The gun-conversation will influence the election, but not in the way you might think.
I was talking with some folks outside a hotel lobby in Chicago. A conversation about guns started because of the gold rifle pen clip in the pocket of my suit jacket. One person in particular was very outspoken and I knew it would be a struggle to help him see the topic with logic in the ten minutes I had. He was as far left on the gun-spectrum as you could imagine but I was able to help him see some important things that were missing from his evaluation process. I brought him around to an understanding that a baseball bat is no match for a home-invader with a gun, as much as he made it true in his mind and as much as he tried convincing me of it. He found every way possible to denounce gun-ownership because he was committed to his position and defending his belief. I wanted to help him see that a baseball bat only has a swing-radius of approximately 6 feet, while a handgun can accurately project a chunk of lead from a distance of 25 yards or more.
Once he saw the difference in effectiveness between a Louisville Slugger and a handgun, he told me he understood why some people would prefer a gun for home-defense. “OK, great. We agreed,” So I showed him other benefits of gun-ownership without letting him fall back to the typical “guns only being used for killing” position. We were good until I used the term “2 nd Amendment.” Something happened to my anti-gun friend when I said those words. He angrily referred back to his “yeah but, no one needs an assault weapon,” stance as his wife gently tugged on his shirt sleeve. It was like I let go of the metal shavings and they quickly clung back to the magnet. It seemed, his “assault-weapon” comment was a talking point that had been cultivated into his thought-process, but that couldn’t be… could it?
There was something about the term “2 nd Amendment” that made me lose him. “2 nd Amendment” means something to people on the left, and it's not good. Turning words into hot-button, issues for emotionally- reactive people is a powerful tool because it shapes the minds of those people for the purpose of gaining their support or getting them to vote a certain way. The way this man reacted was extreme and he appeared to have a physical reaction to “the 2 nd Amendment.” He was angry and took an aggressive approach to the conversation. He had a Mr. Hyde moment. The term “2 nd Amendment” made him mad, almost like in the way Pavlov’s dogs would become hungry at the sound of a bell.
When gun-owners talk about the 2 nd Amendment, they do it with pride. They see it as a value that deserves to be cherished and protected. When an Anti-Gunner hears the term “2 nd Amendment,” they often qualify it as a radical right-wing battle-cry. The “2 nd Amendment” is the Anti-Gunner’s kryptonite and some believe it to be an assault on their values.
The 2 nd Amendment is an obstacle for Anti-Gunners. As much as they tell you, “I support the 2 nd Amendment,” it's actually not something they support at all. You’ll know this because they usually follow up, “I support the 2 nd Amendment” with “…but, I think we need common sense gun-restrictions.” The truth that eludes them is that you can’t support the right to keep and bear arms, while simultaneously restricting the right to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, too many people are being conditioned to blur the definitions of “rights” and “privileges” for the purpose of shifting power from the people to government. Many on the left have been taught to associate the 2 nd Amendment (and gun-ownership in general) with fear and anger. They often see it as a political threat, …because it is. To some, “the 2 nd Amendment” are fighting words because they know it is what stands in the way of their delusional vision of a government-run, Utopian society. In other words, they want their controlled environment but “those damn gun-owners won't give up their freedom or their guns.”
The left is trying to break the most powerful spirit in the world, (The American spirit – built on a value that made men fight an oppressive government and risk their own lives in the pursuit of freedom.) They know that if they expect to ever have a government-run Utopia, they must get everyone on-board. They can’t do that if you are running around with all that freedom…and guns to protect that freedom. Don’t forget, these people will be voting in 2020.
Author – Good Gun Bad Guy