“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.”
-Ancient Chinese proverb
On Saturday, I was watching FOX News when one of their liberal contributors, while talking about gun “control,” mentioned ammunition clips and magazines. She proceeded to complain about people making such a big deal regarding the differences between the two, displaying an attitude of “it doesn’t really matter.”
At which point I changed the TV channel.
Her ignorance regarding firearms is representative of what I’ve been witnessing in the gun “control” conversation after the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting. While this lack of knowledge about guns and their so-called “control” existed before, never have I’ve seen it so magnified to the degree it’s being displayed these days by politicians, journalists, bloggers, activists, Main Street, what have you.
Granted, a lot less Americans have grown up around guns than previous generations.
Still, pushing uniformed opinion as fact is inexcusable.
Which is why I’m going to suggest everyone who wishes to participate in the ongoing discussion about guns gets informed.
At risk of sounding like that talking head.
And subsequently getting tuned out by your audience.
This is what I recommend. First, learn as much as you can about firearms. There’s a lot of free, quality introductory material on these personal safety tools out there on the Internet. Query “gun basics” in a search engine and see what turns up.
Second, download and read Gun Facts, a free firearm reference book by Guy Smith I first blogged about back in December 2010. Regularly-updated, it’s now on version 6.1. From their website:
Gun Facts is a free e-book that debunks common myths about gun control. It is intended as a reference guide for journalists, activists, politicians, and other people interested in restoring honesty to the debate about guns, crime, and the 2nd Amendment.
Gun Facts has 112 pages of information. Divided into chapters based on gun control topics (assault weapons, ballistic finger printing, firearm availability, etc.), finding information is quick and easy.
Any doubts over what’s presented in Gun Facts? Try and debunk what’s been claimed.
I wrote in that December 2010 post:
While researching personal safety issues, it’s amazing how often I see people put forth arguments about guns without knowing the facts (now that I think about it, this just doesn’t apply to firearms). I learned a long time ago that if you want others to take you seriously- you’ve got to know what you’re talking about.”
I still feel the same way more than two years later. It’s time to get serious and learn the facts if you haven’t done so already.
Being an uninformed fool is one thing. However, pulling stuff out of one’s butt doesn’t cut it in a discussion about firearms and gun “control” where the implications of widely-disseminated misinformation can lead to future restrictions on a Constitutional right.
Gun Facts version 6.1 can be downloaded for free here.
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