The NRA.....lets talk!

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Liberty
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#211

Post by Liberty » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:24 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:The point I find ironic is that the two groups of people that have a bad image of the NRA are committed anti-gunners like the Brady Campaign, Schumer, Boxer, etc. and a small group of ardent supporters of the Second Amendment who believe the NRA compromises on the Second Amendment.
Chas.
There is a third group I believe which is signicantly large. There are those that believe the NRA doesn't represent them very well. Libertarians, are one group, I caught the recently reposted Susana Hupp video where she brags she didn't belong to the NRA (I think she doesn't like hunting ) I have to admit that it was a struggle for me to join the NRA because I feel they actively work against my party and its core beliefs. While the NRA does some of its best work work behind closed doors, there is a gamble of trust when this happens.
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#212

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:42 pm

Liberty wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:The point I find ironic is that the two groups of people that have a bad image of the NRA are committed anti-gunners like the Brady Campaign, Schumer, Boxer, etc. and a small group of ardent supporters of the Second Amendment who believe the NRA compromises on the Second Amendment.
Chas.
There is a third group I believe which is signicantly large. There are those that believe the NRA doesn't represent them very well. Libertarians, are one group, I caught the recently reposted Susana Hupp video where she brags she didn't belong to the NRA (I think she doesn't like hunting ) I have to admit that it was a struggle for me to join the NRA because I feel they actively work against my party and its core beliefs. While the NRA does some of its best work work behind closed doors, there is a gamble of trust when this happens.
I don't think that third group is very large at all and I think it probably consists primarily if not exclusively of Libertarians. You and I have discussed this before, but the NRA doesn't work for or against any Party, except to the extent we try to get pro-gun candidates elected. I suspect that the majority of NRA members and conservative non-members don't support the Libertarian Party core beliefs, but it's not because of anything the NRA did or didn't do. Opening borders to everyone who wants to come to the U.S., legalization of all drug use for medical or recreational purposes, pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, bringing all U.S. troops back to the continental United States, are just some of the planks in the Libertarian Party Platform. Those positions are why the Party doesn't enjoy broad-based appeal, it has nothing to do with the NRA.

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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#213

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:02 pm

I truly understand the desire to have the NRA publicize information like the National Parks issue and NRAs inner workings on the Heller case. I would love to provide information contemporaneously, but I can't without jeopardizing the work we are doing. It's not worth doing a search, but I posted long before the Heller decision was issued that I was sworn to secrecy until after the Supreme Court ruled. That was a very hard promise to keep when I saw Levy's blatant lies and half truths in various articles he authored before the Heller decision was released. But not damaging the effort was far more important than letting people know the truth about the NRA's work. To this day, the NRA does not officially respond to Levy's or Gura's garbage, because our opponents try to use any and every sign of discord among Second Amendment supporters against us. My comments about the case are just that, my comments, not an official NRA position.

I have been asked to write a book about the long battle to get CHL passed in Texas and to improve it over the years by removing some of the provisions we had to accept to get SB60 passed. I'd love to do that for two reasons. First, I think everyone should know just how hard it was to get that bill passed, how hard some people worked to get it done, and how it all came together. I'd love to be able to tell the story how TSRA's then-Legislative Director "Doc" Brown was a gem during the process, how little known Rep. Bill Carter and his Legislative Director worked like Trojans to bring CHL to Texans. We all know of Jerry Patterson's work and he's is rightfully known as the "Father of Texas CHL," but there are stories of late-night work sessions and phone calls that would have you gasping for air, you'd be laughing so hard.

But if the story were told, it would damage our ability to make further improvements in Texas gun laws. I try to keep most of my files and maybe one day one of my son's will read them and write the story. Unfortunately, it would be a somewhat sterile version, as the truly amazing parts and the funny parts were never reduced to writing -- for obvious reasons.

I will continue to provide as much information as I can, but only at a time and to the degree when disclosure will not work to the detriment of our efforts. I wish it were otherwise.

