I attended a get-together on Saturday. One of the other people there started a discussion about firearms and the Second Amendment. Since we were in an area where there were not a bunch of people, and because he was acting in good faith and with an open mind, we engaged in a discussion.

As most such discussions go, it is difficult to pin somebody down. There is a heartfelt need to “do something”.

Some of the issues that I had were his inability to accept that we already know that bad things happen when we give an inch.

A big issue for him was training. The standard, “You are ok, and he is ok, but there are idiots out there that do dumb things, they should have training.”

My response was that a training requirement leads to de facto bans. He claimed that we don’t know that they will. When I listed the states that had done this recently, that was not accepted as proof.

He drove forward with the idea that we could write a law that would be safe from that type of meddling. He invited me to propose language for that.

I went home unhappy with my performance.

Having thought about it a bit, I think my argument should be more along the lines of:

Why do you want to break the law?

Every one of the people that I have discussions with has some sort of acceptable way of working around the Second Amendment. They argue that I should “follow the law” if they pass an unconstitutional law. At the same time, they are unwilling to obey the law, themselves.

Often they want to engage in hypotheticals where they can make such a law.

One of my standard responses is, “If you would like to do that, then you need to pass an amendment. That amendment will then allow you to pass such laws.” I did use it. He’s response was, “You would oppose that?” “Absolutely, totally.”

I then explained that they are pre-existing rights. That the Second Amendment is there to protect those rights. The Second Amendment does not grant those rights.

Regardless, I’m left feeling unsatisfied with my performance. I need more practice.

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By awa

21 thoughts on “The Argument”
  1. one “argument “ I like to throw out there- do you know someone killed in a car wreck? when they answer yes I reply then why don’t you want to ban cars?? after all YOU want to “save lives”… #2- firearms are the ONLY tool demonized by gun banners.. why? its the only tool they are afraid of. #3- person decides to break numerous “laws” to carry out thier plan, how is taking firearms away from non criminals going to prevent that? instead of trying to change thier way of thinking to yours, ask them to validate thier thinking…. they can’t.. just “doing something “ doesn’t cure the problem.

  2. Awa, next time give him the transcripts of the circuit court’s semantical gymnastics when they addressed the Supreme Court decisions such as Bruen, etc. He believes there are ways to write laws which would not allow for abuses of the law. Until he actually experiences the reality of his utopian idealisms and comes to understand how unrealistic his well-intentioned ideas are, there is no hope…. naivety will rule until that happens. And if he still doesn’t get it, then he’s either dishonest or lacking critical wit.

  3. Once he rejected the FACT that states have defacto banned gun ownership through training and/or registration requirements, the ‘discussion’ was over for all intents and purposes. He may have pretended to be in good faith and an open mind but in reality he just was repeating anti-gun rhetoric.

  4. You are trying to change someone’s feelings by rational argument. That … usually doesn’t work. Although, kudos for trying!

  5. Many people will not accept the information you present them as factual but expect you to accept the information they present you as factual. Very frustrating.
    I also find it difficult to have a proper discussion with someone ignorant on this topic because how do you distill decades of experience in firearms and firearms law coupled with connections you make go other areas when overlap is apparent to someone who knows nothing about it without having a month long non stop treatise spoken at them? You can’t.
    I often try to go the make a connection route. I know this person thinks the government is racist, sexist, etc so I say why do you want to give the government you think is racist, sexist, etc more power and absolute power to prevent you from resisting? Often these people have some norion of themselves as a freedom fighter, ally, resistor, and political dissident so you play to that. Often the cognitive dissonance of such a thing is too much and stammered responses and double downs are had. Sometimes you get the yea but its still better than nothing! I think people just don’t really grasp and understand that threat of violence and force underpins all authority because that is the ultimate means of enforcing it and they just can’t see it ever happening or see themselves ever needing to resist or enforce such authority themselves.
    When things go totally south I usually suggest licensing reproduction as that will not only solve gun and violence problems generally but a just of other social issues. Usually they don’t see that the absurdity is meant to be illustrative and trolling lol.

    1. One of my favorites in that vein was dealing with the “Trump is literally Hitler!!!11” crowd. Conversation ended (on more than one occasion) with me asking the individual why they thought it was a good idea for a Jew to surrender his right to keep and bear arms to a government run by “literally Hitler”.

      1. Funny how quickly the overwhelming feeling of stupidity shuts off their brain and they continue the “BUT HES HITLER!!!111!!1!!”

  6. “Irrelevant. Our God given and constitutionally protected rights are not dependent upon favorable statistical outcomes”.

