PDA

View Full Version : Hearing vs. Understanding


7x57
02-16-2009, 10:07 AM
This little story might provide a little food for thought about the difficulties of talking about firearms and safety with non-gunnies (or it might just convince you that I must be a really poor communicator). I'm sure many of you have already figured these points out, but maybe it will help someone.

Yesterday my wife told me that I'd be proud of her. Apparently she asked our pastor's wife why a particular woman had not been to their Wednesday night bible study for a while. The answer was that she has no car and is no longer comfortable walking alone to the church, since there have been something like four rapes in that Pasadena neighborhood. My wife's first thought was "maybe she should have a gun."

Apparently I've made an impression. :D

But then the discussion turned to what the woman's choices were. After a few minutes my wife exclaimed "that means you can't have a purse gun," with surprise. Understand, I've explained *everything* before. It turns out that our technical terms do *not* communicate to non-gunnies. She said that when I say "concealed carry" to her that brings up an image of a security guard. She had simply not connected it to a woman carrying a weapon in her purse.

Then she said "well, I think if there have been four rapes in the neighborhood that would constitute good cause." Well, and so it does to decent rational people, but no matter what I say she apparently thinks in the abstract that LASD brass must be members of the class "decent rational people." So it also did not make an impression when I explained that LASD has arbitrary authority to define good cause and basically does not issue to citizens. She needed a concrete example involving someone she knew and a specific familiar situation in order to realize that CCW and issuance policy matters *to her* and *to her friends,* not just gunnies and such.

So my abstract explanations simply were not understood, because "well that would be silly so it must not mean that." I had to make the point *in the context of an immediate specific need in an immediate specific situation.* In retrospect, I should have known that from other people's stories, but I am such an abstract thinker that it is hard for me to realize that. I also think there is very much of an "it couldn't happen to me" aspect where even if understood it makes no impression until, suddenly, it *does* apply to you.

So I need to be better about never assuming that other people will *ever* reason correctly from the abstract to the concrete. I should never assume that people will understand that this could apply to them later, and when it does it will suddenly matter a great deal to them even if it seems meaningless at the moment. I should never assume that they will understand that by the time the situation applies to them, it will be too late to do much about it (especially with the waiting period). This is probably a textbook example of what prevents us from having an irresistible public demand for shall-issue in CA, too, but that's a broader topic.

7x57

movie zombie
02-16-2009, 10:34 AM
good post!

some of it is that there is a lingo used by gunnies who have studied and understand what "conceal" means in reference to guns.

as in all things, until someone is directly effected by something, they just don't get it. none of us are immune to that fact.

mz

7x57
02-16-2009, 10:50 AM
Heh. We've talked a little more about it after she read my post, and y'all will be happy to know that after a bit she said "there shouldn't be a CCW permit at all. By the time you decided you need one, it will be too late. You should just be able to carry it whenever you need it."

We seem to have a breakthrough in the media deprogramming project. :D

7x57

IGOTDIRT4U
02-16-2009, 10:53 AM
Great observations. I have had similar talks with my wife in the past, which she usually dimisses as "Is this going to be more talk about guns" attitude.

But, I had a breakthrough one night when traveling. (We almost always travel by motorcoach). Since then, she listens a bit more to what I have to say about being trained and alert. She still doesn't get why I believe so strongly in the fight for CCW being shall issue or Vermont style.

7x57
02-16-2009, 11:05 AM
Hmm, you just reminded me that I also need to revisit the "Saturday Night Special" issue in this context. The woman in question probably can't afford a typical handgun, and frankly if advising her I might have to suggest something like a hi-point.

And you know what? The Second Amendment is more about affordable inexpensive guns than it is about vintage Colts. I just need to remember to make that point in a context like this, where it suddenly is concrete.

7x57

Vin496
02-16-2009, 11:30 AM
Very interesting point you bring up.

About 3 weeks ago I was talking to my Sister in Law and her Husband who live close by, and they were asking me to help her choose a handgun for protection. So I start asking some basic question and they both brought up "Something small that will fit in her purse or our glovebox".

