[Editor’s note: for the purposes of this article, all references to vaccines are specifically relating to vaccines for life-threatening illnesses, as opposed to less severe illnesses like Chicken pox.
Additionally, please note that the author is using arguments and assumptions about anti-vaxxers *that many of the left already accept* to make a case about guns… not open up a debate about vaccinations per se.]
When trying to persuade someone, HOW you say something is at least as important as WHAT is being said. Defending Second Amendment rights are no different.
WE’RE LOSING THE MESSAGING WAR BECAUSE OUR TACTICS HAVEN’T BEEN KEEP CURRENT.
We can’t just appeal to a common culture, American greatness, or the Founding Fathers anymore because today’s generation no longer sees those things as authoritative as previous generations did. We need a new way of getting our message across, tailored to today’s generation.
Look at any example in the advertising world. We are given the specs, but we are SOLD the sizzle. That’s why the left is so invested in framing the cultural narrative. If they can tell the right STORY, it’s a powerful force for shifting the cultural paradigm.
That’s why the Left picks and chooses, for instance, the gun violence stories that reinforce the stereotypes they WANT us to believe about an issue. They rehearse the El Paso Texases ad infinitum and ignore or quickly forget the Drayton Ohios.
We need to be smarter about the way WE tell OUR story and do it in a way that can win over some more honest and open-minded skeptics.
And if you can use a parallel example whose details they already accept, with clearly-defined good guys and bad guys, the metaphor will do the heavy lifting for you.
And it is my contention that there is a perfect metaphor right there for the taking.
Gun-grabbing is as harmful to personal safety as anti-vaxxers are to medical health. And it wouldn’t be so bad if it only hurt themselves, but like so many reckless choices, it does not.
Let’s break down why they are so much alike.
1) Irrational Fear Leads To Bad Decisions
With anti-vaxxers, the bad decision is refusing vaccinations allowing the body to defend itself against lethal VIRAL threats.
With gun-grabbers, the bad decision is refusing gun access allowing citizens to defend themselves against lethal PHYSICAL threats.
Both fears cherry-pick data that align with their confirmation biases.
2) Bad Decisions Lead To A More Dangerous Environment
In the name of making us more safe they make choices that strip us of defenses that could save lives.
When a population is vaccinated against certain lethal illnesses in sufficient numbers, the chances of an epidemic are greatly reduced. But with the rise of anti-vaxxers, we have seen a resurgence of dangerous diseases long held under control.
When a bad guy with a gun wants to cause mayhem and panic, the targets are almost uniformly places where he does not fear an armed response.
Most of the targets are gun-free zones. This is up to and including several attacks on military bases, where they had all the training they could ever need, but do no carry their firearm with them while going about their day.
If ANYONE could be trusted to carry their firearm, you might think it would be the men and women in uniform we send out to wear it into battle. But because of fear and bad decisions, a policy was put into place that has led directly to the loss of American lives.
If all of those soldiers had their weapon, they would have had the ‘immunity’ they needed to fight off the attacker in the same way that our bodies have the immunity we need to fight off a virus.
3) Our Weakest And The Most Vulnerable Are Typically The First Victims
If epidemics sweep through an area, who have the most to lose?
It is always the very old, the very young, the sick, and the immunocompromised. They don’t have the strength they need for the fight and are the first to succumb to the illness. If the anti-vaxxer is safe in his bubble somewhere, he might not even get exposed. Someone ELSE will pay the price for his objection to vaccines.
What about gun ownership?
Simple — gun ownership LITERALLY makes weaker people a threat to stronger people. You can be a teenage kid home alone and hearing a burglar, a grandmother in a wheelchair, a pregnant wife reacting to seeing her husband’s face shattered by a home invader, or a young woman protecting herself from a would-be rapist or an abusive ex. It’s about a single mom (maybe a minority) in the rough part of town having a way to protect her children.
These are stories we have covered involving a good guy with a gun.
Remove the gun from that story and they all become yet another tragic statistic of robbery, or rape, abuse, or possibly murder.
The Left characterizes gun ownership as somehow about guys trying to ‘compensate’ for some kind of sexual inadequacy. They even invented a word: ‘ammosexual’. That’s objectively stupid.
This isn’t about some bro bragging he’s got the biggest Johnson.
It’s about those very men they mock protecting the ones we love if we’re there when things go sideways and giving them the tools they need to protect themselves if we are not.
It’s ALSO about women taking ownership of their own safety, and not being dependent on some guy to come to their rescue. You’d think feminists would LOVE this.
The left can bleat all they like about ‘compassion’ and about the value of lives.
The hard truth they don’t want to face is simple.
In the shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ, the attacker got off two shots before he took a single round to the brainpan. The entire event was over in about six seconds because attendees at that church were locked and loaded. The had the training and will they needed to do what was necessary to protect the group.
Not so very long ago, at another part of the same state was a story with a very different ending — Sutherland Springs.
The murderous thug there had complete control of the situation, and could literally murder at will. This is exactly what he did, too.
How did THAT story end? A good guy with a gun (an NRA instructor, no less) showed up on the scene and gave chase… putting HIM down like a dog before he could continue his murder spree.
What about the synagogue in Pittsburg?
Like Sutherland Springs, nobody was on scene to stop the killer from doing his macabre dance, and the killer had a tactical advantage when the police arrived, which led to the deaths of officers arriving on the scene.
If contagious diseases didn’t lurk in places we might least expect to encounter them, vaccines would be unnecessary.
If physical threats and people with malicious intent didn’t lurk in places we might least expect to encounter them, the personal protection of a firearm might not be necessary.
But the role of both vaccines and personal protection is to give the ordinary person a fighting chance against a potentially lethal threat we might enounter in our everyday lives — however unlikely such an encounter might actually be on any given day.
A society with a ‘herd immunity’ of vaccines is less vulnerable to viral epidemics.
A society with a ‘herd immunity’ of armed citizens is less vulnerable to malicious psychopaths.