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Gun Owners Need to Be Aware of the Way They Portray Themselves
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July 6, 2011
2:26 pm
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editor
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I am sure you have seen it at some point in your life. A fellow gun owner who makes outrageous comments, handles a gun carelessly, or acts in such a manner that you cringe inside and wished they somehow represented another group of people, maybe the gun ban crowd, instead of the group to which you belong.

We call them “Strange Rangers” and they can be found in all areas of the country, from all socioeconomic classes, and in every shooting sport or discipline. These knuckle heads are the ones who make the front page of the newspaper or get interviewed on CNN to represent the “fair and balanced” reporting and are asked to speak for you and me about a particular gun story.

These people don’t represent me. Their reasons for having guns are not the same as mine. The media can go find the most extreme nut job they want to represent gun owners, and then the rest of us get painted with the same brush.

One trend that is particularly disturbing to me as an even-keeled, reasonable human being who sees the societal benefit of free and open firearms ownership, is the passage of laws with names like “Make My Day.”

We all know that the phrase Make My Day comes from Dirty Harry, just before he blows some punk’s head “Clean Off” with a .44 Magnum. Some of us also know that another, more reasonable name for the Make My Day law is the Castle Doctrine. This name for the law says that your home is your castle and as such you do not have a legal responsibility to retreat when defending your home. In some states, such as Utah, you have no responsibility to retreat from anywhere you have a legal right to be.

I am in all in favor of what the Make My Day laws do, but I think we need to be far less cavalier in how we refer to these laws so that we don’t give the media further ammunition (pun intended) to paint us all as nut jobs looking for an excuse to gun down another human being.

I carry a gun every day, sometimes more than one, and I also pray every night to God that should the need arise to take the life of another person to save the life of an innocent, that I will be prepared to do what needs to be done. I also pray that day will never come. Bet you will never see that in the mainstream media. Not unless all of us as gun owners make it a point to behave in such a manner that gun ownership will be seen as reasonable and positive. If we get portrayed as nut jobs, is it really the fault of the media, or is the blame much closer to home?

Dan Kidder

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“A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.”

July 6, 2011
2:35 pm
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elkmuzzleloader
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Well put.  This sure drives home a point of being responsible for or actions and be aware of what and when we are doing it, not just with guns but in everything that we do.  You never know who is watching so always use a positive image of yourself.

Do more than what is expected of you.

July 6, 2011
2:51 pm
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colorado hunter
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Dan, you make some excellent points and ones that are very close to my heart.  I would only add that we should always be aware of how we present ourselves and our sport – whichever part of it we are engaged in – and that would include how we conduct ourselves on internet forums where the whole world can read what we say, including those people who would do not share our interests and priorities.  I try to be careful that I don't give them any “ammo” to use against us.

July 6, 2011
5:36 pm
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m gardner
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If you noticed the Liberals are attacking pretty much anything the Constitutionalists or Conservatives do or say. It's the way they must operate because they have no valid arguement. There are several instances where they infiltrated Tea Party events and misbehaved purposefully to embarrass them. I wouldn't be surprised to find this happening to gunowners too. We need to be good citizens for sure so none of this sticks. Good post.

July 6, 2011
8:24 pm
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millerk420
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yeah i know a person like that.. it is sad because they are someone who is in a managment position at where i work and I could never tell them what they are doing is wrong because they believe they are one of these people that is ALWAYS right.  just.. sad.

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July 6, 2011
9:53 pm
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sl-eye_noyes
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well said!Smile

July 6, 2011
10:53 pm
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This reminds me of the irresponsible people that own pets, and don't take care of them… it gives everyone else a bad name. 

 

You should have to pass a I.Q. test before being allowed to own a gun! 

July 6, 2011
11:05 pm
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FlattenedGravy said:

This reminds me of the irresponsible people that own pets, and don't take care of them… it gives everyone else a bad name. 

 

You should have to pass a I.Q. test before being allowed to own a gun! 


sounds like a good idea!
July 7, 2011
4:58 am
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millerk420
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FlattenedGravy said:

This reminds me of the irresponsible people that own pets, and don't take care of them… it gives everyone else a bad name. 

 

You should have to pass a I.Q. test before being allowed to own a gun! 


yeah, we had this conversation before.. but it really isnt about IQ, its more about responisibility.  The guy i know is very intellegent, so much so you cant tell him that he is wrong and it makes it difficult to deal with him.  My son isnt as intellegant as him but my son is smarter when it comes to gun safety that is for sure.  But i know what you mean FG.

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July 7, 2011
10:31 am
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paul
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Editor said:

I am sure you have seen it at some point in your life. A fellow gun owner who makes outrageous comments, handles a gun carelessly, or acts in such a manner that you cringe inside and wished they somehow represented another group of people, maybe the gun ban crowd, instead of the group to which you belong.

