gun positions are *emotional* and as such will not respond well to confrontation and attack; they need to be gently approached and questioned. Guns *scare* people who don't know anything about them; further, they view guns as something that makes the field unlevel, such that those who don't have or don't understand are at a distinct disadvantage to those who do.

    In my view, we need to understand the emotional content of the issue and approach it gently, carefully, with respect and consideration. Otherwise we risk hardening the resolve of those who believe more gun laws are the answer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  21. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    As a follow-on, I think some who are pro-gun often shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to trying to convince those who are anti-gun to change their views.

    And FWIW, I don't think you're ever going to change a really liberal person; the people whose views should be targeted are those in the middle, the independents, the uncommitted. They'll respond much better.

    That said, many of the arguments made by pro-gun advocates just don't resonate among anti-gun people. Second amendment? Many anti-gun people, I believe, see this as equivalent to the second amendment being a license to intimidate them--maybe we should change it!

    In other words, it comes down to whether someone *should* have the right or not--and I don't see that as helpful. Instead, we should be gently explaining why it's a good idea, on top of it being a right.

    I don't think we should be arguing that this is or is not the case--what matters, the only thing that matters, in fact, is what the other side believes. It doesn't matter what you believe--only what they believe.

    We have to reach them where they are, not where we wish they were.

    Much of the pro-gun rhetoric is inflammatory, and works to the detriment of the goal.

    People who are anti-gun are scared--of guns, of people who tote them, of the intimidating factor of guns. They see the playing field as being quite out of level, and getting rid of guns, in their minds, levels that playing field. Yes, education can help that, but many don't or won't do it. So now what?

    IMO, when Charlton Heston said "They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead hands," he did more damage to the pro-gun movement than Columbine did. He was preaching to the converted, but he also preached something pretty scary to the unconverted.

    I know this may not be well-received here, but think about it--who, on the anti-gun side, was suddenly convinced by Heston's approach? And who, on their side, was hardened in their resolve to "get guns out of America"?

    The same goes for Ted Nugent. I agree with most of the things he thinks related to guns. I also think you could find few *worse* ambassadors for the pro-gun movement than Ted Nugent. He scares anti-gun people with his rhetoric. It may make pro-gun people feel better, but he *doesn't help.*

    Heston or Nugent may have rallied the troops; they also rallied the opponents. And as was once very cogently noted, only a fool gives his enemy reason to hate him.

    In the end, you have to ask yourself this: Are we more about feeling good about Heston or Nugent agreeing with us, or are we more about *winning*?

    I want to win. And if that means I don't use arguments that are important to me, and instead use arguments that are important to the thinking of anti-gun people, I'll do it. Every time.

    I try to discuss this with anti-gun people in a way that meshes with their self-interest. They don't care about the second amendment, so I don't couch my arguments in those terms. I couch my arguments--my questions, if you read my previous post--in terms that sync with their own self interest, with things they care about. Such as crime rates, for instance. Or whether by restricting guns we make them less safe. Or whether it makes sense to do something that the evidence says doesn't work. Or safety. Whatever is important to them.

    I'd love to see Tom Selleck be the voice of the NRA; soft-spoken, reasoning, a nice approach from Tom Selleck would, in my view, work wonders. Heston and Nugent? Pass.

    PS: Yeah, I know Heston is dead, but he remains the iconic symbol of the pro-gun movement in America--and that's too bad. I believe he did more damage than good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  22. CubJ3

    CubJ3 Member

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    Nicely stated Mongoose. In a forum that primarily spouts absolutes, it's good to see a sensible and delicate approach to a contentious issue.
     
  23. TexasBill

    TexasBill Member

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    As much as I love talking about guns, this has been one of the most enjoyable and enlightening threads I have ever seen on THR (well moderated, too).

    A point from my dim and distant past. I was in college during the early hippie days. At least two-thirds of the people I knew who called themselves hippies had guns. Those who fomented talk of revolution in those days, like Abbie Hoffman, knew it was important for the youth movement to be armed. Incidentally, this was before the Gun Control Act of 1968, but continued afterward.

    My best friend, other than my wife, is a conservative. We disagree on some things, agree on others. We have managed to stay friends for the best part of two decades. He doesn't own a gun and doesn't like them (he comes from a family of Mennonite missionaries) while I have liked guns since childhood. Yet we both agree that all the rights secured by the Bill of Rights are important.

    Posters to this thread have talked about party platforms: where do those come from? It's possible for any of us to become involved with the process by being part of the process. If you're not quite ready for a run for the Senate, show up at your local (insert party of preference here) caucus or other organizational meeting. Speak up; use some of the excellent tactics proposed by Mongoose 33 and don't let the knee-jerk "this is what we've always stood for" ninnies have the day.
     
  24. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    mongoose33 the real gem in both your thoughtful posts is exactly what I have repeatedly stated in this thread including a couple posts that have been deleted (I've got no problem with the moderator kicking my a$$ because I'm a Chuck Heston and Ted Nugent admirer and a conservative straight up) is the following:
    And FWIW, I don't think you're ever going to change a really liberal person; the
    people whose views should be targeted are those in the middle, the independents,
    the uncommitted. They'll respond much better.

    Exactly, why not focus on the mushy middle which is numerically greater and undecided.
     
  25. gossamer

    gossamer Member

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    Exactly my situation. From the timing to your various rationale for learning the skills and accepting the data. I think the reason I came to my position was because - as you say - I was allowed to. With a family of some very pro-gun folks, and some very disinterested folks, I was never pushed or prodded one way or the other. And here I am.

    I also completely agree with what you said about Heston and Nuggent. As someone who's participated in numerous long-run campaigns, studied rhetoric, and spent a lot of time practicing both, I see them and their style as detrimental to a goal of expanding the positive reasons for RKBA.

    Thanks for participating in this thread.
     
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