I Am Scared of Guns,,,, So NO GUNS ALLOWED!

By Tom McHale

Khalid Shaikh Odonnell
Hoplophob Rosie Khalid Shaikh Odonnell
Tom McHale headshot low-res square
Tom McHale

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- I feel like I’m a fairly bright guy. Especially when I watch Wheel of Fortune and guess at least half of the puzzles without buying a single vowel. Brainpower or not, this issue has me totally flamboozled.

It’s the “No Guns Allowed” campaign led by the Moms Demand Alimony From That Napoleonic Little Tyrant Michael Bloomberg (MDAFTNLTMB) organization. They’ve been bringing swarms of protesters, like almost 10 or 12, to a whole bunch of events at businesses like Kroger grocery stores. Apparently their goal is to encourage those businesses to adopt a “no guns allowed” policy.

Call me crazy, but I thought we already had a bunch of laws for that, which a slew of tipsy politicians codified over happy hour at the Capitol pole dancing club.

Here’s the thing that’s got me stumped. Exactly who are they worried about when it comes to people carrying guns in stores?

As I see it, there are a grand total of two choices of “people to be worried about” groups.

  1. Legally armed citizens.
  2. Illegally armed criminals.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Creepy,,, Nigerian Dwarf Goat…

Am I missing something or any other groups here? I don’t think so. I was thinking about including Nigerian Dwarf Goats because they just look kind of creepy, but then I remembered they don’t have opposable thumbs, and therefore can’t operate guns.

At a loss to understand this issue, I decided to get some first-hand intelligence and consult a Moms Demand Alimony member.

Me: Hey, if you have a minute, I’d like to ask you why you’re here protesting at the Kroger store?

Moms Demand Alimony Protester: It’s my right to feel safe here!

Me: I agree!

MDA Protester: So we need to prevent people from carrying guns in this store.

Me: Who is carrying guns here?

MDA Protester: You know, those people with concealed carry permits.

Me: Oh. Gotcha. Do those folks cause a lot of crime?

MDA Protester: Well, I don’t feel safe if they have guns.

Me: You know, concealed carry holders commit fewer crimes than active duty police officers. The crime rate among people with concealed carry permits is about as statistically close to zero as you can get.

MDA Protester: But they have guns!

Me: What about criminals?

MDA Protester: What do you mean?

Me: Well, by definition, criminals are people who don’t follow the rules. Won’t they be here with guns whenever they feel like it?

MDA Protester: That’s why we need to ban guns from this store!

Hmmmm..? So my strategy of gathering first-hand intelligence failed, as there was none to be found in the vicinity.

Donald Trumps Hair
Trump Hair

I actually do understand the mentality. Sort of. To some people, guns are scary. I’m scared of things too. Like Rosie O’Donnell. And sharknados. And Donald Trumps hair. And most of all,mustache wax. Trust me, I can relate to fear.

But back to the effects of fear. When you’re scared, you don’t think rationally because fear drives a more primal response. I remember having conversation with a friend a while back about the whole guns in restaurants and bars debate. She was incredulous at the movement to eliminate concealed carry restrictions in places like this.

Her: I don’t see any reason people should be allowed to carry in bars.

Me: People can carry in bars now.

Her: No they can’t. It’s illegal.

Me: Right, so criminals are allowed to carry in bars right now, and law abiding people like me are not allowed to defend themselves in restaurants and bars.

Her: No, criminals are NOT allowed to carry there!

Me: Think about the definition of the word criminal. Do you really think that someone who, by definition, breaks the law, is not going to carry in a bar because they law says they can’t?

Her: Oh…

My epiphany from this conversation is that law abiding people have a hard time digesting the fact that other people won’t follow the rules. It just never occurred to her that someone would violate the law that said no guns allowed, because, as a law abiding citizen; she follows the law.

So when you add a natural fear response to the assumption that people will follow society’s rules, you end up with lots of effort being expended on silly things like No guns allowed! policies.

