How to Correct People, or Just Don't?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Bobson, Jul 18, 2016.

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  1. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    For some reason, I seem to run into a ton of gun owners (older brothers in law, coworkers, school classmates, guys at church, etc) who really don't know much about guns at all, but seem to feel the need to educate me about them. We're talking, the guns they do own, the guns they don't own, gun laws in our own state, gun laws in other states and at the Federal level, etc etc.

    I suspect it has a lot to do with the amount I've learned (and am still learning) on this board, but I never know if I should correct them, and if so, how to do it without coming across as being a wise-ass, wannabe know-it-all. In most other areas/topics (really, all others except one), when this happens, I just pretend to think they're right. I figure ignorance is bliss, and it's not hurting me anyway. Not that I'm the smartest guy in the world, but that's just it. I read a lot and have since I was a kid. I have a fairly solid general knowledge base. I know what I know and more importantly I know what I don't know.

    But I can't help but wonder if I should be correcting people.

    Kinda curious if even posting this makes me come across as a wise-ass, wannabe know-it-all. But I gotta ask.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  2. ATN082268

    ATN082268 Member

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    If you're talking to guns owners, then stuff like, "I think an AR-15 is the best firearm for home defense," is more of a matter of personal preference. If it is something like a blanket statement about gun laws, then I would caution them on the numerous and constantly changing gun laws.
     
  3. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    As far as the "clip" goes, it's a common misnomer, and you'll appear a wise ass. But the loophole and background checks, that can be engaged respectively. Just simply ask him why he feels that way. It opens the door for honest constructive conversation.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Gently, respectfully, with a smile. Ask leading questions. Use self deprecating and neutral ways of saying things.

    If it's gun opinion stuff (e.g.: which gun for home defense or carry, 9mm vs. .45, what bazooka for bears, etc.) just laugh and say, "OK!" and let it go. Who really cares?

    If it's something substantive, maybe something along the lines of: "Oh! I was just reading something about that. Actually I think you might have one detail backward because..."

    Or, "You know, actually I don't agree with you there, and here's why..."

    Or if it's someone you've got some level of status with (friend, co-worker, etc.) you CAN simply say, "Hold on. I know that's not right. Let me explain..." and if you do it with a smile and in a way clearly not meant to embarrass them that's OK. You CAN respectfully disagree with someone. It may be a bit of a lost art, but you'll be more respected for it.

    And if it's questions of law, it is most important that you do educate people about the truth. These days, with online access to all the state and local laws, and everyone carrying a smart phone, you really can show someone the relevant law in seconds.
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Bobson

    As with most interactions I have with people (on just about any topic), I always follow the advice my father gave me years ago: treat everyone exactly the same way you would want to be treated. Worked for him, works for me, and hopefully my kids follow it too.
     
  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    As with all things, a respectful tone goes a long way. I try to educate if I hear incorrect facts being thrown around. Opinions I don't bother with, because no one is obliged to feel the way I do.

    But facts are things that can be proven, and referenced.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
  7. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    My whole adult life I was told by dozens of people that I needed a 5rd magazine to hunt here in WA. I recently looked the law up and there is no magazine size restriction...

    Nothing can beat learning something first hand.

    As for correcting others, I will when it matters. If its a matter of safety or a negligent/falsified perspective, I will gladly engage in verbal gymnastics.
     
  8. TonyInFla

    TonyInFla Member

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    I don't try and correct anyone unless it's a safety issue. Then I try to be polite and respectful.
     
  9. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and annoys both you and the pig.
     
  10. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Out here in CA it is sometimes important to correct people.

    A lot of times I will use phrases like:
    "That's what I thought, too, then I found out XYZ"
    "What's interesting about that is that its really an XYZ"
    [smile] "remember, that's an XYZ"

    Be polite, be respectful, be appropriate, pick your battles.
     
  11. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    As mentioned, sometimes it just ain't worth bothering with. But sometimes, it might be the neighborly thing to do, especially if there's already an amicable conversation taking place. I've found luck phrasing it like, "you know, i used to think (or wonder about) that, too, but I recently read from {insert authoritative source} that the opposite was actually the case".
    Works lots better than, "WRONG-O !!!! blah-blah-blah-blah". :D
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    This has worked for me.
     
  13. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I just tell them. If it's a simple matter of facts, that's all there is to it.

    You can soften it by leading with a "you might think that, but" or "it seems like that, however" or "common mistake" or whatever you want, if you like. Or offer it as an opinion you have and not as a fact just to get it out there, they might accept that as good enough or they might look into it more themselves later when they think about it.

    There's far too much ignorance about everything-firearms out there not to make headway where you can.

    Sure sometimes it's easier not to say anything, and sometimes it doesn't matter enough to say something, but generally...why not have things understood correctly.