Chas.
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#214

Post by stevie_d_64 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:53 pm

It would be a book worth writing, and reading sometime when the time is right...

Now is not the time...And it may never be the right time, because this is a battle we all must be constantly ready to engage in whenever called...

Loose lips sink ships and lose ballgames...

The playbook needs to be protected at all times... ;-)
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#215

Post by NcongruNt » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:57 pm

Alrighty. I finally resolved to read through this thread. I'm currently on page 12, but I thought I would post.

In response to Mr.72's reasoning that "shooting is fun" isn't going to win people over, I'm going to have to sincerely disagree.

2 1/2 years ago, I would never have envisioned myself owning a gun. I had fired shotguns only on a few (3, precisely) occasions, hunting for pheasant and quail when I was a child with my uncle and father. It had been 15 years from the last time I had handled a gun.

I was interested in backpacking and rafting several hundred miles across arctic Alaska. From my readings, I knew I'd need a gun and know how to use it as protection from potential bear attacks. I was not opposed to the idea of a gun, but I was in the "what would I ever need it for?" crowd. So, I started looking for guns online at a coffee shop. A friend saw what I was doing, and inquired about it. At that particular point, I was focusing on a Taurus Ultralite .44 Mag revolver. My friend (who used to own a gun store and range, coincidentally) explained to me the error of this choice. He recommended a rifle and a lot of practice. He also invited me to go shooting with him.

That range trip was the turning point for me. He didn't invite me to teach me how important a gun was as a survival tool. He taught me to have fun and enjoy myself. He taught me the 4 rules of gun safety, and made sure I knew them. We shot his Ruger Mk III first, and he taught me the basics of sighting, grip, trigger pull, etc. I got to try a couple of revolvers, and managed to fire a cylinder of .357 without quitting. I got to fire my first rifle - a Swiss K31. I absolutely loved that rifle. We spent a couple more range trips trying out different guns he had. I ordered 2 rifles for myself from AIM Surplus, an M44 and a 91/30 and picked them up at an FFL. I had purchased my first firearms. Never before had I owned a gun.

I found and started participating in discussions on The High Road. I was drawn deeper into guns. After a couple of months, I decided that I wanted to get my first handgun. On a budget, I found one that I could afford and looked quite interesting - the FEG PA-63 in 9x18 Makarov. Again, I ordered from AIM Surplus, picked it up from the FFL, and I had my first handgun. I finally knew what a handgun was like and what it was capable of. Instead of an unknown object with unknown dangerous capabilities, I knew what I was dealing with. And I had fun with it; and it was a copy of the Walther PPK - James Bond's gun :coolgleamA: . After learning about Concealed Handgun Licenses, I began asking about people's experience with the Texas CHL, and a guy called "Greybeard" commented and told me I might take a gander over at the TexasCHLForum.com website. I joined up and boy did I get answers! I learned and learned and took my class and learned some more. I bought another gun - a .22 rifle. My CHL came, and I bought another gun - a Browning Hi-Power that became my new carry gun. I've become involved in the fight for the RKBA. I purchased more guns. I joined the TSRA earlier this year. I've written my government officials regarding the rights of our citizens to keep and bear arms.

It all started with a "fun" range trip and the kindness of a friend willing to take me. There was no emphasis on self-defense, the government, or anything of the sort. We went shooting and it was fun. And now here I am.




Now, in answer to the original question... My reasons for not joining the NRA have been expressed by others above - the tendency for the NRA to make commentary on issues that in no way relate to firearms. I however believe that reason to be insufficient in the current political climate, and we need all that help we can get in the coming months and years. I just signed up as a member of the NRA about an hour ago, while I was on page 9. :patriot:
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#216

Post by flintknapper » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:05 pm

NcongruNt wrote: Now, in answer to the original question... My reasons for not joining the NRA have been expressed by others above - the tendency for the NRA to make commentary on issues that in no way relate to firearms. I however believe that reason to be insufficient in the current political climate, and we need all that help we can get in the coming months and years. I just signed up as a member of the NRA about an hour ago, while I was on page 9. :patriot:

My personal thanks Sir!

