United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When it comes to defending the Second Amendment, the only thing that is possibly more infuriating than anti-Second Amendment extremists are the gun owners who don’t get involved. The numbers are there to make this issue a deal-breaker for any politician. According to Pew Research, 30 percent of Americans admit they own at least one firearm. Another 11 percent say they know someone who owns at least one firearm.
This comes to about 99 million admitted gun owners, plus another roughly 36 million who say they know a gun owner. That comes to 135 million people. To put that into perspective, 136,669,276 people voted in the 2016 presidential election.
Now, according to Pew, 19 percent of gun owners say they belong to the NRA. If only those responses were backed up by the NRA’s actual membership numbers. If the NRA had almost 19 million members as opposed to almost six million, the whole political landscape regarding our rights would be very different.
But far too many gun owners are not involved. Why is that? In some ways, they haven’t given the issue much thought – they don’t see the issue as affecting their hunting guns. Or the ones handed down from their parents, grandparents, or through past generations.
While some like to deride people in that position as “Fudds,” it’s a very short-sighted course of action. In many cases, these are people who, with the right approach, could be convinced to get involved in defending the Second Amendment. Why don’t they? Part of the problem is the fact that there are some Second Amendment supporters who manage to convince people who don’t like gun control to not get involved, or worse yet, to support the Bloomberg agenda.
Why are these potential supporters choosing to sit on the sidelines, or worse yet, going along with anti-Second Amendment extremists? Because some Second Amendment supporters are more interested in contests of philosophical purity rather than effective advocacy, and rather than educate those who have honest questions, they preach to the choir with the same sense of moral superiority we get from the likes of Bloomberg. It’s just as off-putting, and what is worse, media outlets like CNN will blast it out – with the appropriate commentary from hosts as biased as Chris Cuomo – whose brother is Andrew Cuomo.
This is why poorly thought-out Second Amendment advocacy can be much worse than no Second Amendment advocacy at all. As I have said before, it is understandable to be angry and indignant about the injustices that the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Dianne Feinstein, Eric Swalwell, and others seek to inflict on law-abiding citizens who have nothing to do with the tragic misuse of our Second Amendment rights. But when you let the anger take control, it can have the opposite of your intended effect. Fighting hard does no good unless we’re smart about it.
For just one example of how hotheads can ruin pro-Second Amendment advocacy, look at the Ask Amy saga not so long ago. The notion that a parent’s love for a child should have a lower priority than hatred for the Second Amendment ought to be an easy slam-dunk for Second Amendment supporters to paint anti-Second Amendment extremism in a bad light, but it was blown because at best, some Second Amendment supporters didn’t consider how their responses to her would come across, and sabotaged any chance (even a minuscule one) of getting someone hostile to our rights to rethink their position.
How do we get gun owners who aren’t involved to get involved in the fight for the Second Amendment? It’s about outreach, it’s politely correcting misconceptions, building bonds, finding out why they are not involved, and then making sure our words and actions reflect ourselves and the Second Amendment in a way that they will want to be involved in the defense of our freedoms.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.