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Paladin
02-06-2009, 7:19 AM
Are you a "Gun Supporter" or a "Defender of the 2nd Amendment"?

Too often the MSM describe the battle we are in as between "gun advocates" and "gun control advocates" or similar. We need to change this. Many voters, disproportionately women, esp young women, don't like guns and don't own guns and thus would put themselves in the "gun control" group by default. I suggest we change the debate by changing the language we use to describe ourselves.

First off, as has been previously discussed on this sub-forum, the 2nd A RKBA protects more than just the "Keeping and Bearing" of "guns" (i.e., firearms). It also encompasses air guns, knives, clubs, and collapsible batons ("Asp") and probably more. Limiting what we are advocating/defending to firearms limits what we may end up having a right to under the 2nd A and increases what the antis will go after. We are voluntarily giving up 2nd A "territory" (i.e., areas of freedom) w/o even a fight!

Second, when the MSM is describing some attorney or group defending the 1st A "right to free speech," they describe them as just that and not as people defending the "right" to pornography. Why? Because the MSM knows that not everyone wants or likes porn, but everyone thinks that defending the 1st A is good, even if they don't like the way the courts have interpreted it. Plus, another fraction of the population likes the idea of defending the BoR/Constitution regardless of the provision and interpretation. The "antis" have to be described as those who want to restrict or eliminate everybody's constitutional 2nd A RKBA, those who want to strip people of their ability to defend themselves and their loved-ones. We have to take the focus off of guns and shift it to the broader issue of rights of "The People"!

Thus I suggest we start this process by refraining from describing ourselves as either "pro-gun" or "against gun-control," and start describing ourselves and what we do as "defending every law-abiding citizen's constitutional RKBA" or as merely "defenders of the 2nd A of the Constitution/BoR." Many in the middle of the debate will tip to our side out of a knee-jerk reflex to defend their rights, whether it be to free speech or to keep and bear arms. This change in the language will esp help us in the areas we are weakest -- the major urban centers. It will also influence the next generation in a positive way when they start to ask their anti teachers, "Why do you insist we defend all our rights under the 1st A, but don't insist on that with the 2nd A? Why do you actually want to restrict or eliminate our RKBA?"

I suggest we use our discussions on this forum as a place to practice changing our language.

ETA: Remember, guns don't have rights, people do (or don't). We are not "gun rights advocates."

Alaric
02-06-2009, 12:24 PM
Good points. I usually describe myself as "pro-choice" on the RtKBA issue to skeptical liberals. That always throws them for a loop. :sorcerer:

Cypren
02-06-2009, 12:32 PM
Really good point. Linguistic framing has a huge influence on debate, and our usual self-descriptions on this point have been very poor.

squishyhead
02-06-2009, 1:03 PM
You're scatching the surface of the bigger issue, which is the use of emotion in these debates, instead of cold hard facts. It doesn't just stop with calling us "pro-gunners" instead of "Defenders of the 2nd Amendment." It goes deeper when they talk about us wanting to be able to carry our firearms wherever we go. When they talk about us wanting to own "assault weapons." When they talk about us wanting to shoot .50 cal weapons that can only be used to shoot down airplanes. A quick glance at arguments like these will get anyone to get in line behind the politicians that promise to get rid of all the scary boom machines!

The other side has perfected using fear to exploit mass ignorance, and we need to get the truth out to the people instead. Let them know that right to carry states are statisticaly safer than those that forbid it. Invite them out to shoot your "assault weapon" and .50 cal (pre-ban registered in California of course) and show them how much fun excersising their 2nd Amendment rights can be.

We know we're right when it comes to guns, and because of that we've got to take a page out of Obama's playbook. The other side is always going to throw mud at us, because that will keep everyone destracted from the insanity of their position. We need to do our part to get the truth out, and stop letting these liars control the debate!

