The last couple of weeks I have been watching the Liberty First Foundation Facebook group and paying attention to posts that ask the members to defend that Second Amendment or posts where a member acts as a “devil’s advocate” in order for people to exercise their critical thinking skills. To some these challenges have been productive and they use these exercises to improve their skills of debate. Others respond with the same old tired clichés and really do not offer arguments that will actually defend the Second Amendment.
I see comments like “Come and take them”, “The AR-15 is not a military rifle”, “there is no such thing as an ‘assault weapon’”, or “assault weapons have already been banned, it is already illegal to assault someone”. While all of those statements are true they really do not address the arguments put forth by someone who is misinformed about guns. Some of these statements actually hurt our ability to defend the Second Amendment.
We need to reevaluate the way we address the arguments that the anti-gun control group is using to promote their agenda to disarm the American Public. The arguments they are putting forth can easily be rebutted but you have to actually listen to them and then offer an argument that will actually produce some results instead of offering the same old rhetoric.
One tactic that can be used is to have them explain their position and then tell them that it doesn’t make sense and offer a statistic or fact that shows that position cannot work and then ask them to help you to understand their position. As you do this, they will start to understand that their position actually does not make sense. This will be accomplished without divisiveness or resorting to rhetoric. The self-realization that the arguments that they are basing their position on are not valid can be a powerful realization.
In the comments of this post, I will demonstrate how this can work. One of the members of the Religion of Arms group will be playing the role of the anti-gun zealot while I offer the counterargument to their statements. The goal is to show how this type of debate can work to change the position of someone even if they have been firmly entrenched in their position when the debate starts.
If we go into these arguments with our minds made up that they won’t listen or that we do not want to hear their position then we have already 1.) Further entrenched that person against firearms and the Second Amendment or 2.) Pushed someone that was on the fence over to the side of gun-control supporters, we cannot afford to strengthen their ranks. Our position needs to be one where we are using the facts and using them to help them come to the realization that their arguments do not make sense. The Second Amendment and the Constitution are at stake and the stakes are very high if we lose this fight we will lose everything.
Remember the mission of the Liberty First Foundation is to effect policies locally, creating lasting change nationally, developing enduring acceptance of the Second Amendment, removing the negative stigma associated with firearms. We will utilize grassroots efforts facilitating the organization and assembly of those that wish to impact political decisions affecting the Second Amendment, through community involvement and educating individuals as to the safe and effective handling, maintenance, and use of firearms. A large part of this mission is to change the negative stigma associated with firearms and firearm owners. We cannot do that if we are divisive in our debates with people about the Second Amendment or firearms. The only way we can do this is to lead them to discover the answers themselves through directed challenges to their arguments.
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