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You are an Ambassador

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by gun guy, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. gun guy

    gun guy Member

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    We often see fellow gun owners, expressing their right to bear arms, thru bumber stickers. Personally it is good use, of freedom of speach IMO normally. Today however, there was the typical jerk, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, in his big 4x4. You know the type, they are in every city USA. Tough guys, sleeves cut off to show off his bench press's.
    All over the rear of his truck were: I'm the NRA, you can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands, Kill the whales, all the typical macho bumper stickers. As he gave a one finger wave, to a car that honked at him, as he cut them off to turn the corner, I just had a wish, that guys like that, would change their minds and join HCI. It just seems people like this, do us all a huge disservice. Be a proud gun owner, display your NRA sticker if you like, but just remember, you represent all of us, slow down, let the other guy merge, avoid those cute little gestures. People judge me, by your actions. People judge you, by the things i do. Let's respect each other in public, and try to be the best ambassadors we can, if we display firearms ownership or rights, on our vehicles. Just a thought.
    Have a great day.
     
  2. paul45

    paul45 Member

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    Tell the offender instead of the anonymity of preaching to the choir.
     
  3. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Unfortunately this situation seems to be one of those "rock and a hard place" things... You call out a "macho" guy like that in public and tell him he's acting like an idiot and you risk being shot by an idiot or assaulted, because he's embarrassed at being publicly humiliated. You post about the event anonymously and there's a slight chance he could read it in the privacy of his own home and really think about his actions and how they look to others.

    For all we know, Paul45, you're the guy in the truck.

    I'd have to agree with the OP... We *ALL* are ambassadors for ALL gun owners whether we like it or not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  4. Uridium

    Uridium Member

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    It's the complete opposite over the pond, the gun owners there are mostly complete wimps and wouldn't say boo to a goose.
    There is no middle ground it seems.
     
  5. Boomm

    Boomm Member

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    I know I'm an ambassador. I'm not the guy in the truck, but I'm not going to be pushed around and I'm also going to speak my mind whenever I want to. At 6' 205 lbs, I work out on a regular basis and wear cut-off sleeves to the gym. I find being physically superior to most of the population gives me an advantage in life. I occasionally give the finger to people on the freeway after they pull some kind of BS on the road. I am not over-the-top, but I refuse to let myself be walked on just because you, OP, don't want to offend anyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  6. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    I agree with you, but I think it is unrealistic to hold someone to a higher standard than the rest of society simply because they are a gun owner.
     
  7. Boomm

    Boomm Member

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    This. Owning a firearm is a basic constitutional right, you don't hold people to a higher standard because they own a car or anything else of the sort.
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Boomm,

    If not for the concerted effort to take away that right by antis there would never be any concern about winning the culture and political conflict over gun ownership. Keep in mind that there are very powerful politicians who have already said that they would take every gun away from every American if they could and that there are active groups that have the same goal. Because we came very close to that happening not that long ago (AWB 1994) we still face those same politicians and groups demonizing gun owners. Working to put the lie to their caricature of us is part of winning that culture war. There's a big difference between a redneck and a good ol' boy.
     
  9. Boomm

    Boomm Member

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    I am very well aware of this; however, I am not going to lower myself to the status of a poser and project the image of a "good lil church boy" in order to not offend anyone. If you look at the most effective people in history eg. William Wallace, Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Jesus, they did not pose and many many many people were offended by them. Yet they all changed the world. These changes did not come about because these men were afraid of offending someone. Even with people like the "truck guy," they have not taken our guns and are no where close to accomplishing this. The powerful politicians and anti-gun groups you speak of are not going to change their view on gun ownership no matter what you, me, or anyone says or does. The world needs aggressive, moral, strong men who have a cause for which they fight. Not posers who are afraid they might offend someone.
     
  10. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    The cut off sleeves used to be to show off the biceps. That's old school. Now it's to show off the tats.
     
  11. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    I dunno, in today's day and age being a gun toting "good lil church boy" is dang offensive and upsetting to many people. Sold!

    True, but some lughead you cut off in traffic might decide he "doesn't like guns/gun owners" because of negative perceptions someone may have provided him with. I think that HSO was talking more about being a positive influence on your average citizen rather than die hard anti gunners, whom no one will ever convince.
     
  12. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    It's not about offending people.

    It's about showing that you're not foolish and immature, that you have at least a modicum of respect for others, and that you're a member of the human race, not just a guy that don't give a crap about anyone but himself and his family.

    Now don't get me wrong, I can be aggressive when I need to be, but driving like an idiot and cutting people off is dangerous to others. Think of it as not pointing your gun at something you're not intending to shoot, or not putting your finger on the trigger until you're ready to fire... A car (or truck in this case) can be more deadly than a gun in the wrong hands.

    If a person hasn't got the common sense to drive according to the law what makes you think that person has the common sense to handle a firearm properly? That said, when idiots drive like that and have NRA stickers and other gun related stickers on their vehicle it gives all of us gun owners a bad image, especially when these foolish and immature individuals end up causing accidents (fatal or not).