I looked at them at told them, "You now that's illegal, right?". They both were shocked to find that out. I guess it is true the average person who isn't into guns, thinks that they still have all these rights in this State, and that all these bans are just there to hurt criminals.

bohoki
02-16-2009, 11:35 AM
yea ive seen that stated as hearing vs listening

nick
02-16-2009, 12:17 PM
Great points, of course. As the OP said, we have to constantly check ourselves when talking to non-gunnies. Just because it seems commonsense doesn't mean other people actually understand what the heck your're talking about. Those of us who work in IT probably figured this out, or if not, should probably correlate this to lack of career advancement :)

And the second function of technical terms is to keep the uninitiated from being able to do your job, anyway, so that should tell you something about using technical terms when talking to people not inyour field of expertise.

IGOTDIRT4U
02-16-2009, 12:33 PM
"I looked at them at told them, "You now that's illegal, right?". They both were shocked to find that out. I guess it is true the average person who isn't into guns, thinks that they still have all these rights in this State, and that all these bans are just there to hurt criminals."

That is probably one of the most astute observations of human behavior in California I have heard in awhile.

Many "long time" Californians have not even noticed what rights their lovely legislature whittled away from them over the years, and the rest, most likely recently moved here, had their heads stuck in the sand, so it's no surprise when someone who is freedom loving looks a bit surprised when what they thought was a right for law-abiding citizens, is no longer a right, or at least an easy one to obtain via permit.

Tarn_Helm
02-16-2009, 12:40 PM
Heh. We've talked a little more about it after she read my post, and y'all will be happy to know that after a bit she said "there shouldn't be a CCW permit at all. By the time you decided you need one, it will be too late. You should just be able to carry it whenever you need it."

We seem to have a breakthrough in the media deprogramming project. :D

7x57

Those moments are rare and wonderful.

"Experience is the best teacher; unfortunately, it is also often the cruelest."

Let's hope more people learn from something less than experience about the need for CCW.
:cool:

Fire in the Hole
02-16-2009, 12:48 PM
Me and my dad use to have this particular argument all the time when I was a teenager. He'd bellow out an order. I'd ignore it. He'd shout out, "Did you hear me?" I'd say, "The whole neighborhood heard you." Then he'd shout, "Did you understand me?" I'd calmly state, "I heard and understood everything you said, but that does not mean I'm going to do it."

Now that I'm an adult, with grown children of my own, I'm glad I disobeyed his directives, and left when I was 18. The Army just made more sense at that time in my life.

7x57
02-16-2009, 1:08 PM
Many "long time" Californians have not even noticed what rights their lovely legislature whittled away from them over the years, and the rest, most likely recently moved here, had their heads stuck in the sand, so it's no surprise when someone who is freedom loving looks a bit surprised when what they thought was a right for law-abiding citizens, is no longer a right, or at least an easy one to obtain via permit.

I had one of those moments a long time before I had heard of Calguns, and I think it is *important*. I used to get coffee down the street; it was rarely busy and I used to talk to the woman behind the counter. Somehow the fact that I was a shooter came up, and she said she'd never owned a gun but she grew up with them in the South and she was thinking of getting a handgun, because "anybody comes in my door at night, I'm blowing them away."

I imediately said "No, you were in fear for your life." "No," she said, "I'm blowing them away." I think something about the right to protect herself, too. "Listen carefully," I said. "You were in fear of your life...." It took many repetitions for her to get it.

What I didn't tell you was that she was a black woman who, so far as I could tell, voted according to stereotype. In other words, probably unwittingly she is part of the problem. But yet she had an instinctive believe in her human right to self-protection, in fact much stronger than the law allows.

I am pretty sure there are a very large number of people like her and the couple in the other poster's story who believe firmly and instinctively in their right to self-defense, but have no idea how much has been whittled away and in many cases that they have been responsible in large part for their own loss of rights.

The way to fix CA legislatively would be to tap in to that demographic, but so far as I can tell there is no simple breakthrough. Dogged persistence may eventually win, however.

7x57