Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: Something to keep in mind when being an activist

  1. #1

    Something to keep in mind when being an activist

    Like a lot of people on these forums, I grew up in a rural area (Vermont) where firearms were common and a normal part of life. Same goes for my brother, who this story is about. My brother and I have similar political leanings, which is a crude way of saying we look at the world through glasses tinted by our parents and our mostly rural Vermont environment. Bottom line: we are liberal in the sense that the founding fathers were, and "conservative" or "libertarian" in today's terminology, though today's terms are clumsy. Also, we are both strongly pro-gun.

    Just over a year ago, my brother took a job in Virginia right by Washington D.C. Whatever the social phenomenon is (it's not by design), because my brother is well educated, he ends up socializing with people of similar education levels. A large percentage of these people grew up, and have lived their lives, in very urban areas, D.C. in particular. Through lengthy interaction with these people, he has come to consider a fact that I hadn't ever thought of; because of their urban lifestyle, and the known media focus on bad things that happen with guns, these people are never exposed to firearms as anything other than tools of crime and death. Those of us from rural areas know firearms as tools or recreation, food gathering, personal protection (even if only from animals), and as family heirlooms. If you live in a city, especially one as infamous as D.C., these things aren't a normal part of life, you have to leave the city to hunt, target shoot or plink, and wild animals (at least quadrupedal animals) basically don't exist. Then to top it all off, the laws make it impossible to own a firearm.

    Now, these facts will not change my stance, or my brother's, on gun ownership. But, I think it will make us more effective advocates for the cause. To understand why a person might be an anti- makes one more effective in educating them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-29-08
    Posts
    600
    Those of us from rural areas know firearms as tools or recreation, food gathering, personal protection (even if only from animals), and as family heirlooms. If you live in a city, especially one as infamous as D.C., these things aren't a normal part of life, you have to leave the city to hunt, target shoot or plink, and wild animals (at least quadrupedal animals) basically don't exist. Then to top it all off, the laws make it impossible to own a firearm.
    No, to top it off - the little experience they DO have with guns, tends to be some criminal stuffing one in their face while asking for their purse/wallet/whatever.

    I've been saying this for a long time - but it never quite seems to sink in. The vast majority of antis out there simply have zero positive experience with guns. They see no redeeming value or purpose because in their entire lives - there has been none. There has been no need or want, and the only experience they have - is negative.

    But - what do I know, right?

  3. #3
    Moderator  
    Join Date
    10-10-06
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Posts
    7,807
    Interesting post. I'm from rural Upstate NY, my wife was born and raised in the DC Metro area.

    We've had a LOT of conversations on what I call the "DC Myopia" where folks from that area simply assume that everyplace is like the DC/Arlington/Alexandria area because that's all they've ever known AND the underlying arrogance that says "well this is DC, of course we set the pace and tone for the rest of the country".

    Having seen both sides I find myself better able to act as a "translator" than some folks but the gulf between cultures is SO BIG that I find a lot of the native-urbanites simply can't even conceive of any "right" or productive use for a firearm.

    A recently overheard conversation that illustrates the point.

    Person One: Why would you possibly think you might need a firearm?
    Person Two: Well, do you see that cop over there?
    Person One: No, I don't see a cop.
    Person Two: That's precisely my point.
    Person One: Um, I don't understand.
    .
    "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on"

  4. #4
    Member  
    Join Date
    02-25-08
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    88
    We've had a LOT of conversations on what I call the "DC Myopia" where folks from that area simply assume that everyplace is like the DC/Arlington/Alexandria area because that's all they've ever known
    To be fair I'm sure there is also alot of "rural myopia" out there too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-29-08
    Posts
    600
    Having seen both sides I find myself better able to act as a "translator" than some folks but the gulf between cultures is SO BIG that I find a lot of the native-urbanites simply can't even conceive of any "right" or productive use for a firearm.
    It depends on the people you're dealing with. The people who are born and raised in the city - and have never left the urban environment - yes. They have a very hard time understanding.

    People who have spent some actual meaningful time outside of the city - and have seen, even if only briefly - that there IS a whole other way of life out there - they seem more likely to get it.

    The inverse is also true. People in rural areas simply do not understand some of the issues of Urban areas.

