The Different Types of “Anti-Gunners” and How To Change Their Minds

June 12 2012
by GSL Staff
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Why are some people “anti-gun”?

Well with over 500 documented cases right here on this site of citizens lawfully using firearms to defend either themselves (in less than a year by the way), their families, their homes, or complete strangers you would think people would understand why firearms are a needed tool in modern society. However, we all know that is not the case. There are still multitudes of Americans who would be classified as “Anti-Gun”.

Why is this? In this article we’ll present several theories that we think might shed some light on the way anti-gun people think. When dealing with someone who is anti-gun it is easy to become emotional and not look at the reasons the person feels the way they do. These reasons can vary drastically and it’s very important to understand the reasons someone feels the way they do if you want to have a chance to change their mind.

Type 1: Fear of the Unknown

In this day and age there are many people who have reached adulthood who have never handled a gun, let alone been properly trained/instructed on firearm safety/use. This fact is resulting in more people than ever fearing guns because they don’t understand them. I’m sure everyone reading this article knows someone who thinks that guns can (and regularly do) “just go off”. There is almost no way a modern, well maintained firearm can fire while sitting in a stationary position. Also nearly all modern guns have safeguards against dropping, bumping, etc. I would venture a guess (and it is just a guess) that 99% of all negligent discharges that happened with modern firearms were the result of poor handling.

Too many people simply don’t understand how guns work and how safe they can be when handled properly. Fortunately this type of “anti-gunner” is the easiest to educate. Through proper training and education many of these people can be made to see the truth about firearms.

Type 2: Fear From Personal Issues

Some people may have a fear of guns that is rooted in a real life experience. These people are different from Type 1 folks as their fear is based on a real life event. Maybe they lost a loved one at the hand’s a murdered who used a gun. This group has a more legitimate reason to have a sense of fear of firearms. It would be the same as someone being afraid of flying because a family member died in a plane crash.

This group of people can still benefit from proper firearm education. In many cases these people could probably move on somewhat mentally and emotionally by facing their fear of firearms.

When trying to reason with this type of person a gentle approach should be taken. They have a real, psychological reason for their feelings, and that must be respected. An incremental introduction to the mechanics of firearms, stories of firearms being used for good, and, eventually some hands on training works well here. You’re not going to change this person’s mind in one sitting. Be patient, be considerate, and be unbiased.

Type 3: The Follower

This anti-gunner is anti gun because their chosen political party, religion, family, celebrities, media outlets or other influential group in their life says they should be. These people do not think for themselves and rarely do their own research or come to their own conclusions.

Trying to change The Follower’s mind is difficult. They will often repeat the talking points they’ve heard from the group they are following without verifying or researching those points. Your only hope is to calmly and patiently present overwhelming data that proves their talking points wrong. Most of the people in this group will still ignore that information, and almost none will admit they’ve changed their mind, but a good, rational argument may plant a seed that will eventually change a mind in this group.

Type 4: Those Who Want To Control

This is probably the most dangerous type of anti-gunner. They know exactly why they oppose firearm ownership and self defense. They want to control as many people as possible. Unarmed people are easier to control than armed people. It’s as simple as that. These people want more and more rules, laws and regulations placed on everyday life, gun laws included.

You will not change this person’s mind. They know the same information you know, and it scares them. Their opposition of gun ownership, pro gun laws and self defense is strictly for their own personal gain.

Type 5: Those Who Are Dependent

This group usually supports Type 4 people in positions of power. They feel their lives need to be controlled by a 3rd party. These people would never dream of taking their personal safety into their own hands. They are more likely to rely on the police for protection instead of a gun. They are more likely to rely on the fire department to save them in a fire instead of having a fire preparedness plan. They are more likely to rely on government or charity handouts than their own ability to provide for themselves and their family.

Reasoning with Type 5 people is all but impossible. The fact that some people want to take responsibility for their own personal safety scares them because they are unwilling or unable to take responsibility themselves.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. These are the 5 types of people we feel that most “anti-gunners” fall into, one way or another. Sure, there will be some outliers, but generally people who are anti-gun will fit into one of the groups above.

When trying to change someone’s mind, always remember to think about their reasoning and react accordingly.

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