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My Experience at a Gun “Conversation” meeting

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In the spirit of what are we as gun owners doing from an activism perspective:
Last night I attended a meeting of “Common Ground” - a local Nashville group whose mission is to create dialogue to “bridge the red/blue divide”. The topic was guns and was the second meeting in a row on the topic. (i only learned of this for the 2nd)
I am always wary of the word “conversation” to describe any such meeting, as its often code word meaning the “Left will tell you what to think”...but I went anyway, figuring that if I dis not it, what information would otherwise neutral minds leave with.
Here is what I found
The group of around 30 people, mostly all white and upper class were presented with three “experts” to briefly talk about their views/position on guns and “gun violence”
Unsurprisingly, a woman from Moms Demand Action was one “expert”, but then members of the local Well Armed Woman chapter were there as well, along with a Metro Police officer.
What I learned:
The police shared the fact that they now share bullet forensic data with a national database and have learned that most gun crime is committed by a small number of people with the same gun - meaning that for example of 100 gun crimes committed, it may be from only 10 guns/people. Thus the bad apples are truly bad but small in number. He shared straw purchases are a big problem and wished that gun prosecutions were stiffer.
The MDA lady parroted their talking points - you know them so no need to repeat.
I was impressed with the poise of the Well Armed Women who made the argument for better education on the nature of the 2A.
We then broke into smaller groups and discussed what we learned from the “experts” that surprised us, and then began a pretty open free for all on what to do about “gun violence” and what we would want to know more from the “experts”
Notably a quick poll of our group found that it was split equally between those who wanted to eliminate the 2A, those who did not, and those who wished to modify it. Those who wished to eliminate it used the same arguments we are all familiar with - the 2A does not mean all arms, you don’t “need” an deadly ar-15, etc etc. the ones in the middle I quickly figured out just lacked information on what the current laws actually were and why certain “common sense proposals” might not be common sense or may be illegal or otherwise lead to unintended consequences.
What I found was standing up for the 2A as an absolute right (which it is) makes you sound like an extremist, yet demanding its absolute removal does not.....strange.....but wait....theres more
As we went around this issue of the nature of the 2A I was able to educate the group on Heller and McDonald. I said whether you like it or not, the SCOTUS has affirmed the 2A and specifically the ownership of weapons in common use (ie not nukes which one wag tried to argue was therefore allowed under an expansive view of the 2A). That matter being settled, I said regardless of ones personal views, any discussion on guns in America must take place in the context of McDonald.
Unsurprisingly the banners refused to recognize the validity of a SCOTUS decision they did not agree with.
I was able to explain the 4473 background check, why there is opposition to Universal Background checks (requires a government list of gun owners and could be used for confiscation),
What I found is that the people in the middle were responsive to the information versus the emotional arguments. In fact, the emotion might have brought them to the table but they want a “meal” of useful info.
Did i change any minds?
Of those who wanted to ban the 2A - no.
Of those who want to”modify it? Absolutely. I had a couple of one to one convos after the meeting and it was amazing to learn what people would say in private vs in a group. And we were all strangers so it should not have mattered!
Bottom line - Show Up. Speak sensibly and educate people. Ignore the crazies and speak with those who are persuadable.
PS: at the end of the meeting the Moms lady asked for a group photo, which i thought was particularly inappropriate since it was not her meeting but rather one she was a guest speaker at. I asked if it was for her groups facebook page and yes was the answer. I refused to participate and took her to task for not informing those in the pic of her intentions.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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