Glock22Fan
02-06-2009, 1:35 PM
Paladin, did you read the comments in the OC register regarding Norby's email to his constituents? here (http://totalbuzz.freedomblogging.com/2009/02/05/norby-accuses-sheriff-of-mounting-a-misguided-jihad/13128)

In many of those comments, we are not described as "Gun Supporters," it's more like "Raving loony gun nuts trying to compensate for miniscule wedding tackle." I think we have little or no chance with those sheep, whatever we call ourselves.

DDT
02-06-2009, 3:13 PM
I used to be a supporter of 2A rights just like any other constitutional right. Since November I've purchased a safe and 3 firearms. Guess I'm a gun advocate now. Also want to get back into killing things for meat.

Gator Monroe
02-06-2009, 3:20 PM
If the DEMOCRAT agenda includes Vast & far reaching Firearms restrictions then 2A Democrats must come to grips with this and vote accordingly (And to say there are GOP Anti's so that gives them a pass to keep voting ALONG PARTY LINES is not helpfull ...

Kid Stanislaus
02-06-2009, 3:35 PM
Are you a sports fan or an athletic supporter?:D

N6ATF
02-06-2009, 4:04 PM
Ba dum bum.

Paladin
02-06-2009, 7:37 PM
Good comments all (even the jokes).

I know this change in how we describe ourselves won't convert the antis -- whether LEOs or not -- and won't convert the MSM. But at least if the MSM quotes us or airs part of an interview w/any of us, we won't be aiding and abetting the antis by the language we use to frame the debate. IMO, w/some of the local media (print/TV/radio), we might even give the reporter and the audience a new way of looking at the issue that might make them more open to our side.

But, even more importantly, getting out of the habit of describing what we're doing as "pro-gun" and getting into the habit of describing it as "pro-2nd A RKBA" will make us more effective as we talk w/family, friends, coworkers and others about why we are so passionate about the issue as well as the issue itself.

I like the idea about describing myself as "pro-choice" as to guns: if you don't want one, fine. But don't try to restrict my right to freely purchase and legally use them if I so choose. Keep your government out of my gun safe! ;)

yellowfin
02-06-2009, 7:48 PM
Civil rights advocate?

Ugly Dwarf
02-07-2009, 9:21 AM
I forget who said it, but I took it for my own.

"The NRA is the greatest civil rights group in the history of the United States."

I have often explained that I was against Cantidate X, because s/he is against the Bill of Rights. I then note that I am a supporter of the ENTIRE Bill of Rights, not just certain amendments as circumstances or my mood dictates.

As I had to explain to one (ex) girlfriend... I'm not a fanatic, I'm an enthusiast.

Many times, it's HOW you say it, not what you say.

Tarn_Helm
02-07-2009, 9:43 AM
Are you a "Gun Supporter" or a "Defender of the 2nd Amendment"?

Too often the MSM describe the battle we are in as between "gun advocates" . . . I suggest we use our discussions on this forum as a place to practice changing our language.

ETA: Remember, guns don't have rights, people do (or don't). We are not "gun rights advocates."

Second Amendment practitioner is how I think we should describe ourselves.

It is and should be a practice and not merely a "political belief."

nick
02-07-2009, 9:49 AM
That's a good point. Case in point -I've been a 2nd amendment supporter way before I even bought my first gun. The fact that I didn't want a gun myself didn't mean that I didn't think that was an important amendment to protect.

Paladin
02-07-2009, 12:11 PM
Second Amendment practitioner is how I think we should describe ourselves.

It is and should be a practice and not merely a "political belief."While in general I'd agree w/you, I'm quite happy at least one person who disagrees w/you is on our side.

From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/17/AR2007031701055.html

Lawyer Who Wiped Out D.C. Ban Says It's About Liberties, Not Guns

Meet the lawyer who conceived the lawsuit that gutted the District's tough gun-control statute this month. Meet the lawyer who recruited a group of strangers to sue the city and bankrolled their successful litigation out of his own pocket.

