Remain Calm During Gun Debates
Most gun owners are very practical. And many are very passionate about their right and need to own firearms such as the hotly debated “high capacity assault weapons.”
We get it. We understand what is at stake is far beyond firearms for sport and the ability to hunt.
But sometimes this passion can be a weakness that can be used against those of us that see the world differently than the anti-gun proponents.
This can be illustrated by a conversation that we recently and calmly had with a representative of a business we frequent. It concerned their recent posting of a “No Weapons” sign, which based on current Ohio law, conceal and carry holders must respect. The conversation started with the disappointment of the sign and the fact that it would inconveniently cause us to consider taking our business elsewhere. We consider these areas, as do most conceal and carry holders, to be “victim zones” that put us in a compromising position by having to secure our firearms in our vehicles. This leads to its owner being disarmed and the weapon more likely (even though it should be locked up) to be stolen and find its way into the hands of a criminal or a gang.
But the real point of this story is that she told us we weren’t the only ones to express that point of view. Months ago a man came and was “very angered” by the new sign. He raised his voice, displayed aggression, left in a huff and then “got in his Porsche and sped away.” His reasoning for being upset with the sign was similar in nature to ours, but his delivery made the staff step back and become defensive, a natural reaction to aggression. When people are confronted by somebody visibly angery, parts of our brains shut down (blood rushed away from the brain and into the vital organs) as we prepare to defend ourselves by fight or flight. And as she recounted the story, a small amount of fear crept back into her eyes. At the end, she expressed that they would not want somebody “like that” in their business carrying a gun.
After listening, we explained that even if his delivery and approach were not appropriate, his points were valid. If you reside in a conceal and carry state (every state but Illinois), you are around people all the time carrying guns. You just don’t realize it, because they are concealed. That’s the point. And if a customer wants to do the irrational and turn a gun on a business, that sign is not going to
stop them. But logic and what is practical and probable ran head on into how the staff felt, which was afraid. If that person could not retain self control during a civil conversation, how were they
going to retain control while in possession of a firearm?
So the damage was done.
The anti-gun crowd is already driven by fear, and in a lot of cases, so is the pro-gun crowd. But it does no good to feed those fears. Being framed as a hot head with a gun does not help win friends or influence people. So please, express your concerns and arguments against the gun control measures currently being proposed, but don’t give the anti-gun group any more “ammo.”