At one of the Gun Blogger get-togethers, I joked around about what gun controllers must do for entertainment – hit up the anti-gun range or go to an anti-gun show. We all had a good laugh over that, but it stuck in my head for a while, and I think I've finally got a handle on why that pithy statement meant something to me.
Think about it – this past weekend, both Breda and I took a new shooter to the range. In both cases, it was pretty evident we've created new shooters. At the least, we've increased someone's awareness of firearms, and in a positive way, meaning they're less likely to consider them threatening. More than likely, however, we've created new gunnies – people who will appreciate shooting throughout their lives, and we've done so using a very positive experience.
We have clubs for this, retail stores, forums on the internet dedicated to every aspect of our craft from target shooting, to collecting, to evil black rifles, to reloading, competitions, etc. The gun owner community is a lifestyle, and something millions of Americans consider integral to their being.
Contrast this with the anti-gun forces. The only way they can increase the number of people who identify with them is through tragedy. How many anti gun people are there who had a pleasant experience that pushed them away from guns? They can't create forums and communities on the web like we can unless they do nothing more than discuss negative experiences. To be anti gun is to focus your energies on the negatives.
How many gun control advocates do you think convinced firearm owners to sell their guns and never shoot again?
The only reason anti-gun forces have any sort of traction whatsoever is because their cause goes hand in hand with the 'progressive' plan of removing liberties in order to achieve 'social equality' (free people make choices that change their status in relation to others. Can't have that can we?). Otherwise, they have nothing positive to feed on, and that's not something most sane people buy into voluntarily.
Even our community can take negative experiences and turn the outcomes positive. The abused woman can learn to protect herself against her violent ex which can then improve her outlook on life where as the anti gunners can only offer her the option of not being able to fight back effectively.
Make no mistake about it, the anti-liberty forces are strong and the anti-gun forces can use their strength and appeals to emotion to fight way out of their weight class. However, they cannot match our grassroots so long as people like you and I constantly fight to keep our rights.