    That said, sometimes I just have to not say anything or just stop participating in the conversation/stop talking about the subject...that's usually with relatives who are not ever going to "get it" though and is a little different topic than what the OP is asking about (even though they are gun owners, they aren't gun people and certainly not to the level of the majority who join forums such as THR)
     
  14. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    here's an example of correcting someone that makes me look like a wiseass.

    close, but "Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig" is how Robert Heinlein originally said it. Of course, Jesus said essentially the same thing with his memorable "do not cast your pearls before the swine" line roughly 2000 years previously.

    Here's an example phrasing it as a question
    Don't you prefer the more explicit rendering "Do not attempt to teach a pig to sing. You will accomplish nothing and only annoy the pig" as adapted in an AD&D module in the mid '80s?
     
  15. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I guess I took it fro granted that we were referring to corrections that are material or substantial or whatever term you believe fits best for what I am attempting to communicate.

    Like, if somebody says that Glock 19's holds 16 rounds, don't correct them to say it actually holds 15+1 unless you have neutered mags in which case it holds 10+1 or a Glock 17 mags for 17+1 or or or (insert ETS/Magpul/G18 magazines, baseplate extension options, unchambered or downloaded mag quantities).

    Now, if they said THEIR G19 held 16 rounds maybe that would be correct because maybe they only have 15 round mags and only carry loaded plus one, but since they phrased it as implying all Glock 19's...

    Yeah...I am going on the assumption we are talking about legitimate corrections, such as...the AR in AR15 stands for assault rifle, or an "AR15" is an assault rifle, or maybe they say 5.56 penetrates too much to use for home defense...those are the kinds of things some of us may correct.
     
  16. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Also, if it's a caliber discussion along the line of "the .45 is king of all pistol rounds" then there is no point to argue. That is an opinion, not a fact even though some swear it is a fact because the internet says so. Caliber wars are best left to the uneducated or heavily biased. No winner comes out there.
     
  17. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    Nothing wrong with saying, That is not the case" show them the source. Pick your battles. I think not knowing the laws is about as bad as a safety issue. Which guns are best and caliber wars feel free to sit out.
     
  18. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Everyone's a know-it-all nowadays. I generally keep my trap shut unless someone asks me questions directly.

    Those that are smart enough to be inquisitive are worth helping. Those that already think they know everything, in most cases won't accept any correction.
     
  19. Warp

    Warp Member

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    For the latter situation, I consider others who are present as well
     
  20. skimbell

    skimbell Member

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    "How to Correct People, or Just Don't?"

    I'll take door #2!
     
  21. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'm the wise ass know it all.

    I don't correct people normally.
    My circle of friends are pretty advanced gun collectors, hunters, shooters, and reloaders.
    Most personal friends have been in the gun game one way or another, as long as I have.

    They come to me and ask questions if they don't have the answer.
    And they expect to get the right answers from me.

    So, that's what I try to give them.

    Kinda the reverse from most situations like you mentioned.

    rc
     
  22. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The above is spot on.

    Personally, where I have a tough time shutting up and minding my own business is with Fudds. Particularly those whoe think that every one ought only think just like them.

    So confident that "they" will never come after their scoped belted magnum, or their o/u that costs more than most of our first cars. They will keep their blinders on ignoring lead bans, or that high-powered sniper rife with armor piercing bullets means them.

    Far simpler 9for me) are the ones who are steadfast to what their brother's nephew's cousin's the neighbor who is a cop three States away "told" them its ok [to do whatever 18 USC 922 violation they are willfully committing an suborning others to replicate].

    Frustration like that are why I come here, to read, discuss, even contend with RKI of like mind and interest.
     
  23. Swing

    Swing Member

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    Agreed. If someone specifically asks me about something or it is a safety issue that could result in someone getting hurt, I am going to speak up. Otherwise, it is a waste of time to bother, imho. On the other side of the equation, I have little patience listening to some nozzles' uneducated, inexperienced opinion on something either, so politely avoid such conversations.
     
  24. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    Mostly I try to avoid the interaction. If it involves safety...gotta speak up...'cause I don't want to go to a funeral.

    Mark
     
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Yes, rcmodel is a wise a know-it-all. :neener:

    Seriously, he's right way more than he's wrong.

    I'll confess to correcting people, but I do try to do it with humor. If the person has no sense of humor, I'll offer to agree to disagree.

    Since some here have mentioned safety, as in range situations, I will give someone a free pass on the nice for the first infraction (depending what it is) , but I warn them I will not be kind again-the Range Officer that indwells me will be released with full effect. Ask my Brother-in Law why I will not shoot with him ever again. (Something about muzzle sweeping me repeatedly with safety off, finger on trigger...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
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