You are not alone in recognizing and expressing that the NRA has room for improvement. Yet, you put aside certain convictions for the greater good and sake of your fellow gun owners and NRA members.

My hat is off to you. :tiphat:
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#217

Post by KBCraig » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:29 pm

I've heard so many times over the years that "NRA was already working on that, we just had to keep it quiet!" that I frankly don't believe it any more. And frankly, I no longer care who feels insulted when I state my doubts. After a while, it starts to sound like the Russians claiming they invented something first.

Since when is the NRA quiet about what it's working on? And why the constant dismissiveness towards other organizations working to accomplish the same goal?

I praise NRA when they get something done that is positive. Why is the NRA response typically, "We would have gotten that done already, if XYZ hadn't screwed things up!" (Which always seems to come right after XYZ gets something done, but not through the NRA's insider political channels.)

I believe GOA has made bad moves, I believe JPOF has bad moves, and I believe NRA has made bad moves. Every state organization has made bad moves over the years, including TSRA.

The "We were doing that, we just couldn't tell you!" response just doesn't sound plausible for an organization of NRA's size and clout.
Last edited by KBCraig on Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#218

Post by nitrogen » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:31 pm

seamusTX wrote:The NRA has an Internet "TV channel": http://www.nranews.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

About a quarter of U.S. homes have broadband Internet access, so this has the potential to reach a large audience.

I don't know what it takes to get on cable TV. Maybe it's too expensive.

- Jim
This channel is a good example of why I think the NRA only has 4 million gun owners, and not more.
I used to listen to the audio on Sirius, but I don't anymore.

NRANews assumes that all gun owners are conservative republicans. If you are not a conservative republican, it feels (at least to me) that you are not "good enough" or "right enough"

I actually had Cam Edwards tell me I was a bad gun owner for leaving california and not fighting for my rights there, instead of moving somewhere I could defend myself and my wife, not to mention have better economic opportunities and less taxes.

This is something I feel like I have to say 34895723904562384756349853 times, and nobody seems to get it, or care.

There are liberal gun owners. There are gun owners that are conservatives that don't like George W Bush and outgoing administration. There are liberal gun owners that hate Pelosi and Schumer as much as you do.

When I joined the NRA for the first time back in the mid 90's, my friends were more annoyed by the fact that they felt I suppored the republican party, than the fact I was a "new" gun person.

Many people feel that the NRA is a shadow part of the republican party. I'm not so sure how I personally feel about this, but during this last election, I started feeling this way again. I felt like the NRA gave McCain a pass, only because Obama's previous record was so horrible.

I got an E-mail from Wayne LaPierre's list earlier, telling me how horrible Obama is again.

I'd like to show an example of something I think the Bradys do right:

Here's a snippet of one of their mailers. (Yes, I'm on their list. Keep your friends close and political enemies closer!)
The Bradys wrote: Representative Mike Castle (R-DE) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 96) that will require Brady background checks at gun shows, and stop criminals and other dangerous people from exploiting these events to buy and sell guns.

We need you to contact your U.S. Representative today and urge him/her to cosponsor this important bill that would close the gun show loophole. We want the law to be: "no background check, no gun, no excuses!"
Please Call Your Representative, Rep. Sam Johnson (202) 225-4201 , Ralph M. Hall (202) 225-6673 or Jeb Hensarling (202) 225-3484

Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor H.R. 96, and Close the Gun Show Loophole

It is too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons in this country. Law-abiding gun buyers and sellers have nothing to fear from background checks. Only criminals and corrupt sellers do. Allowing dangerous people to buy guns at gun shows from unlicensed sellers without a background check threatens the safety of our families and communities.