Meet Robert A. Levy, staunch defender of the Second Amendment, a wealthy former entrepreneur who said he has never owned a firearm and probably never will.

D.C. native Robert Levy, at his home in Naples, Fla., thinks the government interferes too much with people's liberties. He has bankrolled the lawsuit himself.

"I don't actually want a gun," Levy said by phone last week from his residence, a $1.7 million condominium in a Gulf Coast high-rise. "I mean, maybe I'd want a gun if I was living on Capitol Hill. Or in Anacostia somewhere. But I live in Naples, Florida, in a gated community. I don't feel real threatened down here."

Tarn_Helm
02-07-2009, 12:42 PM
While in general I'd agree w/you, I'm quite happy at least one person who disagrees w/you is on our side.

From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/17/AR2007031701055.html

Lawyer Who Wiped Out D.C. Ban Says It's About Liberties, Not Guns

Meet the lawyer who conceived the lawsuit that gutted the District's tough gun-control statute this month. Meet the lawyer who recruited a group of strangers to sue the city and bankrolled their successful litigation out of his own pocket.

Meet Robert A. Levy, staunch defender of the Second Amendment, a wealthy former entrepreneur who said he has never owned a firearm and probably never will.

D.C. native Robert Levy, at his home in Naples, Fla., thinks the government interferes too much with people's liberties. He has bankrolled the lawsuit himself.

"I don't actually want a gun," Levy said by phone last week from his residence, a $1.7 million condominium in a Gulf Coast high-rise. "I mean, maybe I'd want a gun if I was living on Capitol Hill. Or in Anacostia somewhere. But I live in Naples, Florida, in a gated community. I don't feel real threatened down here."

The only reason he might have said something that appears to mean that he disagrees with me is that he does not seem to have taken into account the analogy between the handgun for lawful self-defense and the simple, humble lowly seatbelt.

Lawyers are logical people quite often.

Sometimes too logical.

Sometimes robotically logical.

As I have said elsewhere:

"We wear a seatbelt every day not because we are "afraid" or "living in fear" of getting in an accident.

Most of us go years without any accidents.

We wear a seatbelt every day because we are safer if we do than if we don't--it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

The same goes for lawful concealed carry for purposes of lawful self-defense: it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

That is all.

For us, the carrying of a concealed, loaded firearm for purposes of lawful self-defense is a safety procedure exactly analogous to strapping on a seat belt--nothing more and nothing less."

If you asked Levy (or Gura or Neily (http://volokh.com/posts/1214519535.shtml)) whether he would stop wearing his seatbelt if the law mandating its usage were repealed, I am quite confident that he would say "no."

Having cornered him with that example, I feel quite confident that he would then be hard pressed to show that his response to that question is inconsistent with his view that practicing the Second Amendment is any less advisable than wearing a seatbelt--which means he does not really disagree with me . . . it just means that he has not made his reflections on the issue a concrete reality.

So while Levy's mind and decision making processes probably normally function with a high level of logical consistency, in this instance I believe that he "disagrees with himself," so to speak--not that he disagrees in general with the advisability of the seatbelt/gun analogy.

Tarn_Helm
02-07-2009, 4:26 PM
Gura?

Oops.

Not Gura--LEVY.

I kind of run Levy and Gura and Neily all together sometimes in my own head: http://volokh.com/posts/1214519535.shtml

. . . they're the Holy Trinity of DC v Heller (http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=DC_v._Heller).
:D

CapS
02-07-2009, 10:33 PM
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_oldest_civil_rights_organization_in_th e_US

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was founded and granted a charter on November 17, 1871. The mission of the NRA is to protect and encourage safe responsible firearm ownership. Firearm ownership is a civil right, specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.
Widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the NRA has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. They remain committed to training, education, marksmanship and safety.
A common claim is that the NAACP is the oldest civil rights organization. It was founded as the National Negro Committee on Abraham Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1909.Me, I'm a civil rights advocate.
/Cap

CHS
02-08-2009, 9:05 AM
I'm a gun nut. And proud of it.