  6. #6
    Moderator  
    Join Date
    10-10-06
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Posts
    7,807
    To be fair I'm sure there is also alot of "rural myopia" out there too.
    True, but I haven't seen the folks suffering from "rural myopia" trying to infringe on the RKBA. (Mostly they want to ban government interference).
    .
    "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on"

  7. #7
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-29-08
    Posts
    600
    True, but I haven't seen the folks suffering from "rural myopia" trying to infringe on the RKBA. (Mostly they want to ban government interference).
    No, they want to ban what they see as government interference - and what some in an Urban environment might consider absolutely essential services.
    Just as some in more urban environments want to ban what they see as a plight on society - and those in a rural environment see as an integral part of their culture.

    It's all a matter of perspective.

  8. #8
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-31-08
    Location
    Illiana
    Posts
    5,654

    Government

    No, they want to ban what they see as government interference - and what some in an Urban environment might consider absolutely essential services.
    You know, I have an analogy for you here. I live not far outside the city limits in the county. This county has no provision for residential trash pickup. They provide several drop-off sites around the county with dumpsters. You have to take it there.

    I like this fine, and so do most... they are used to it. But when we moved here my wife liked to about soil her drawers about it.

    I grew up in a town with two cops on duty at night. Problem, expect 15 to 20 minutes to respond, assuming it was quiet, otherwise longer. Used to it. No problem. Same town now has twice as many. Response is not that much better but some people think we need "more and faster". I would be happy living back in that town with two cops again.

    I was talking to a colleague today about her handicapped sister visiting our smaller town and complaining about the lack of amenities for the handicapped (not many ramps, no kneeling busses, etc.). Not used to it.

    This is long -- so to get to the end, we all view life through what we are used to. If you want to lead someone to a different place, walk over to them and show them the path back, and why it is a good path. Standing where you are and yelling "get over here you idiot" just doesn't work:
    • in political advocacy
    • in work situations
    • in family situations
    • in life, generally


    Sorry for the long post. Hit a nerve, I guess.

  9. #9
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-29-08
    Posts
    600
    Standing where you are and yelling "get over here you idiot" just doesn't work:
    I don't think i was standing anywhere yelling for anyone to get anywhere.

    As a matter of fact - if you actually look at what I was saying, it's not at all different from the point you were making.


    Seems you read the first line - and stopped there. Not sure if you noticed the last part.

    It's all a matter of perspective.

  10. #10
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-31-08
    Location
    Illiana
    Posts
    5,654
    Actually, noname, I was agreeing with you. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

  11. #11
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    03-10-06
    Location
    ChicagoLand
    Posts
    533

    I define this topic.

    I was born in NYC hospital, lived my first 18 years in NYC and can attest to the pervasive thinking that "all life is like this" and the corollary "This life is best" ie: NYC is the be all, end all,period. New Yorkers think of their "world" as the center of the universe and themselves (being inhabitants of the center of the universe, all that, with fries and a drink. I saw a gun exactly once in my 18 first years (that was not attached to a cop). My grandmother had a duplex and my brother and I were asked to paint one room of the tenants apt. While she (tenant) was working we snooped thru her nighttable and found a .22 auto pearl handled thing that fascinated and terrified us both. We managed to not shoot ourselves and left it at that. Both of us learned of guns in the military and settled outside the urban confines after our tours. He in CT me in IL. We both have a completely different view of lifes' possibilities now and try to share that with those we know and contact both in NYC and Chicago. Its' not much different in CHI, but those natives know they don't live in the center of the universe and don't care as long as they "get theirs'". These generalizations came about because there is ample evidence of their correctness.
    When I joined, I swore to protect and defend the Constitution. No one ever said I was relieved of that oath.

  12. #12
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-08-07
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Posts
    131
    Interesting and thought provoking thread! I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine along these lines. Different words, but same general idea. He has lived in a rural area his whole life, and has trouble grasping the viewpoint of the urbanite.

