So revenues that come from advertising don’t come from regular people?
Gregory Smith

Why are you so damn insistent on putting words into my mouth?

And way to dodge, man, way to dodge. You could be a neutered politician yourself. Y’all literally just can’t admit fault, even if it’s the most harmless, innocuous thing like making up a statistic.

I support responsible gun ownership, reasonable measures to promote the public good, and more than all else, truth and accuracy. The NRA lost me when they resorted to fear mongering and propaganda of questionable veracity. I studied philosophy, especially ethics, and the fact is that I won’t support an organization that acts unethically. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. The ends do not always justify the means, as far as I’m concerned. I can only speak for myself, though, and I don’t expect you to change your mind. However, you could greatly expand membership by kicking LaPierre aside and restructuring the board with fewer hardline types. The key to growth is outreach and positive association. Most of the country views the NRA as being out of touch, tone deaf, and not on the side of average people. That’s why membership is 5 million out of a possible 320 million. A makeover and commitment to doing right by EVERYONE could reposition the NRA as a noble cause and attract dozens more millions of members, but they’re all too happy in being the paranoid extremists the vast majority of people think they are.

Stop invoking Australia. Australia never had firearm ownership enshrined in their constitution. Politicians can attempt to chip and chisel away at gun ownership in America, but the sweeping reforms promised by the NRA, who incidentally has a lot to gain from such claims, are unlikely at best, and more likely impossible. And Australia is still 26th in the world in firearm ownership with 21.6 per 100 people. They’re hardly banned there.

There you go being presumptuous again… when did I ever say anything about AR-15's? And I haven’t had a hunting license in years, just not enough time/land access. Stop making these wildly off base assumptions about me. It makes you look crazy. Just be a normal, reasonable person capable of having a rational discussion.

But to answer your questions, no, I don’t hunt with an AR. There’s nothing round these parts to hunt with an AR. At least not a 5.56/.223 one. And, no, I don’t have any issue with AR’s either. They’re great guns in fact. What’s not to love? Customizable, repairable, accurate, reliable, lightweight, powerful… But aside from varmints, there’s not much one can ethically hunt with a .223. Certainly not small game, it’s too destructive for that, and it’s not powerful enough for deer or hogs. So no, unless it’s a custom caliber model (.300 Blackout, .458 Socom, etc.) or an AR-10 (7.62mm/.308), they generally aren’t useful for hunting game animals, just ‘yotes, foxes and prairie dogs. And those things don’t interest me.

I do have a lever gun though, and that is my baby. I’d take it in a SHTF situation over an AR every time. It’s a Swiss Army Knife compared to an AR being… I don’t know, a SOG Tactical Bowie, I guess. But that’s just my personal preference. I honestly don’t care how confused Aussie’s are about it. It doesn’t concern me. I just want our American politicians to be properly educated. And I do work towards that independently of the NRA when I feel it’s necessary. That includes emailing them relevant information and publishing educational material online in a way that doesn’t alienate people.

And that is essentially what your problem is. You are a hardline guy. You get cranky when people question your beliefs. You act like a cornered animal and feel compelled to lash out wildly when pressed. And that gets you nowhere. You aren’t changing anyone’s mind. You aren’t winning at your cause. You may be well respected within your circle, but that’s just confirmation bias. More people disagree with you than agree. Success lies in converting those people. You don’t use the right tactics to win people over to your side. You reinforce to them that you’re a stereotypical right wing gun nut, paranoid and overly sensitive, quick to hurl insults and bandy about illogical arguments to support the claims you’re so desperate to defend.

And they disengage because you confirm to them their worst fears.

I bend over backward not to alienate people. I don’t want them to stop listening to me. I want them to understand the nuances of different types of guns, and their operation. I want them to understand the laws that are already on the books. I want them to realize just how many people in daily life carry a concealed weapon every day, and how rare accidents involving them are. I want to teach them why guns are important to us. Why people own dozens of them (because like tools, each one has a specific purpose), and what makes certain guns more or less powerful/accurate/dangerous/problematic/etc.

There are people that will sympathize with us when they are made to understand these things, to have their questions answered, but you can’t be confrontational about it. You and I are on the same side of this issue, and you’ve treated me like shit! What the hell would you have said if I came out as anti-gun? You’re destroying your own cause! Stop it!

As for gun control measures, here are a few that I support whole heartedly. Try not to shit yourself.

1) The IRS should offer a tax deduction on the purchase of gun safes. (I’m no accountant, but say 25% off a safe valued at $500+ or something along those lines.) This would allow more middle and lower class gun owners to have the means of properly storing their guns safely, which would reduce the number of firearm thefts and in-home negligent discharges. And it doesn’t just have to apply to gun owners, anyone can use a safe for any valuables or keepsakes. Everyone should have a safe, so everyone benefits by a tax credit/deduction. Whatever. (But keeping a gun in a safe defeats the purpose of self defense! Maybe safe manufacturers should bundle a biometric pistol safe in with their large vaults. Keep all the guns in the vault except for you home defense pistol, which is locked up in the nightstand/closet or on your person.)

2) Along those same lines, all new home constructions should be required to incorporate a fireproof vault-style safe into the structure. For the same reasons. Either put a safe in like it’s an appliance, or convert a closet into a walk in vault. Whatever the customer wants.

3) With all these new safes in homes, home insurance companies should offer a financial incentive for having one. Having a safe should lower your homeowners insurance premiums, since you’ve effectively lowered their liability. Make it easier for everyone to safely store their guns.

4) Universal backgrounds should be optional, for the purposes of self policing. That means a free, open, and public NICS system. I’ve written about this before. It’s not perfect, I’m just one guy, but I think it’s the right general idea. I know this though, if I were selling a gun to a guy at a gun show, IF I could use an app on my phone to scan his ID and run a NICS check, for my own peace of mind to ensure I’m not committing a felony, I would love the option to do so. And if they refused to let me, I wouldn’t make the sale. Simple as that.

5) If local law enforcement has intel that a disqualified person has taken possession of a firearm and don’t act to disarm and arrest them (for illegal possession) in a timely manner, the agency can be held criminally liable in the event that the individual commits a crime with the gun. The way that repeat offenders, domestic abusers, and other disqualified keep getting their hands on guns in this country is utterly INDEFENSIBLE. I am against the drug war, it’s a failed policy and needs to be ended, but I would vote to enact mandatory minimum sentences for criminals illegally possessing firearms in every election until I die. That’s something that could actually save lives and make people safer. If a convict leaves jail and illegally picks up a gun two days later, it’s probably because they’ve got a reason for needing a gun, like another crime. Lock them right back up for 90 days so that they can’t carry out any plans requiring a gun. Repeat as necessary.

So yeah, I am in favor of gun control. Just not the gun control you’re terrified of. We need things to change. There’s no reason for so many people to die in shootings, and we can lower that number. But the proposals coming from the left won’t do it because they don’t understand how it all works.

And you and the NRA won’t do it either, because you want it to be easier for everyone everywhere to have access to guns, which is not the answer. Restriction isn’t either.

The answers are in the middle. Like stopping the black market, which means stopping guns from being stolen out of homes. And gun owners having access to NICS so that we can police ourselves, and know that we aren’t contributing to criminal behavior.

There are still tons more answers yet to discover, why don’t you give it a shot. Be constructive instead of scared.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Wade Mason’s story.