You and I know those rules accomplish nothing except forced removal our ability to protect ourselves from those who will not follow the law.

White House Gun Free Zone
White House's Bullet Proof Gun-Free Zone

So what to do? How do we combat this type of thinking?

First, remember we can be right all day long and still lose. Calling folks who support no guns policies idiots and shouting them down won’t accomplish much. When someone calls me an idiot, I tend to dig in my heels, shut out any further dialogue and punch them in the throat. Instead, engage in polite conversation and ask sincere (not sarcastic) questions. This way, someone is a bit more likely to walk themselves into a logical conclusion. And when someone arrives at their own conclusion, they're convicted in that new-found belief.

If someone tells you they want guns banned so they can feel safer, put on your most sincere smile and ask them something like “safer from who?” If they say, “safer from concealed carriers” ask them if concealed carriers commit a lot of crimes. That opens up a great conversational opportunity to educate them to the fact that concealed permit holders are among the safest, most law abiding societal group out there. We're way more law abiding than Mayors Against Illegal Guns members, but that's not saying much, I know.

Hoplophobia Awareness
You Can Help Cure Hoplophobia.

There are plenty of other questions you can ask to drive a positive discussion. Do you worry that people will change their normal behavior when they are carrying a gun? Do you think someone might freak out and start shooting if another shopper takes 12 items into the 10 or less line? Do you see that happen with police a lot, meaning do they freak out because they're carrying a gun? Do you know that people who carry guns actually make great efforts to avoid trouble, because they don’t want to have to use it?

The bottom line is that we have to remember our opposition is driven by fear and flawed assumptions, and the best way to alleviate fear is to calmly introduce rational thinking through dialogue. We won’t convince everyone, nor do we have to. We just have to convince those who have never given much thought to the issue.

About

Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  • 24
    Leave a Reply

    Please Login to comment
    15 Comment threads
    9 Thread replies
    0 Followers
     
    Most reacted comment
    Hottest comment thread
    20 Comment authors
    johnvahsharoOutlawErictenringrob Recent comment authors
      Subscribe  
    Notify of
    john
    Guest
    john

    and then there was the mother of a young boy shot and killed, she was protesting against carrying guns,while she should have been teaching her son not to rob liquor stores…..nuff said

    vahsharo
    Guest
    vahsharo

    ok let me say this its not guns that are a problem its sickos that dont know right from wrong and want to do evil that are bad i for one own few myself and i would never do evil with them i have them to protect my home from sickos that would try and hurt me or my loved ones. and i also hunt deer and elk for meat so. people cant blame guns for these crimes. and guns will aways be there. people need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Eric
    Guest
    Eric

    Gun free zones also violate my Alaska Constitution which has the the words the individual right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Furthermore we are proof that no permit open or concealed carry works.
    I don’t drink alcohol so why can’t I carry in a bar? Because so idiots made a law , Thats why bar robberies are common. Why can’t I carry in other states because they violate my constitutional right.

    tenringrob
    Guest
    tenringrob

    Just the idiocy of people being afraid of concealed carry guns. If it’s concealed properly, you won’t see it. If you don’t see it, its not there. Problem solved. If a gun owner who carries concealed properly the only time you will see it is AFTER they SAVE YOUR LIFE WITH IT.

    o
    Guest
    o

    AWWWW…Come on Man, don’t run ’em down like that. Nigerian Dwarf Goats are tooooo cute!

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    My dad all us kids at a early age,…”never waste your time arguing with an idiot” !

    Javier
    Guest
    Javier

    That picture of Sadam O’Donnell is horrifying !

    Georganne
    Guest
    Georganne

    The way I describe “gun-free zones” is a place that offers free targets to criminals. Visualize the big, red circle with a red slash across is over the silhouette of a gun. The lettering underneath reads “Free life-sized targets inside”.

    Joe Abrams
    Guest
    Joe Abrams

    Had to go to the lab this A.M. for a blood draw. Big sign on the door, “no guns”. This is in Washington State. I became a slight criminal since I figured if someone wants to rob a whole waiting room full of people and perhaps shoot a couple more I was not going in unarmed. I would hate myself for just becoming another victim.