  13. #13
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    01-20-08
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    253
    In most of my state a man with a copy of the New York Times under his arm would be unusual and worthy of note, while a man with a rifle under his arm would not. The sophisticated citizens of the I-5 corridor cities of Portland, Salem and Eugene would react with varying degrees of horror to that thought, but they are just as clearly the geographic minority as they are the demographic majority. Like so many states, the biggest and least talked-about divide, along virtually every axis (economic, political, social ...) is between the cities and the countryside.

  14. #14
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-31-08
    Location
    Illiana
    Posts
    5,654
    ......the biggest and least talked-about divide, along virtually every axis (economic, political, social ...) is between the cities and the countryside.
    For sure. Growing up, no one in our family carried a house key regularly, the only time we locked the door was if we went on vacation. I carried a pocketknife everywhere from the age of 9 and except when flying or going to the courthouse still do. No kids could carry even the most innocuous little swiss army knife to school today. 20 years ago many of us had a shotgun or rifle in a pickup truck rack in the parking lot at work, and it was about a 50/50 proposition whether the truck was locked. Those who parked in the front row in assigned parking probably left the keys in the truck.

    This difference extends to many other behaviors, like patience in traffic, speaking to other people in stores, and helpfulness to strangers.... also to the kind of people you associate with, in small towns your friends and acquaintances will cover a much broader economic and professional spectrum than if you live in a relatively homogenized suburb.

    Social views on gun ownership are just one of the telltale difference of this polarity.

  15. #15
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    03-10-06
    Location
    ChicagoLand
    Posts
    533

    It came to me after re-reading..

    this post, that the necessitties of each group (CountryMice and CityMice) are dictated by their environment. The Hicks (country) and Bricks (city) must meet the challenges that sorround their daily lives. Hicks might pop a rabbit for dinner. Bricks might get popped at dinner. Hicks may not use locks. Bricks use many and also enjoy lox. Bricks see government at every intersection, everyother buiding and every vehicle. Hicks might not see another person for days. The childrens story came back to me as I contemplated my life in the suburbs!
    When I joined, I swore to protect and defend the Constitution. No one ever said I was relieved of that oath.

  16. #16
    Member  
    Join Date
    11-22-07
    Location
    Collegeville, Minnesota
    Posts
    76
    For sure. Growing up, no one in our family carried a house key regularly, the only time we locked the door was if we went on vacation.
    I can definitely relate - our household still operates in this manner.

    Friends who live in town come over to shoot rifles in the backyard occasionally and they always lock their vehicles... makes me chuckle.
    Colin Doyle

  17. #17
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    10-13-05
    Location
    Canuck in SE WA State.
    Posts
    3,164
    It is the same in Canada, and probably in other parts of the world, many of the talking heads in places like Vancouver and Toronto only see firearms related to gang violence, whereas, people who live outside the large cities are accustomed to a firearm being used as a tool in a rural setting.

  18. #18
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    10-02-08
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    207
    Thugs and gang members on occasion necessitate the use of the firearm as a tool in an urban setting. A police officer acquaintance of mine once told me that cops respond to emergency situations, they are seldom able to prevent them. It is therefore the responsibility of the citizen to protect themselves until the police can be on the scene to assist. Having lived in urban and rural settings I've always owned firearms, but then my father passed the tradition of shooting as a sport on to me as I have to my sons. I also served in the military as did my father and his father before him. There is the disconnect in today's society. College educated professionals, and many others with no military experience and never taught how to use and enjoy a firearm don't pass the traditions on to their kids. They in turn see no peaceful, or justifiable use of firearms and it snowballs from there. They become dependent on the government to protect them from cradle to grave. They are victims waiting to happen. Misery loves company. Since they see no need to own a weapon it stands to reason that you and I shouldn't have one (or more) either. The world keeps getting crazier only now the inmates are running the asylum. We could be in for a rough ride.

  19. #19
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    09-28-06
    Location
    Nashville, Tn
    Posts
    402
    The cure is education. We need to take antis to the range. More of us need to become NRA instructors, RSO's, and just simply make it a point to introduce new people to shooting. There needs to more positive images of shooters and gun owners. We've let the antis define us as anti-social extremists. We need to continue promoting the image of the gun owner as a decent and moral American. We need to promote safe gun ownership as a positive family experience.