  7. Important first point.
    It is nearly impossible to argue gun control with a person who supports it. Even those that act like they are willing to listen to the other side. But, if we shut down and ignore them, they win. (Or they will assume they win.)
    Few things you could have focused on:
    “My response was that a training requirement leads to de facto bans. He claimed that we don’t know that they will. “
    And, we do not “know” a lack of training requirement will lead to carnage.
    It is very bad to establish sweeping policy based on speculation. There is, at best, speculation that training will reduce firearm related deaths or injuries.
    “He drove forward with the idea that we could write a law that would be safe from that type of meddling”
    Should have asked him to propose the language. See if he could write any law that is impervious to meddling by those that want to distort the meaning and intent of the law.
    Hell, a person cannot write a simple sentence that is impossible to distort into something it is not.
    One of the things I like to remind the gun control advocates I run into is the 2nd Amendment is not about guns in any way. Nor does it grant any rights at all.
    The 2nd does two things.
    1. It recognizes there is a fundamental human right to defend oneself against threats, both personal and political.
    2. It restricts the government from preventing the average person from using the most effective tools available to carry out that right.
    Within that context, what is the justification for restricting anyone from exercising that right? Does someone have to take training to exercise free speech? (1st Amendment) Does one have to take officially sanctioned training in order to defend themselves from criminal or civil charges? (6th Amendment) What training is required in order to protect your privacy? (4A)
    No other fundamental human requires officially sanctioned training before a human can exercise it. Why does this person think the right to keep and bear arms is somehow different? Oh… other people can be harmed if you do not get training? Well other people can be harmed if you abuse your right to free speech. (inciting to riot, false testimony getting others arrested, etc..) Religion (see Jim Jones), etc… The point is every fundamental human right can be abused. Abuse of the right does lead to harm. If you are going to single out firearms as requiring training, you better require training on all the other ones.
    Final item:
    It still remains a futile effort to argue. You might as well try to get someone to change religions during a service.

    1. “And, we do not “know” a lack of training requirement will lead to carnage.” We do actually. Indiana is constitutional carry now, and has never had a training requirement for a permit. When CC was passed decades ago(before Florida and Texas both) crime went down, as it inevitably does…

      1. NH had no training requirement back when it was a Shall Issue state, and it still has none now that it is a Constitutional Carry state.
        For that matter, Vermont has been Constitution Carry for a century now. Has it ever had a training requirement?

        And yes, adopting Shall Issue or Constitutional Carry brings down crime rate. Prof. John Lott established that decades ago (“More guns, less crime”).

      2. Actually, that is the opposite of what was questioned.
        The assumption of the gun control crowd is always rivers of blood running in the streets.
        So, unless they can prove carnage will go up, their argument is meaningless. (they cannot, and your examples prove the opposite.)

    2. He wanted you to take his hypotheticals as fact, but insisted on treating your demonstrable facts as hypotheticals, dismissing them.

      He then put the burden on you to craft language that achieve his hypothetical end goals, despite you giving proof that even clear cut language is currently being twisted into infringement.

      He wasn’t arguing in good faith, he was wanting you to argue his position for him.
      He wasn’t misunderstanding your position, or not understanding your argument, he was ignoring it and trying to gaslight you as the problem because you wouldn’t fix his hypotheticals for him.

      1. Exactly, and true on all fronts.
        Leftists (and this guy was a leftist) always think someone else should do the work, so they can claim they made the world better.

    3. CBMTTek has it correct. This is the argument I find most persuasive with “do something-ers” against the training requirement. Since they don’t have to go through it, it’s no problem. But when you put it in context of rights they might have to “train” to exercise, they typically wilt like pansies in the summer.

  8. Trying to educate a liberal is like trying to teach a pig to sing.. You only waste your time and you annoy the pig.
    In this case, when the “government” starts raiding homes of “MAGA Extremeists” for guns, the liberal will point the stasi at you.
    Ho the war is coming. hard, fast and unstopable. It has been too late for a few decades to educate the lemmings on their own rights and responsibilities. Now, they will make us, destroy them.
    Maybe mankind will do better next time… I will not hold my breath.

    1. The mother of a good school friend and neighbor was a psych professional. She was one of those people that if she was faced with imminent harm / death by another person, (say, confronted by knife wielding robber or psychopath,) AND she was holding loaded handgun, she would, 30 seconds later, be down on the ground bleeding out while her last words gurgling out around the blood flowing from her airway would be something along the lines of ‘Johnny is just a poor, misunderstood man who has been warped by his experiences’ or some such drivel.

      My mom, on the other hand, would promptly have unloaded all cylinders into ‘Poor, mis-understood Johnny’, and would have lived to see the next days’ sunrise.

      The problem is pretty self-evident.

      We, as a society, have made it not only possible to thwart the ‘Darwin’ factor, but have made it profitable to do so.

  9. Stop arguing with idiots. They just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. There can be no coherent debate with irrational idiots incapable of actually thinking. And that would be at least half the population.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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