    Outlaw
    Guest
    Outlaw

    My feelings exactly Joe. If it is properly concealed then no one but my wife and I know I am carrying it. I also don’t want to be a victim because someone who does not understand that I will not lose my mind for some insanely simple reason thinks I should not be carrying a gun. I also would prefer to be a “slight criminal” than a dead CC holder that left his gun in the car because someone who does not know me says I should just because they are scared of my guns..

    William Bostic
    Guest
    William Bostic

    The answer is obvious. We need to pass legislation to make it illegal to break the law!

    Morgan8er
    Guest
    Morgan8er

    This is by far the most logical and realistic article I’ve read on this subject. Instead of using this as an opportunity to bash the hell out of people who are misguided and operating on misinformed or ignorant information you’ve pointed out that a lot of these people just want to be safe and protect their kids. These aren’t bad people, they just need to be introduced to a more rational perspective in a way they change their own mind.

    Tom
    Guest
    Tom

    Spot on, see my comment above. I want to focus my limited rational conversation energy on people who are just uniformed. Those who hear a sounds bite like “let’s keep guns out so its safer” and think that sounds OK without giving the issue much thought.

    TSgt B
    Guest
    TSgt B

    Great article, Tom, and great points, too. Had a similar experience while stationed in Upper Michigan in the Air Force in the 80s. I was taking classes toward my degrees, and one was called “Guns in American Society”. On the opening moment of the first class session, the “professor” explained that he didn’t like guns, felt no one but cops and military (he was obviously unaware that he was teaching a course on a MILITARY INSTALLATION) should have guns, had never held, shot, or even been around guns and “gun people”. He then proceeded to state that we would now… Read more »

    oldshooter
    Guest
    oldshooter

    While most folks know that you can draw more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, only us county boys and the Shannon Watts types, seem to be aware that you can draw the MOST flies, hands down, with a big steaming pile of BS!

    Robert
    Guest
    Robert

    I see one flaw in your plan to convert these people. You are using logic to convert them but liberals have no logic. Never had and never will. That’s why their causes and crusades make perfectly good sense to them.

    Dick
    Guest
    Dick

    Tom,
    While I agree with you 110%, there is one flaw in your thinking. Firearm-aphobics and liberals in general do not understand logic and facts. Quite honestly, like you, I am more afraid of Rosie O’Donnell than any concealed carrier.

    Tom
    Guest
    Tom

    How are you at coping with The Donald’s hair?

    Donald Kroening
    Guest
    Donald Kroening

    Dick,
    I think you’re making the same mistake most conservative gun enthusiasts make, under estimating libral gun haters. They understand logic and facts all to well, this is the reason they are able to twist said logic and facts to meet there needs. That is why I fear, if we don’t stay vigilant, we may lose this battle for 2nd Amendment rights and thus ultimately lose all rights declared by the U.S. Constitution. My opinion, with respect.

    dave
    Guest
    dave

    polite conversation? Why can’t we just stab them with a big nail? They’re still safe from a gun that way, and I bet they would switch sides in the gun argument in a hurry anyway.

    Vanns40
    Guest
    Vanns40

    Oh oh, “stab them with a big nail”? You mean as in crusifiction? Oh man did you step in it!

    Tom
    Guest
    Tom

    Just to be clear, my suggestions of polite conversation are more realistically aimed at all those folks who don’t pay a lot of attention to the issue and just hear sound bites and think “oh, that sounds good”

    The chances of converting one of those Moms Demand Alimony supporters is next to zero – I’m more concerned with having rational discussion with all the bystanders who wonder what’s going on. Then it’s the MDA folks that look like the irrational hoplophobes they are.

    Richard Pearson
    Guest
    Richard Pearson

    A few years ago I had “Hoplophobia-Shoot for the Cure” pins made. I felt it was my civic duty. 🙂

    Tom
    Guest
    Tom

    That’s brilliant!