    I'd like to see public service tv commercials promoting the four rules of gun safety, maybe with a celebrity spokesman and spokeswoman who exemplify wholesome Americans enjoying gun ownership.

  20. #20
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-12-08
    Posts
    252
    A recently overheard conversation that illustrates the point.

    Person One: Why would you possibly think you might need a firearm?
    Person Two: Well, do you see that cop over there?
    Person One: No, I don't see a cop.
    Person Two: That's precisely my point.
    Person One: Um, I don't understand.
    This was a good start but Person One likely did not know (to keep it simple) how long the average violent crime lasts or how long the average 911 response time is.

    When seconds count, the police are minutes away wasn't exactly pulled from the air but rather is based solidly in the truth. Not everyone, including myself at one time, understands this.

  21. #21
    New Member  
    Join Date
    08-05-04
    Location
    wa st
    Posts
    10
    I see the problem we as gun owners face is very similar to the problem of racial equality in the 60's. Ignorance and fear were what they had to overcome to win there freedoms. We are fighting a similar battle.
    When I used to be asked why I feel I need to own firearms, I usually got very defensive, almost angry. But lately I have tried to see their fears and explain to them that they are basically unfounded. Yes, crimes are committed with firearms, but considering how many guns there are in this country, crime with guns is not as bad as the media tells them. And I've managed to convince a few to accept that law abiding citizens are no threat to them. I don"t try to get them to go buy guns, just that they don't need to try to prevent me from buying them.
    that others may live

  22. #22
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-28-02
    Location
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three months of tough sledding.
    Posts
    4,037
    The cure is education. We need to take antis to the range. More of us need to become NRA instructors, RSO's, and just simply make it a point to introduce new people to shooting. There needs to more positive images of shooters and gun owners. We've let the antis define us as anti-social extremists. We need to continue promoting the image of the gun owner as a decent and moral American. We need to promote safe gun ownership as a positive family experience.

    I'd like to see public service tv commercials promoting the four rules of gun safety, maybe with a celebrity spokesman and spokeswoman who exemplify wholesome Americans enjoying gun ownership.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! There's the answer!
    "Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys."
    -Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle-

  23. #23
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    08-24-08
    Location
    Clinging to my guns and religion, smalltown America
    Posts
    1,357
    these people are never exposed to firearms as anything other than tools of crime and death
    I think it might be worth pointing out how cities that do ban these, like D.C. and Chicago, have very high crime rates, probably higher than other cities like Indianapolis where they don't, and that guns could be useful for defense.
    The most dangerous north American land animal is the RINO

  24. #24
    New Member  
    Join Date
    02-03-08
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3
    I'd like to see public service tv commercials promoting the four rules of gun safety, maybe with a celebrity spokesman and spokeswoman who exemplify wholesome Americans enjoying gun ownership.
    THAT is a heckuva idea! I wonder if Mr Selleck is very busy? Surely the NRA and the USSA could fund a couple of ads to run on primetime TV? We'd need a young lady as well.

  25. #25
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    05-05-05
    Location
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Posts
    4,086

    Not just guns.

    I find one flaw with this line of reasoning, based solely on my personal experience.

    "country" folks like me and others will look at "city" folks and think "it's not my choice and i won't live like that, but to each his own".

    The reverse is not true. We get folks all the time buying the minimum five acres, building a McMansion and thinking they're Ben Cartwright and demand everyone around them, who has been here for generations, change things to suit them. Burn piles, guns, tractors traveling the roads, you name it. Some ghetto rat transplant comes in and whines about life. If they prefer not to have these things around, how about going back to the city? My Father mortgaged the farm, that had been paid off for over fifty years, to buy a field just to keep a developer from geting it. By the time all was said and done, Dad had financial help from neighbors, the seller moved, blackballed for inviting trouble with the plan to bail out and leave everyone else in the lurch.


    To those willing to listen to reason, yes. Take them to the range, invite them over to shoot, whatever. To the "My way or the highway" crowd, let them know where they can get off.
    I wish I believed in reincarnation. Where's Charles "The Hammer" Martel when you need him?

    www.bagpipeforum.com
    yes, I play the bagpipes. No, I don't wear a skirt. It's called a kilt.

    Some of the smartest people I've known were "dumb hillbillies".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •