“Your micro isn’t everybody’s macro”
This is a favorite expression of friend and mentor Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives.
Without putting words in his mouth, my understanding is that this comment is born out of people’s tendency to view things through the lens of their own experience and use that to determine viability and validity, whether that be a technique, piece of equipment, or lifestyle choice.
This is going to be a short series on my observations of that saying’s applicability in various segments of the gun world.
I will preface this by saying that these articles are not intended as any sort of hit piece or critique of any specific individual, merely my observations having spent time in various segments of the defensive space, as well as seeing how some ideas are received by folks outside of the self defense community.
My hope is to help bridge some perceived communications gaps that result in people talking past one another, to facilitate the transfer of the best possible information in the easiest possible manner.
GUN GUY MICRO ISN’T EVERYBODY’S MACRO:
There’s different flavors of “gun guy”. You hear a lot of epithets thrown around like “Fudd”, “Timmy”, “Gamer”, and the like, but I think that Prof. David Yamane quantifies it pretty well:
You’ve got Gun Culture 1.0 where people grew up with firearms as a part of daily life as much for sport or sustenance as defense against criminal violence.
Gun Culture 2.0 are the ones that may not have been the recipient of a .22 or .410 on their 6th birthday. Their childhood exposure to firearms may have been limited to non-existent. As adults they’ve felt compelled to pursue firearms as a means of protection.
The major thing that these two groups have in common, at least to some degree, is the acceptance of firearms ownership as logical, sensible, and relatively normal.
Especially given that gun ownership at large is vilified within certain segments of society, it’s not uncommon for gun owners/carriers to socialize and associate primarily with other gun owners. The challenge is that this creates a subculture that has definitions of “normal” and “acceptable” that don’t necessarily resonate with those outside their circle.
This, in and of itself, isn’t really a problem. After all, society is made up of lots of differing viewpoints. The challenge lies in the absolute incredulity that many gun owners/carriers have that people don’t see gun ownership as normal.
This issue is further compounded by the fact that all too often, when met with opposition, the 2A community likes to drape itself in this cloak of righteousness, and simply rebut critics with uncompelling talking points like “The Constitution is my carry permit” or “Shall not be infringed!”.
While they may be technically correct, they’re tactically ineffective. Zealotry, regardless of the actual position, does nothing but polarize the issue, and make the proponents seem unreasonable/unapproachable.
If someone’s having an interaction with a person that isn’t a staunch supporter of gun ownership, labeling them as a sheep or a coward does nothing to make the armed lifestyle more appealing or relatable.
While you’re likely never going to change the mind of someone who is adamantly anti-gun, the hardline ideologies will serve to alienate people who are otherwise gun-agnostic or possibly gun-curious.
If there’s an interaction with someone who’s managed to get this far in their life without being the victim of a violent crime, or otherwise experiencing something that would drive them to gun culture, trying to bully or shame them into ignoring the past 30+ years of their experience isn’t an effective way to build allies.
I don’t carry a gun out of fear, so why try and scare others into seeing things my way?