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Gun Ban Enthusists: Learn Something About Guns
The Train Arrives At the Station
After every high-profile shooting played out in the media, the train of gun-ban proponents seems to always arrive on the station. Among its many passengers are an array of extremes, from out-right gun bans to limits on magazine capacities, and all with the same fatal flaw: they almost always know nothing about firearms. This normally wouldn't be so much an issue, but when trying to convey reasoning to get rid of firearms, especially to those who own them, you need to know as much as you can. This article is not to persuade one side to another, but it is to make those committing this wrong, to have a bit of an awakening.
The Importance of Knowledge
The reason this is so vital is rather simple: your glaring ignorance defeats your position. If you simply do not understand differences in terminology, and how those differences manifest themselves in reality, you will lose every time. Calling a magazine a "clip" and not understanding the difference between a hallow point or armor piercing round is crucial: these things are completely different. How is anyone to take you serious about the needs of an AR-15 ban when there are much more powerful semi-automatic rifles out there that you do not seem to realize, simply because they are not designed in order to look tactical? At the end of the day, these emotions come from ignorance of guns, and it makes you seem stupid when you attempt to make them.
Go Out and Shoot Guns
Along with your research into the basic mechanics and what all the terms mean, go out and shoot guns. Most people I speak to in favor of banning firearms, never shot them. They do not seem all that interested in firearms, obviously, but to never experience something like shooting a firearm at a gun range, you have no experience that you can convey to those who do have, and love, firearms. Go to a gun range and spend some time looking at guns and shooting some. From small pistols to large rifles and shotguns; shoot them all. This will let you have at least some experience with a firearm so that you can convey that to the person you speak with. Maybe after shooting a lot of rounds, you would understand how hot barrels actually get and why it is silly to ban a barrel shroud like they did with the Assault Weapons Ban. Maybe after shooting a gun so many times you start realizing how loud they really are and see the importance of a suppressor; then you can use one and understand it doesn't make them whisper quiet like in a James Bond film. These things are not very difficult to do or learn, they just take some experience and time.
Another issue besides no knowledge of firearms in the least, is that many people do not understand the data on gun deaths in the United States. For example, according to the FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting website, in 2016 there were a total of 15,070 murders across all states and the District of Columbia. Of those 15,070 murders 11,004 were with a firearm of some sort. Handguns were the overwhelming majority of these murders, with a total of 7,105. Rifles, including the AR-15: only 374. For reference, more people were killed with knives (1604) as well as with fists and feet (656).
This is the reality of murders in the United States and not the perception that manifests itself from watching what the news chooses to focus on. Rifles kill very little people in the United States compared to something like a pistol, or even a knife or someone's bare hands. It is rather silly all this talk about rifles, specifically the AR-15, when statistics are available to see what is happening, not just in the news, but truly around the country.If you wish to argue for gun-bans, you really should understand these statistics so you could make an argument for fact rather than one of emotion.
The Best Advice
The greatest advice that you could ever be told is simple but requires one to truly put partisanship aside: have genuine conversations with gun owners. That might sound silly, but a lot of people do not have real conversations with the opposite side. If you speak to more gun owners you might realize that they do not sit there and wake-up looking to murder someone when they decide to carry when they go out. You might realize that they are not all that different from you; heck, maybe you will see that they, too, care about the deaths of children and others.
Without speaking to these people in a real way, and getting to learn there stories, how could you possible think you can convince them of getting rid of one of their rights, or at least adding more restrictions? The same certainly goes for gun owners and their need to speak in a heartfelt manner to someone who wants to rid them of their guns, but the difference here is that those who want to alter gun laws to make them more restrictive are the ones trying to intrude, not those against it.
If everyone puts aside, as much as they can, their hyper-partisanship for as long as they can, and truly speak to one another, not as mortal enemies, but rather as brothers and sisters united under the same eternal Lord, both seeking the same ends albeit with rather opposite means. Perhaps if one could see the person rather than their party affiliation conversations would be more about discussion than about debate. Keep poisonous rhetoric out of a fruitful conversation in order to not to taint the fruit.