1859sharps
02-08-2009, 2:41 PM
The image battle is something I have wanted to bring up for a while now. Just haven't had the time to put thoughts to words.

The words we use to describe our self, our beliefs etc, can provide ammunition to the anti-gun crowd. Or it can take the wind out of their sails. While changing some of the words we use to describe our self won't change their mind. It just might help with the "uneducated" in the middle.

While I don't mean to sound like I support creating our own little PC Nazism, it probably would do us a lot of good to consider how we describe guns, 2nd amendment issues and such.

Reclaiming our rights will include much more then court cases going in our favor, but also combating the negative image that the other side has worked very hard for the last 20-30+ years to foster. It will include fighting the image battle as well. This is a battle we are losing and very much behind on.

nicki
02-08-2009, 5:44 PM
The real issues are not just guns, not just the 2nd amendment, but the whole bill of rights, the constitution and the values espoused in the declaration of independence.

I say we call ourselves just "Rights Activists" rather than a gun rights or whatever.

The bill of rights is a package deal, it we take away one right, the whole thing unravels.

When someone supports one part of the bill of rights, but seeks to destroy other parts, they are what I call "selective rights" activists.

We are in the mess we are in today because both the left and the right have been tearing at the bill of rights so bad that the document is in shreds.

We need to relate to people because "Guns in the wrong hands kill and maim alot of people".

Rather than attack "Gun Control", we need to attack the stupid government policies that have created the climate that promotes crime.

Rather than lock heads with victim disarmenent(VD) proponents, let's divert their attention to other things.

Never mind the facts, emotion is everything and we will not win until we can reach people's hearts.

I consider myself a Bleeding Heart Libertarain. My heart bleeds for the people who work and slave and whose rights have been stolen by our out of control government.

Nicki

bplvr
02-08-2009, 6:47 PM
While we are on the subject of correct terminology ,please let us ALL refrain from the 'AW' term. Replace that derogatory description with the occasionally mentioned and more accurate ....... "Sport Utility Rifle" .

DDT
02-08-2009, 8:17 PM
While we are on the subject of correct terminology ,please let us ALL refrain from the 'AW' term. Replace that derogatory description with the occasionally mentioned and more accurate ....... "Sport Utility Rifle" .

AW is most always used here correctly. It can refer to an individual automatic or select-fire weapon designed for military use or it can refer to a specific definition.

CHS
02-08-2009, 8:33 PM
While we are on the subject of correct terminology ,please let us ALL refrain from the 'AW' term. Replace that derogatory description with the occasionally mentioned and more accurate ....... "Sport Utility Rifle" .

If they are legal, I don't mind calling them assault weapons. Or personal defense weapons. Or "Killing burglars dead" weapons.

yellowfin
02-09-2009, 8:07 AM
If they are legal, I don't mind calling them assault weapons. Or personal defense weapons. Or "Killing burglars dead" weapons. Keeping on reiterating a smear campaign that's been put on by the antis is a sure way to see that they aren't.

CHS
02-09-2009, 8:26 AM
Keeping on reiterating a smear campaign that's been put on by the antis is a sure way to see that they aren't.

Us calling them "sport utility rifles" isn't going to change the Anti's into calling them the same. They'll still spout the same lies and BS and still call them things like AW's.

To that, I say EFF'UM! Embrace the AW term. Use it. Enjoy it. We counter lies with facts, we don't try to dodge the bullet when they want to ban things like hi-cap mags and "aw's", we embrace hi-cap mags and AW's and we say "you know what? you can't ban these. we have a right to own them. suck it up and shut the hell up".

Every single gun I own is a deadly weapon, capable of killing multiple people before reloading. I consider this a good feature.