I’ve long believed that calm carefully spoken folks help the cause of gun rights more than the loud mouths. That showing the diversity of gun owners and the wide range of shooting activity is beneficial.
The anti-gun movement feeds on the loud mouths, the mall ninjas and apocalypse warriors.
While the people we meet at gun shows are interested in self defense, collecting certain firearm. Some shoot clays, some hunt, others compete and some like us enjoy the zen of shooting paper targets at one of our local ranges.
We are men and women of all colors, religions and economic classes. Some are straight and some LGBT. Some of us are more apolitical than political. Some of us are old enough to remember when gun rights were not a politically partisan issue.
If we want to keep gun rights a uniquely American carved in stone right we have to learn to talk to the anti-gun folks in a way that wins them over and challenges their stereotypes and thinking.
They have a lot of money behind their movement.
From Iowa Firearms Coalition: http://iowafc.org/blog/2016/05/06/english-prof-in-ia-stops-stereotyping-gun-owners-after-talking-to-gun-owners/
by Kurt Liske
May 6, 2016
Drake University professor Carol Spaulding-Kruse openly admits she doesn’t like guns. It’s not that she’s indifferent about firearms or just doesn’t care for them, Ms. Spaulding-Kruse in her own words claims “I really don’t like guns.” This English professor dislikes guns and gun owners so much that just the act of picking up the phone and calling a shooting instructor made her heart pound.
In a May 6th, 2016 Op/Ed printed in the Des Moines Register, Ms. Spaulding-Kruse makes her disdain for guns very clear. She also admits to something the majority of our members and followers are well aware of. Ms. Spaulding-Kruse, an anti-gun English professor from Drake University, owns up to the fact that she stereotypes gun owners. She doesn’t go into detail of what her gun owner stereotype consists of, but we know from experience that gun control advocates work hard to portray gun owners as uneducated, abusive, and racist Caucasians who are liable to snap at any moment.
Admitting to the fact that she stereotypes gun owners is a rare thing, but Ms. Spaulding-Kruse goes one step further. As part of her classwork the professor has Drake freshman engage in dialog on a controversial issues. To her credit Ms. Spaulding-Kruse nervously called up a firearms instructor to learn more about gun ownership, shooting, and Second Amendment issues. What is not surprising (for us, at least) is that she was treated with extreme kindness.
The professor writes this about what she discovered, “The woman on the other end of the line turned out to be so helpful I brought my entire class out to the Butch Olafson Shooting Range in Polk City, where she and her husband gave us a lesson (my very first) in shooting 9-mm and .22 cal. handguns. A few days later, the couple came to campus to share their views on firearms and gun safety with us.”
To any anti-gun folks reading this (yes, we know you read this), despite what you may have read on your favorite #GunSense or #MomsDemandAction social media hashtag de jour, these types of pleasant and friendly firearms enthusiasts do indeed exist. In fact the overwhelming majority of gun owners a fine upstanding individuals, all you have to do is drop your prejudices and give them a chance to show you.
Even though this English professor still claims to not like guns, even after learning the basics of shooting, she does admit that she no longer stereotypes gun owners. Not ideal, but it is progress. And it’s something we hear of often. If people are willing to be open-minded and try shooting or even just talking to gun owners they often walk away with a vastly different take on the Second Amendment and those of us who believe so strongly in it.
To that end, we as gun owners need to do our part to win over anyone willing to hear us out. That means being open and friendly to those who may not necessarily share our exact views on freedom, gun ownership and self-defense.