    How will you feel if one of these foolish and immature individuals runs you off the road, especially after you've posted here basically defending your (and their) right to drive like a foolish and immature individual and generally just act how you choose regardless of the image it gives you and anyone else? Sure it's your right to say and do as you please ... until it endangers somebody else!

    The way I see it, when gun owners who advertise the fact that they are gun owners and 2A supporters give other gun owners a bad image through acting the fool, it's endangering not only my life, but the life of my family, friends, and anyone else in the country. When gun owners act like fools in public it has a way of making those who may have been on the fence about the issue suddenly jump to the anti side.

    A lot of us work HARD to avoid giving gun culture a bad image, and it really makes the job more difficult with people out there that claim to support gun culture, but show by their actions that the only thing they have a care for is themselves.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  13. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    Driving and gun handling are two different skill sets though.

    Conversely, if a person hasn't got the common sense to handle a firearm safely what makes you think that a person has the common sense to drive a vehicle effectively?
     
  14. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Sure driving and gun handling are two different skill sets... but common sense applies to both. I never claimed to think that a person has the common sense to drive a vehicle effectively if they haven't got the common sense to operate a firearm safely... The twist you've put into my words is irrelevant...

    Safely and effectively are two very different things. Handling a firearm safely is one thing, handling it effectively is very different... The same holds true for driving a vehicle. Without common sense, a person should have access to neither item as they can both be extremely dangerous to bystanders when handled improperly (ie. without common sense).
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    It is important to conduct yourself accordingly.

    Sometime that's appropriate, and sometimes it isn't.

    I hate to break it to you, but a bullet from a .32 Automatic, a slash across a tendon with a sharp edge, or a pick-up truck through your drivers' side door will trump all of that.

    In a lot of places that can get you arrested, and just about anywhere, it can get you killed or injured. Bad idea. All downside, no upside.

    successful ambassadors do not offend people.
     
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    There are two issues at play that I find work together.

    1) I need to present myself well to those around me as a professional, civil, reasonably courteous, and responsible individual in order to conduct my affairs as I please, without confrontation, delay, or undue strife. That means a lot of things, but in the most relevant case here, it means that I am a gun owner, shooter, shooting competitor, match director, shooting coach (occasionally), etc. who is clearly safe, sane, and in control of himself and his weapons. Someone who's ownership and use of firearms poses no threat to -- and could even be seen as positive by -- friends, neighbors, co-workers, and citizens of my community. This is ambassadorship, of course, but it is also pragmatism. I don't want ill relations with my neighbors because I make them nervous. I don't want occasional or routine interactions with local law enforcement officers -- even if I'm technically in the right -- because I alarmed someone by my aggressive attitude combined with the fact that I was (or was thought to be) carrying a gun. Those are hassles that I would have to work hard to overcome. They don't help me, they HURT me.

    And they get in the way of my message: I want to be approachable and open about firearms rights and use in order to spread the good word and to be a conduit for others to learn to ignore all the misinformation about guns in the world. I want to appear to be a credible, mature, professional source of information and advice, so that my guns and my beliefs about guns appear normal and rational to those who are new to considering the issues.

    2) I carry a gun whenever I can. That means that I am responsible for introducing a deadly weapon into any possible altercation I might be involved in. A person who carries a gun has to be utterly meek and mild mannered -- a person who considers no offense worth escalating, because he knows that he holds in his hands the power to end someone's life. He cannot allow himself to be drawn into arguments, road rage, shoving matches, fist fights -- or any situation that could "end badly," because that bad end may be death, jail, and a life ruined by felony convictions and all their associated troubles (loss of job, divorce, financial ruin, lifelong emotional trouble, etc.). So "standing up to jerks," "putting people in their places," "taking no guff," "road rage" and all that macho bull-oney are understood to be worthless. In the end, it boils down to asking, "will I allow myself to kill someone over an insult, when I could have ended the argument by simply walking away?" Having to kill someone -- even ultimately in self-defense -- when you contributed to the problem instead of de-escalating it at all costs is pretty despicable. It is a failure of your mindset to extricate you from a dangerous situation by any means possible, and is horridly unacceptable.

    Those two concepts are, for me, very compelling. I won't act like a tough-guy, like a bully, like a self-righteous jerk. I won't take offense. I won't be thin-skinned. I will walk away if there is any possible way to do so. I will de-escalate, ALWAYS. I will be a peaceable man, until and unless my or my loved-ones' safety is jeopardized. Those things may stroke my ego, but I'm far beyond needing my ego stroked. Perhaps there was a time ... but life is for real now.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Being mature and responsible isn't the same as letting people walk on you. The attitude that you somehow have to take offense at the least sign of disrespect and dominate the other person physically is the behavior seen in gang members and not the behavior of a mature responsible gun owner. It is also the very behavior that antis want the public to attribute to all gun owners and not just gang bangers.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    It would do you well to read about those men. They all changed the world in some way. And they all, perhaps, offended certain people in certain ways. But it was in ways that made a difference. Big idea ways. By the power of their principles, teachings, actions on the grand scale.