Here's What You Can Do Today:

1. Call Your Representative, Rep. Sam Johnson (202) 225-4201 , Ralph M. Hall (202) 225-6673 or Jeb Hensarling (202) 225-3484
Give the message: "I am a constituent calling to urge Rep. Johnson , Rep. Hall or Rep. Hensarling to cosponsor H.R. 96 and close the gun show loophole."
2. Email Your Representative
If you can't call, or in addition to calling, send an email urging your Rep to cosponsor H.R. 96. Click here to send the email.
3. Spread the Word
Use our easy form to forward this email to anyone in your Congressional District. We need to build support for this legislation. Click here to forward this email to friends.
Now, for comparison, here's one I got from the NRA recently:
NRA wrote: In the next few days, you'll receive your new NRA membership card.

The moment you receive it, I urge you to validate your new membership card as soon as possible. More than ever, we need you to stand with NRA and fight to save our Second Amendment freedoms.

Because Barack Obama's campaign promise
not to take away our guns is a lie.

He's not even in office, yet he's fired the opening salvos in a war against the future of the Second Amendment, our hunting and shooting traditions, and YOU.

Obama's FIRST attack on YOU: Appointing Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel to be White House Chief of Staff. In Congress, Emanuel earned an "F" rating from NRA, and while working in the Clinton Administration, he was known as the "point man on gun control." He is an avowed enemy of the Second Amendment and will wield enormous power in the battle for the future of our firearm freedoms.

Obama's SECOND attack on YOU: If Hillary Clinton is confirmed as Secretary of State, she'll rip the Second Amendment right out of the Bill of Rights. She'll be our nation's top diplomat with the power to determine whether the United Nations will pass, and Obama will sign, a global gun ban treaty that will surrender our Second Amendment rights and our national sovereignty.

Obama's THIRD attack on YOU: Nominating ex-Senator and former Majority Leader Tom Daschle-an avowed enemy of NRA-to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. NRA was responsible for defeating Daschle when he ran in South Dakota for re-election to the Senate. If Daschle is confirmed, he could hold the ultimate power to declare guns a "public health menace" and regulate away our essential liberties.

Obama's FOURTH attack on YOU: Nominating Eric Holder to be Attorney General. As former Assistant Attorney General, Holder was a key architect and vocal advocate for the Clinton era's sweeping gun ban agenda. He supported national handgun licensing, mandatory trigger locks, and ending gun shows as we know them.

Just recently, Holder opposed the District of Columbia's Heller decision that declared the Second Amendment an individual right. Holder also called for reviving the Clinton gun bans and, as Attorney General, would fight in court to prevent the landmark Heller decision from being made applicable to state and local governments.

Worst of all, if Holder is confirmed as the nation's top law-enforcement officer, he would control BATFE and wield enormous power to harass gun owners and sue America's arms makers out of existence.

Obama's FIFTH attack on YOU: In the job application for the Obama Administration, he made it clear that gun owners are second-class citizens and told 80 million gun owners not to even bother applying for a job. In the "White House Personnel Data Questionnaire" he asked:

"Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide
complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever
lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has
been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage."

This chilling notice to gun owners-that they are not welcome to serve in his Administration-shows the deep hostility for Americans' Second Amendment Freedoms that Obama and his Administration have in their hearts.

On its face, that question endorses gun registration-a mandate in only five states in our nation-and buys into the anti-gun premise that firearms are inherently dangerous and gun owners are prone to misusing them.

That's an outrageous mindset, especially for the President-elect whose sworn duty will be to uphold the U.S. Constitution, including our right to keep and bear arms.

Obama CLEARLY wants to make gun registration the law of the land.
This is disgusting. Earlier, I made a post about logical fallacies. This email is one huge bit of logical fallacies: Appeal to Belief, Appeal to Consequences of a Belief, Appeal to Fear, and Begging the question to start out with.

This kind of thing angers me, mostly because our side is RIGHT. We shouldn't have to lower ourselves to this!


Notice the difference? The Bradys are trying to open their tent to others; They aren't attacking anyone. They aren't going off about how awful George Bush, or congress is for not passing their "sensible" laws.
They are asking you to help push their agenda.

