Liquor, Lies, and Laws

2 07 2011

Thanks to the fact I work a desk job in front of an internet-connected PC, I was able to tune in and listen to the debates in the house and senate concerning the recently signed SB17.  While its recent signing by Governor Kasich is a very positive thing, I found the proceedings rather disheartening.  I am glad to live in a state that has – at least for now – allowed logic and our Constitution to reign supreme, however I am sad to see so many of my fellow statesmen talk about me and my CHL brethren as if we are criminals.  GUNS AND LIQUOR!  SHOOTOUT AT THE O-K CORRAL!  If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read the articles, or heard the debates in our state capital.  It seems that every paper in the state has graced its pages with a related opinion, all the way down to my local Post, and sadly most of them were against this bill’s signing.

Let me take a step back.  Why – if we won back our rights to carry in restaurants – am I not celebrating?  Because I think we as firearms enthusiasts should use all of the debate, all of the anti-gun articles and rants in the House and Senate, to our advantage the best we can.  Sun Tzu said in his book The Art of War, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster. ”  I believe that the 2nd Amendment was written to keep the people in control of the government.  It is meant to give the citizens the right to protect themselves and their rights against whoever may threaten them.  There are certainly those among us that feel this right is outdated, that our rights should be limited – and I believe the only way to defend our rights is to understand our enemy.  To see inside the minds and hearts of the people who oppose us so that we can better defuse their arguments and ultimately maintain our rights as American citizens to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

This is not going to be easy.  The other side – the gun grabbers, as they are affectionately called – rely on emotions.  Emotions are very hard, if not impossible, to refute.  No amount of FBI studies or statistics will change the opinion of a young mother of three who reads an article on the subject and is left with the image of her family being shot while eating dinner at Chuck-E-Cheese.  After all, haven’t you watched TV – guns are bad!  And while the NRA-supported pro-gun side commonly uses such studies in their arguments, I find truth is Mark Twain’s old saying that “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”.  While these studies and numbers seem to back our claims that more guns does not equal more crime and in fact does the opposite, we need to move past the numbers and get to the heart of the matter.  Get to the heart of those that oppose us.

Should we stoop to lying, to misrepresenting the facts like the gun grabbers have?  Certainly not.  Among their ranks are those that have an ounce of logic in their brain.  I think we should counter emotions with emotions, balance out their arguments so that those people with an ounce of logic will move away from the other extreme.  I’m not trying to recruit new NRA members here, and there will always be those we can not persuade – but I guarantee we can persuade enough to matter.  Use our logic to present stories and images to show these people that while criminals will always find a way to get guns, and that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry them evens the playing field – not just for the people carrying, but for our society as a whole.  If that same mother of three was in a Chuck-E-Cheese and a deranged mad man came in with the goal of killing as many children as possible, would they prefer to wait for the police or let a CHL holder try to take him out ASAP?  These things can and do happen, sadly.  I wish they didn’t.  But the fact is they do, and they always will so long as we live in a free society.  The only thing we can do as citizens is choose how we want to respond – place trust in our fellow citizens, or wait for the police.

So how do we do this?  First, we use the power of the pen.  Letters to the editor, guest articles for the local paper – whatever you can do to present a countering view of the issue.  If you are not a writer, there are always those around you.  In the past I found myself shying away from talking about firearms with friends.  It wasn’t socially acceptable, and in some circles still isn’t.  But work it into the conversation.  Don’t be rude, don’t be absolute, and again – KNOW YOUR ENEMY!  If you find yourself being countered with emotional responses, instill an opposite emotional response.

While we should thank our representatives and the governor for letting logic prevail, we should not be allowed to feel like the war has been won.  It will never be won, and we should use all of the public debate on this bill to our advantage to learn our enemy and better understand how to fight them.  We must balance their emotional responses, allowing logic to prevail, and do whatever we can to remove the fear of guns in our society.  Take a friend to a range, introduce them to firearms in a safe and fun way, and do whatever you can to be an example of responsible gun ownership.  We’ve gained the right to carry firearms into bars and restaurants, but I’m convinced that there are more battles ahead for our constitutional rights.  Keep fighting the good fight, readers!




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