I enjoy Steven Crowder’s ‘Change My Mind’ segments immensely. This one in particular is illustrative of a fact we in the 2A community must constantly be more aware of.
Ignorance is far more prevalent and shapes far more opinions than those who are informed on the topic yet still descent. When was the last time you encountered someone with rudimentary functional knowledge of firearms that was rapidly anti-gun?
Education informs opinions and we in the 2A community must spend many times the efforts we do on educating as we do on our grand stand style proselytizing.
As an instructor one of the most common things I hear from students or from inquiring minds is ‘I did not know that’. On rare occasion it’s a ‘Well I still think…’ or ‘Well I don’t agree…’ but it becomes very difficult to argue against logic and understanding. It is that understanding that is the key for communication. We can shout the knowledge we understand to the side that disagrees but there are no ears more deaf than the uninformed.
That’s why the one on one interaction is more important than the grand stand. The one on one promotes real understanding. The knowledge transfer of formal classrooms and subject matter experts working alongside the well informed enthusiasts to expose the uninformed to knowledge and understanding. Knowledge without understanding is of little value.
I can know there are 500,000 to 3,000,000 defensive firearms uses each year but it takes more than two numbers in someone’s head to add the context that those are mothers defending their children from an aggressor breaking down the front door. A brother and husband preventing himself from being carjacked and kidnapped. A young woman preventing a sexual assault. Each defensive use was a human being, terrified, protecting their most precious lives. The knowledge is the numbers. The understanding is putting faces on each one.
If someone with understanding can still honestly argue they do not support private firearms ownership, self defense, or the second amendment of the United States Constitution then I can respect it while disagreeing because it is, at the least, an informed opinion.
I cannot respect an uninformed opinion on firearms any more than any other topic. I can’t put any value in a person or group ignoramus on firearm law, policy, and technology just as I can’t place any value on the same person or group’s opinion on traffic and vehicle policy if they don’t know how to operate a vehicle or the laws that surround driving. I can only remain polite.
We have come to a place where we equate ‘respecting’ someone’s opinion as synonymous to agreeing with it. Respecting the person and respecting the opinion are not the same.
Help spread understanding. One person or group at a time.