This type of email from the NRA is exactly, in my eyes, why they only have 4 million members. This email just fired up the base, and pushed anyone in the periphery away. IT helps push the stereotype of the NRA.

I feel like the Bradys have figured something out; they are trying to be a-political. The NRA needs to pick up on this, before it starts working for them. Sure, they supported Obama, but if you read their lists, I see a lot less attacks and divisiveness from them.

Then again, they have no traction. I don't think it's because of their methods, but more that more and more people realize what a joke they are. But it's something to think about.
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#219

Post by seamusTX » Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:54 pm

nitrogen wrote:NRANews assumes that all gun owners are conservative republicans.
I have to agree, with great reluctance, but failing to reply to your message would be a lie of omission.

I bought a token share of stock in NRANews before it commenced broadcasting. I used to listen to it on Sirius also, and quit eventually. I still have that stock certificate, in case it appreciates in value some day. ;-)

The host, Mr. Edwards, talks about many things that have nothing to do with the RKBA, the shooting sports, firearms ownership, or related politics. Those issues seem to come from the proverbial talking points memo that other conservative talk show hosts draw from.

I am a fairly conservative person, but I did not sign up to every issue on the platform of the Republican Party or any other party.

As has been pointed out many times, when an interest group identifies itself with one party, that party owns the interest group, and they lose any influence that they might have had. This has happened between labor unions and the Democratic Party, and between Chrisitian religious conservatives and the Republican Party.

This country will have Democratic or Republican presidents and congresses every other four or eight years. You don't want to be left out in the cold when the party that you supported exclusively is out of power.

I will give Mr. Edwards well-deserved credit being urbane and well-informed*. He did not treat callers who disagreed with him with contempt, in my hearing.

I don't know what he said to you. If he said that you had a moral obligation to remain in California, I disagree. We all have the right to move wherever we please for any or no reason.

*I listen to a fair amount of talk radio. I have heard various well-known hosts who were obviously ignorant of history and general information that I thought everyone knew. Friday, I heard one talking about "completed uranium." He meant depleted uranium anti-tank artillery, and he had no clue what it was. He also obviously did not have a PC in front of him, or an assistant ready to provide information to his headphones.

- Jim

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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#220

Post by Liberty » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:36 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Liberty wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:The point I find ironic is that the two groups of people that have a bad image of the NRA are committed anti-gunners like the Brady Campaign, Schumer, Boxer, etc. and a small group of ardent supporters of the Second Amendment who believe the NRA compromises on the Second Amendment.
Chas.
There is a third group I believe which is signicantly large. There are those that believe the NRA doesn't represent them very well. Libertarians, are one group, I caught the recently reposted Susana Hupp video where she brags she didn't belong to the NRA (I think she doesn't like hunting ) I have to admit that it was a struggle for me to join the NRA because I feel they actively work against my party and its core beliefs. While the NRA does some of its best work work behind closed doors, there is a gamble of trust when this happens.
I don't think that third group is very large at all and I think it probably consists primarily if not exclusively of Libertarians. You and I have discussed this before, but the NRA doesn't work for or against any Party, except to the extent we try to get pro-gun candidates elected. I suspect that the majority of NRA members and conservative non-members don't support the Libertarian Party core beliefs, but it's not because of anything the NRA did or didn't do. Opening borders to everyone who wants to come to the U.S., legalization of all drug use for medical or recreational purposes, pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, bringing all U.S. troops back to the continental United States, are just some of the planks in the Libertarian Party Platform. Those positions are why the Party doesn't enjoy broad-based appeal, it has nothing to do with the NRA.

