We as a society need to redefine our relationship with risk. Rather than running away from it or trying to regulate it out of existence, we should learn how to evaluate it properly. Only then can we foster innovation--and enjoy greater freedom and success.The drive to totally eliminate risk in our society is not only doomed to failure, it is misguided in the extreme. Should we succeed at the level the current administration envisions, we become like the sad nation that was once England, peasants with big screen televisions. By all means guarantee equality of opportunity, but never equality of outcome, because that leads us to the grey hinderlands of "self-esteem" and programmed failure. RANT MODE OFF!
To my regular commenter NJ Larry, a wonderful comment on my previous post. Let me quote a little of it here:
The number of gun OWNERS vs active shooters is way out of proportion. My guesstimate is that 1 in 100 gun owners actually break out the gun more than 1 or 2 times a year. That is why SASS has like 70K or 80K members. Three quarters of which went out once and stopped. Why the acronym of the month gun match, IPSC, IDPA, 3 gun whatever has 50 guys show up.That is, unfortunately, mostly true. I would modify it somewhat by saying it's not that we aren't legion, it is that our legions won't march with us. I talked about how some years back I sat down with some of the top media strategist from the "gay pride" movement of the mid-1970s, arguably one of the most successful engineered social change of our time. If you remember, in the 1970s calling someone "gay" or "queer" was legally the same as calling someone a "murderer," de facto libel, a slur so egregious it had legal remedy (as I learned in my libel classes in my role as magazine editor). Think of how much things have changed in 3 some-odd decades!
That is why the NRA still floats around 3 to 4 million members. Why only 60K to 80K of the eligible NRA members actually vote for the Board of Directors. Those gun OWNERS who see themselves as active shooters or 2A participants is miniscule. Beyound miniscule, its GD microscopic.
Don't fool yourselves. Be realistic. MB has a great website and blog and forums. How many folks are active on these? DUDE COME ON ! A blog post gets 10 comments? The forum is filled with thousands of posts by the same handful of guys.
This is a VERY small community. Somehow we have been led to believe that WE are legion. BS. It is by the skin of our teeth that we maintain our rights. The only good thing is that the anti's are even smaller.
Their media spinners told me something I have never forgotten. "You have, what, half the country with guns? If we had 50% of the country, we would own the country. And yet you guys always play defense. We played defense, and it got us ostracized, beaten and killed. One free piece of advice — out of the closets and into the streets."
As Larry pointed out, owning a gun doesn't make you a member of the gun culture. It should, but it doesn't. I believe that part of the reason for that fact is we have for too long let our own worst examples step up and represent the culture. All my life I have heard, "It's safer to fly under the radar." Or, as the Japanese say, "the nail that sticks up will be hammered down." I read an "under the radar" comment as recently as last week on one of the big gun forums, with the person opining that the safest thing for a sport like cowboy action shooting was to stay under said radar.
I, along with compatriots like Paul Erhardt, Scotty Moore, Jim Shepherd, Tom Gresham and many other, have waged a very long, very public battle to do exactly the opposite...out of the closet and into the streets. And, NJ Larry, we have been successful...to an extent. I think we always believed that the whole industry would rally behind us, and many have — look at the companies who sponsor the television, radio and Internet shows, who back our often off-beat media initiatives, who stand and spit in the faces of our enemy (the great Ronnie Barrett comes immediately to mind).
One of the biggest problems we face is that we have yet to find a way to reach out to the the people who own — not shoot — guns; who plink once or twice a year; who would be with us if we gave them vapid reasons. That was part of my issue with the big NSSF 20/20 initiative...from the very beginning the process made no attempt to address the larger market. Instead, it defaulted to the standard shiboleths of "More Youth Involvement!" "Greater Retention of Existing Hunters and Shooters!" "Mentoring Programs!" Let's be honest here...those are the very things we've been bandying about for decades, and where has it gotten us? Not that a 20% increase in shooters and hunters isn't a noble goal and something the industry should pursue, but to me it has the feel of a holding action...playing defense.
I am not preaching divisiveness...to survie the next 4, maybe 8 years, we have to be a united front on defense of our rights. At the same time, we need an aggressive offensive to take the battle for the hearts and minds of the uncommitted to our enemies. That means innovative and, heaven help us, out-of-the-box thinking.