So I'm sure we all do it every time some mental midget has one too many screws work loose, and goes on some form of rampage with a rifle. They cite these events and use "tug at your heart strings" based arguments. We've all heard them, "But if it only saved a few people...wouldn't that be worth it?" and ect. I've come to see these people differently, and have changed the way I talk to them. And believe it or not, I've actually had far more success than deadlock with this approach. I am bored waiting on my wife to get home from work, and thought I'd share it with you all. Feel free to ignore it, or use it. Firstly, I've learned to completely stay away from insulting them. The sad truth is, they..like many people on both sides of the political spectrum...have been conditioned to view the world and it's issues through the lens of a 30 second sound byte some politician they like said. So I approach them just like that....a fellow American who sincerely wants to find ways to protect other Americans from incidents like we see in these mass attack events. Granted, I know that not all of them are truly like this and VERY much have ulterior motives and are simply using the event as a springboard for their political gain. But by and large, most of them are simply uneducated people that honestly believe people can walk into a gun store without any ID or check and walk out with an M4 select fire rifle. Now I'm sure you've all done the "no one is buying military weapons" and explained the environment of real life gun owners and how gun laws apply. And I'm sure you're all met with the same response in that it is irrelevant and the weapons legally available still allow for too much possible harm for one person. But this is where I shift gears. Let me explain. This is where I acknowledge them. "You are right. If we could somehow magically ban the sale and possession of all firearms across America tomorrow, gun crime would fall to minute levels". But then I make sure they understand the people committing these mass events. They are not crimes of passion done in the heat of the moment. These are calculated and well planned events, where the shooters take weeks if not months preparing for. The reason they use firearms is because it's the least technical form of application. It's also why their kill counts aren't significantly higher, as more times than not these people have no formal training (take the Vegas shooter for example. I trained on the A2 in the Army, and even as support and not combat arms...with what I was taught in BRM? Given his elevated position, the cluster of his targets, and the length of time he had to fire....I can promise you I'd have killed WAY more than 58 people. I know he wounded close to 500, but that was incidental harm from his "spray and pray". Anyone with basic rifle training on the A2 or M4 given several minutes would have killed triple what he did). I point that out, and ask them if their main concern are these mass attacks, how will banning all semi-auto rifles stop them? This is when I explain what happens when you take away one avenue of execution from an individual who is motivated enough to plan his attack out meticulously, and emphasize that part of this well laid out plan more times than not includes the understanding that they will not survive. I am pointing out that they aren't going to prevent the attack because they are focused on the symptom instead of root cause. Root cause is what is causing these people to have the mental break they suffer and leads them to committing these mass attacks. I drive that point home by reminding them how easy one can make explosives and even chemical agents. I use an anecdote that I could walk into a Wal-Mart and buy everything I needed to make a crude form of nerve gas as well as the delivery system. I then remind them I wasn't combat arms in the Army nor am I an organic chemist. Sometimes I even poke fun at myself for being southern "If my redneck ass can do that, imagine what someone who actually dedicated themselves to the subject could do. More so with the internet and the many, many ways to hide your internet activity. I'll ask them to imagine the Las Vegas incident where instead of using rifles, he'd loaded up a minivan with homemade explosives and drove right up to those concert gates. Once I get them to understand that what they're wanting in no way will stop these attacks, and in fact could have the unintended consequence of escalating the casualties I bring it home. I tell them they'd be hard pressed to find any firearm owner who doesn't want to see these attacks stopped just as much as they do if not more. I tell them "if not more" because it allows me to explain to them just as they are trying to understand the why as well as having basic human empathy for those victims, firearm owners get the added delight of being told how we condone it...support it....don't care if someone is out shooting children, ect. If you get them to this point, you've now humanized yourself and other firearms owners to them. And believe it or not, that is important because the anti-gun lobby has worked hard to dehumanize firearm owners. And once you've gotten them to understand that you, like them, want this to stop. But you don't want knee jerk reactions trying to fix it....more so when those knee jerk reactions involve limiting or removing civil liberties from Americans. (NEVER say gun rights. ALWAYS say civil liberties) Find anything that is considered a liberal view that you don't like...I use a few, one is our right to due process..."I think an American who commits domestic terrorism is absolute scum, but I don't support people who say screw his rights or what him to get 'enhanced interrogation'. Because they're an American and have innate civil liberties that can't be taken away from them. And the worst thing we as a people can do is allow the precedent be codified that our government can pick and choose who gets what rights. Because those aren't rights, they're privileges. And once it's done with one, all accepted civil rights are open to the same". I use that last group of text, "all accepted civil rights are open to the same" with "all accepted" as I lean towards the understanding that being as the framers based their political views on Natural Law, that means the Bill of Rights isn't an all inclusive list of our rights. They are merely ones the framers wanted to be 100% sure there was no ambiguity about. Both to the people as well as the Federal government. And this is when I get them to understand my position. I'm not some "pro-gun loony" crying about keeping a firearm. I'm a staunch pro civil liberties American who is trying to explain to them freedom can be ugly at times. And freedom's biggest enemy are knee jerk reactions done in the heat of the moment. I like to use the Patriot Act as an example, because when it was first passed in the shadow of 9/11 Americans broadly supported it. Anything to help catch the SOBs responsible. Of course, once the shock of the attacks wore off and people started to really look into what all the Patriot Act allowed....there was almost a national buck of the system in unison. As a personal aside, I always tell them something I don't understand is the fact that almost every single one (the Vegas shooter was the one exception) of the people who commit these attacks are either prescribed or recently were prescribed SSRI drugs. I also tell them that while I fully understand SSRI drugs help millions of Americans every day, that there is a very small percentage of people who take them who experience violent side effects. These people usually either wind up committing suicide, but an even smaller amount commit murder then suicide. I also explain that I'm not suggesting that SSRI drugs are the obvious root cause, but I use it as an example to drive home that I too want these attacks stopped and am actively looking for causes to the problem so we can stop them from happening. Because banning firearms will simply change the way the attacks are carried out, and the only cost we'll have suffered once it's realized they are still happening will be the removal of part of our civil liberties as Americans. It takes patience and can be frustrating (REAL frustrating, because I know some like to name call and insinuate things that were we face to face I would feed their teeth to them for), but I honestly have...not so much as "converted", but at least opened their minds as to how we should be addressing the attacks. Now, it won't make everyone you talk to suddenly decide they don't want gun control, but at least in my experience it does make them concede that gun control will have no impact on preventing mass attacks. Of course, I consider that a win because you're getting them to separate their political goal from the 'tug at your heart strings" approach equating your firearm to murdered people on the other side of the nation. Like I said...it's what I do when I get into these debates with people now. I do tell them I don't fault them or think they are stupid, because I'm not going to fault a fellow American for feeling empathy for murdered Americans. Nor am I going to call them stupid for trying to find ways to prevent those things from happening. It really disarms them when you start this way, and will open them to actual dialogue. Anyone else have any good narratives or talking points they've found to be useful when trying to explain to people promoting gun control that they are opening the door for all our civil liberties to be attacked?