We call them “Strange Rangers” and they can be found in all areas of the country, from all socioeconomic classes, and in every shooting sport or discipline. These knuckle heads are the ones who make the front page of the newspaper or get interviewed on CNN to represent the “fair and balanced” reporting and are asked to speak for you and me about a particular gun story.

These people don't represent me. Their reasons for having guns are not the same as mine. The media can go find the most extreme nut job they want to represent gun owners, and then the rest of us get painted with the same brush.

One trend that is particularly disturbing to me as an even-keeled, reasonable human being who sees the societal benefit of free and open firearms ownership, is the passage of laws with names like “Make My Day.”

We all know that the phrase Make My Day comes from Dirty Harry, just before he blows some punk's head “Clean Off” with a .44 Magnum. Some of us also know that another, more reasonable name for the Make My Day law is the Castle Doctrine. This name for the law says that your home is your castle and as such you do not have a legal responsibility to retreat when defending your home. In some states, such as Utah, you have no responsibility to retreat from anywhere you have a legal right to be.

I am in all in favor of what the Make My Day laws do, but I think we need to be far less cavalier in how we refer to these laws so that we don't give the media further ammunition (pun intended) to paint us all as nut jobs looking for an excuse to gun down another human being.

I carry a gun every day, sometimes more than one, and I also pray every night to God that should the need arise to take the life of another person to save the life of an innocent, that I will be prepared to do what needs to be done. I also pray that day will never come. Bet you will never see that in the mainstream media. Not unless all of us as gun owners make it a point to behave in such a manner that gun ownership will be seen as reasonable and positive. If we get portrayed as nut jobs, is it really the fault of the media, or is the blame much closer to home?


I think one of reasons for the unfortunate names some of these laws get (such as “make my day”) is because not wanting to use the political doublespeak the anti's use the writers of the laws wind up at a loss for words when naming it and wind up just latching onto some popular catch phrase. As far as the “strange Rangers” go, they're in all walks of life, they're someone who just can't be enthusiastic about something they have to go totally overboard. Unfortunately in the world of guns and the shooting sports they come off looking like just another neanderthal gun nut. Also unfortunately they are some of the most vocal.
July 7, 2011
11:54 am
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colorado hunter
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paul said:

Editor said:

I am sure you have seen it at some point in your life. A fellow gun owner who makes outrageous comments, handles a gun carelessly, or acts in such a manner that you cringe inside and wished they somehow represented another group of people, maybe the gun ban crowd, instead of the group to which you belong.

We call them “Strange Rangers” and they can be found in all areas of the country, from all socioeconomic classes, and in every shooting sport or discipline. These knuckle heads are the ones who make the front page of the newspaper or get interviewed on CNN to represent the “fair and balanced” reporting and are asked to speak for you and me about a particular gun story.

These people don't represent me. Their reasons for having guns are not the same as mine. The media can go find the most extreme nut job they want to represent gun owners, and then the rest of us get painted with the same brush.

One trend that is particularly disturbing to me as an even-keeled, reasonable human being who sees the societal benefit of free and open firearms ownership, is the passage of laws with names like “Make My Day.”

We all know that the phrase Make My Day comes from Dirty Harry, just before he blows some punk's head “Clean Off” with a .44 Magnum. Some of us also know that another, more reasonable name for the Make My Day law is the Castle Doctrine. This name for the law says that your home is your castle and as such you do not have a legal responsibility to retreat when defending your home. In some states, such as Utah, you have no responsibility to retreat from anywhere you have a legal right to be.

I am in all in favor of what the Make My Day laws do, but I think we need to be far less cavalier in how we refer to these laws so that we don't give the media further ammunition (pun intended) to paint us all as nut jobs looking for an excuse to gun down another human being.

I carry a gun every day, sometimes more than one, and I also pray every night to God that should the need arise to take the life of another person to save the life of an innocent, that I will be prepared to do what needs to be done. I also pray that day will never come. Bet you will never see that in the mainstream media. Not unless all of us as gun owners make it a point to behave in such a manner that gun ownership will be seen as reasonable and positive. If we get portrayed as nut jobs, is it really the fault of the media, or is the blame much closer to home?


I think one of reasons for the unfortunate names some of these laws get (such as “make my day”) is because not wanting to use the political doublespeak the anti's use the writers of the laws wind up at a loss for words when naming it and wind up just latching onto some popular catch phrase. As far as the “strange Rangers” go, they're in all walks of life, they're someone who just can't be enthusiastic about something they have to go totally overboard. Unfortunately in the world of guns and the shooting sports they come off looking like just another neanderthal gun nut. Also unfortunately they are some of the most vocal.