Chas.
I still think Libertarians are only a small part of the group. As you pointed out there isn't a huge number of us. Susana Hupp ( a Republican) in the her Congressional speech, was almost bragging about not belonging to the NRA because of her feelings about hunting. (she could have joined since that video I don't know) . Others have stated on this forum how they feel they are group they don't relate with them. One of my buddies once told me he wouldn't join because he was strictly a shotgunner and didn't own a rifle. A CHLer once suggested to me she wouldn't join because she "isn't a hunter" (she has since joined). We all have heard how the NRA is supposed to be an extension of the Republican Party. I'm sure there are lots of gun owning Democrats that won't join even if their characterization may be unfair. There are a lot more Democrat gun owners than Libertarians. I think that some gun owners resist the NRA just because they believe all lobbiest are evil. Lobbying has been painted by the likes of John McCain as something quite nefarious The antis somehow paint the NRA as being bad simply because they are powerfull lobbiest, I guess they don't feel what they do is lobby.

I wouldn't expect the NRA to support us or any other party But not acknowledging any of us even when involved in a two way race with a less than stellar Democrat is making a pretty active statement. I have no issue at all with the NRA not fully supporting Libertarians my issue is simply about them (us?) completely ignoring (them) us, Some of your catagorizations of the platform are little distorted also. Libertarians as rule to not support state funded abortions, or abortions of a minor without parental consent. As with the the other party's there is room for drift from the official platform, and it changes from election cycle election to year. Even I as an active member and past candidate don't fully buy into the whole platform. The NRA is probably stepping out of its character when it refuses to acknowledge the only party who unabashedly supports the 2nd amendment and the RKBA. I would love to discuss the Libertarian platform but I understand I am drifting way off topic.
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#221

Post by Weg » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:28 pm

I guess its time to re-up.

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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#222

Post by flintknapper » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:15 pm

Weg wrote:I guess its time to re-up.
It would be greatly appreciated.

Remember folks, there are several sites offering reduced membership fees, or will pay $10.00 of the $35.00 annual fee for you.

Just about everyone can scrounge up $25.00 to help out.

Come on guys and gals...its easy: https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/sign ... ignID=iygr" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#223

Post by gmckinl » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:39 pm

good post flint.

IMO if you own a firearm and are interested at all in keeping it, you should/must be an NRA member. GOA, JPFO, etc. are fine but just join the NRA anyway - and yes I am throwing darts at people I like who refuse to join. Just do it. They are the ONLY voice you have, the other firearms orgs or political parties (R, D, or L) will not EFFECTIVELY say diddly squat for you and your firearms rights. None, zip, nada. As a friend would say... wind puddin' and rabbit tracks.

BTW, brag here... my EPL was paid off last month. Real paid-in-full life member. Now time to think about the next level. I expect I will do so when attending 2009 Meetings in Phoenix ( shuss, don't tell my wife).

Witch about the NRA all you want. If you want to keep your firearms, join and support or we are all toast.
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#224

Post by mr.72 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:05 am

NcongruNt wrote: In response to Mr.72's reasoning that "shooting is fun" isn't going to win people over, I'm going to have to sincerely disagree.
The rest of your post details how my point would not apply to you.

You see, you already knew you needed a gun for protection and that it was perfectly valid and right for you to be able to have one. You knew it was a useful tool and did not have any reason to not own one. The "shooting is fun" factor came in after you had already made up your mind that a gun was an ok thing to own.

I am talking about people who just passively say "who on earth would need a gun? What would I need that for? That sure is an expensive toy that can be dangerous and I have no use for it". To take those people out shooting for fun informs them of the idea "I might need a gun because they are fun to shoot", which to me, completely misses the point!

My car is a useful tool to get me where I need to go. The fact that it is fun to drive is a bonus but it is not the reason I own it. Same for my guns. I enjoy shooting my .22LR rifle and in point of fact, it really has no other use. But my handguns are definitely tools that I may one day have to use and whether I enjoy shooting them or not does not change the fact that they are essential tools for living for free men.

Once you have decided that guns are useful to own, then you are no longer in the "needs to be converted" camp.
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NcongruNt
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Re: The NRA.....lets talk!