    Not because they were pompus jerks to their fellow man. They wouldn't have gotten far if they were uncivil butt-heads.

    There are ways to make a stand in this world -- and those ways will get you all the attention and opposition you could ever want. Going through your daily life acting like a social misfit just means your "stand" won't amount to much.
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    Post #16

    ...is worth reading and re-reading as many times as it takes to understand it.
     
  20. LRS_Ranger

    LRS_Ranger Member

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    For what it's worth, the next time you are tempted to flip off, give someone your mind etc, you should think that if a confrontation DOES occur that requires that you use deadly force, YOU will be responsible in many places. One witness testifying that you were the first to flip someone off would make you the one who "started it" and you would be found guilty of murder.
    It's the chest beating loud ones that I fear the least. Frankly, I find the headlight flashing, finger waving yellers comical. Trust me, you didn't tell me off, you made me remember the shotgun behind the seat and laugh to myself.

    So, in the end, your retarded outburst makes you either a retarded jerk at best, or a criminal a worst. One thing is for sure, it puts you on par with a 3 year old.
     
  21. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I have learned a lot from this thread.
     
  22. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

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    That's the kind of image I want to project for my children. I don't want them to see me lose my temper and react like a jerk when someone acts like a jerk. What's the point in acting like a jerk because someone else does? That puts me at their level. From my experience, it takes the better man not to stoop to jerk's level.

    That's the great thing about kids, they have taught me to lead by example. Why should I do anything (including flipping someone off) to further escalate a situation when nothing more than my image is at stake? Factor in a firearm and that means I am attempting to escalate something over nothing, putting myself and the jerk in danger of an escalating show of force.
     
  23. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I don't think the OP is saying that we should be afraid of offending people. If a person doesn't think I should have the right to carry a gun, I'll still carry a gun, even if it offends them.

    Those historical figures you mention all had values that they felt were worth standing up for, and they stood up for them, even if it meant offending others. Flipping the bird to someone generally isn't very high on my core values list.

    The OP isn't asking any one to sell their values down the river. At the very basic, he is asking drivers who have gun stickers on their vehicles to act like responsible adults. Acting like a responsible adult won't change an anti's mind, but it can't hurt, and it may keep some fence sitter from thinking "gun owners are irresponsible, I wish there was a way to keep them from having dangerous tools " before they head to the voting booth.

    I've done my share of stupid things in a car. I've made immature gestures at other drivers. I've acted like a 10 year old brat over something as simple as someone causing me to tap my brakes when they switched lanes in front of me. At some point, I grew up, and realized that no good could come of any of that. Did growing up cost me my values? Am I a sellout poser for behaving more like an adult than I used to behave? I'd be willing to bet that Teddy Roosevelt, Jesus, Churchill, and Wallace would all say no.

    One of the better things I've read in weeks. Nice post Sam.
     
  24. Boomm

    Boomm Member

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    If you read his post carefully, he was talking about die hard anti gunners.

    I do, is there anything I posted to suggest I don't?

    Duh. I'm not talking about an advantage in taking bullets/razor blades/getting hit by a truck. Working out makes you a healthier person in every area of your life and gives you a mental advantage over people who do not.

    If they give me a reason to and a cop see's what happened, any cop with half a brain is going to pull them over before me.

    This depends if the person is rational or not.

    I never said anything of the sort, neither do I act this way. Assuming I need to physically dominate everyone and I have the attitude of a gang banger is wrong on your part.

    I have read extensively about all of them. I am not a pompus jerk or a civil butthead or a social misfit. If you have read about them, then you would know that William Wallace was a "pompus jerk" to his opposition. He was not civil to England in the least bit and would be considered a social misfit according to them.

    If someone cuts you of and you flip them off, it is not going to end in a deadly confrontation, so this argument is invalid.

    Don't tell me you've never been aggravated and acted out, everyone has, and it does not put you on par with a 3 year old. If it did, then we would have a world full of 3 year olds which we clearly don't. Resorting to calling me a retarded jerk shows that you are, in fact, no different.

    Have anything to say about Wallace and his men mooning an entire army?
     
  25. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    What world do you live in? Flip off the wrong person ANYWHERE and you could be shot, shot at, or had things thrown at your vehicle, run off the road, followed home and murdered...

    I'd like to think that the world is all peaches and cream, but if that were so we wouldn't ever think of firearms as self defense tools, unless it's against a bear or wolf (ie out hunting or in Alaska).

    Ever been to New York, L.A., Detroit, Louisville, Atlanta, Columbia, Reno.... The list goes on. Before you even mention it, yeah I'm aware every city has their good and bad parts, I was simply illustrating the point. For all I know you're from a small rural town that hasn't seen a murder in 80 years. What I'm trying to say is that with some of the "people" and I use that term loosely, that are out there... You never know what could happen from something as harmless as flipping someone the bird.
     
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