#225

Post by NcongruNt » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:51 pm

mr.72 wrote:
NcongruNt wrote: In response to Mr.72's reasoning that "shooting is fun" isn't going to win people over, I'm going to have to sincerely disagree.
The rest of your post details how my point would not apply to you.

You see, you already knew you needed a gun for protection and that it was perfectly valid and right for you to be able to have one. You knew it was a useful tool and did not have any reason to not own one. The "shooting is fun" factor came in after you had already made up your mind that a gun was an ok thing to own.

I am talking about people who just passively say "who on earth would need a gun? What would I need that for? That sure is an expensive toy that can be dangerous and I have no use for it". To take those people out shooting for fun informs them of the idea "I might need a gun because they are fun to shoot", which to me, completely misses the point!

My car is a useful tool to get me where I need to go. The fact that it is fun to drive is a bonus but it is not the reason I own it. Same for my guns. I enjoy shooting my .22LR rifle and in point of fact, it really has no other use. But my handguns are definitely tools that I may one day have to use and whether I enjoy shooting them or not does not change the fact that they are essential tools for living for free men.

Once you have decided that guns are useful to own, then you are no longer in the "needs to be converted" camp.
Actually, I was quite hesitant about even considering purchasing a gun at first. I was in the camp that I wouldn't ever have a reason to need one, and only because I was given a substantial reason to look into it, did I even consider getting one. Honestly, I have not had the time or money or circumstances to even get started on preparations for the trip I was planning, and if my friend had not gotten me into shooting for the fun of it, I'd still be in the same circumstances and mindset I was 2 1/2 years ago and would have never purchased a gun. I certainly didn't see any need for guns other than hunting, making me compliant to the Brady Bunch's agenda. Society in general does not see hunting as a reason to fight against gun control, and that would have been my own opinion as well. It's quite likely that even had my plans gone through, I would not be the proactive gun enthusiast that I am today.

The prospect of someone carrying a gun would generally have been intimidating to me, and carrying a handgun was without merit (short of thwarting a bear attack in the wilderness), in my opinion at the time. This would have been affirmed by my girlfriend's mindset that "guns are scary", she did not understand why anyone would need one, and she wanted nothing to do with them. Her attitude has changed since then, but only because mine did as a result of my friend taking me to shoot, for fun. So not even counting myself, that fun at the range indirectly made a convert of my girlfriend.

Beyond that, I've taken several people to the range who were scared of firearms and did not see the need for them, who changed their minds themselves after the experience. They were willing to go with me because of the fun aspect, not because I told them that they needed to consider guns as personal defense tools. I include my two sisters in this group, both of which had a prevailing attitude that guns were scary and inherently dangerous - one in particular who is a liberal democrat who would otherwise have never considered touching a firearm. Many of the others were what you would probably call "granola-eating hippies", as I lived at a vegan housing cooperative at the time, and these were house mates. I am absolutely certain, knowing these people, that they would never have gone to the range had I pushed the experience in the light of self-defense rather than simply a "fun" experience to enjoy.

I had the pleasure to give a short-term foreign UT student from Japan living at my house the opportunity to fire a gun for the first time. She was very apprehensive at the time, but warmed up to the idea immediately after she fired the first shot. This is a person who would never in her lifetime had the chance to fire a gun, given that she has lived her entire life in Japan (and currently does and will probably continue to live there for the rest of her life) outside of the 6 months she spent here as a student. Given the prevailing attitude about guns in Japan and abroad in general, I'm relatively certain that she would have otherwise lived out her life with the attitude that guns are dangerous and not for civilians. Her attitude changed because of a day of fun at the range.

I could specifically list many more individuals whose attitudes regarding guns have changed - all due to a fun day of shooting at the range, but I think I've made my point. I believe "shooting for fun" is a very effective bridge to fostering an understanding of the true nature of firearms. Once a person has a tangible understanding that guns in and of themselves are not evil and that there are uses and benefits other than killing people, they are able to bridge that gap from ignorance and fear of guns to a more logical and practical understanding of why guns are valuable and indeed beneficial to society.
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