Well said, Paul.  The media gladly latches onto the “strange rangers” whenever a gun-related topic comes up, too.  They make more colorful news than those of us who are less colorful.
July 7, 2011
8:22 pm
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michael-572
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A-men

July 7, 2011
10:03 pm
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sl-eye_noyes
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I agree CH.

July 8, 2011
11:51 am
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Dusty Dego
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It's just like the media. It's like when an accident happens, eveyone has to slow down to view negativity. Folks are attracted to bad things that happen. It all the dilution of standard thoughts brought along by the few.

July 8, 2011
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I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell

Dan Kidder

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July 8, 2011
1:21 pm
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colorado hunter
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Editor said:

I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell


Well, I don't know about that – maybe – could be true – we can talk about it.  Maybe a different thread.  Wink
July 8, 2011
1:28 pm
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Editor said:

I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell


Is it a good thing or a bad thing to blend in with a crowd of crazy people?Wink
July 8, 2011
1:31 pm
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millerk420
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You might not be a famous person, but i bet you play one on TV, right?

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July 8, 2011
1:37 pm
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Editor said:

I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell


You at least have a cool video on Youtube… that has to count for something…!  Cool

July 8, 2011
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FlattenedGravy said:

Editor said:

I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell


You at least have a cool video on Youtube… that has to count for something…!  Cool

YEAH youtube is like TV..

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July 8, 2011
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sl-eye_noyes
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I think it is better than tv!!Smile

July 8, 2011
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millerk420 said:


YEAH youtube is like TV..
 

Youtube is better than T.V., you can choose what you want to watch!  I watch way more Youtube videos than actual T.V. shows!!!

July 8, 2011
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paul
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Editor said:

I'll never be famous. I am just not colorful enough to stand out in a crowd of crazy people.Yell


Me niether, but then I never have cared for crowds anyway.
July 9, 2011
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Editor said:

One trend that is particularly disturbing to me as an even-keeled, reasonable human being who sees the societal benefit of free and open firearms ownership, is the passage of laws with names like “Make My Day.
 . . . .  Some of us also know that another, more reasonable name for the Make My Day law is the Castle Doctrine. This name for the law says that your home is your castle and as such you do not have a legal responsibility to retreat when defending your home. In some states, such as Utah, you have no responsibility to retreat from anywhere you have a legal right to be.

I am in all in favor of what the Make My Day laws do, but I think we need to be far less cavalier in how we refer to these laws so that we don't give the media further ammunition (pun intended) to paint us all as nut jobs looking for an excuse to gun down another human being.


Hmmm.  I would not be surprised if the “Make My Day” sobriquet was given by those opposed to civil rights, rather than by the pro-civil rights gun owners.  In any event, we should avoid using such negative terms, and instead use more appropriate and accurate terms, such as “Castle” laws (or doctrine). 

Words matter:  there is a reason why Madison Avenue types get the big bucks.  
Consider one of the latest:  helping to reign in the Federal budget deficit by “reducing tax expenditures”  — where the phrase in quotes means “raising taxes”.

That is one reason I like the term “modern sports rifle” to refer to the AR-15 and similarly styled rifles:  it accurately describes its usage without giving a handle for negativity.

July 9, 2011
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What a great post Dan. And what great comments throughout. Concerning our teaching people to be responsible – here here. Someone said it already, but it is worth repeating. More things are caught than taught. If you have kids you know what that means. Our influence is not voluntary. If what we do doesn't follow what we say, what we do speaks louder and gives people (however poorly reasoned) license to follow suit. All of what has been posted has stirred me and brought to mind something I've been reading. 

I am reading the biography of John Adams right now. I guess I didn't pay much attention in history class, but am reading about how he was the attorney for the British soldiers that shot and killed people in the Boston Massacre. Yes, one of our founding fathers defending those we were abdicating from to build our great nation. To try and keep this as short as possible, the Boston Massacre was an incident where a mob was attracting a single British guard. The guard was joined by his captain and other support and many “Americans” were shot and killed. The reason I am bringing this example is to say we must stand for the truth and not just our opinion. We must love the truth and what is right so much that we are willing to risk doing what is most unpopular and in some cases dangerous. Here is John Adams' closing argument as he defended the British soldiers…

“We have entertained a great variety of phrases to avoid calling this sort of people a mob (referring to the American plantiffs who attacted the British soldiers in the trial). Some call them shavers (young boys), some call them geniuses. The plain English is, gentlemen, it was most probably a motley rabble of saucy boys, (lots of other names referring to race) … and outlandish jackards. And why we should scrupple to call such a people a mob, I can't conceive, unless the name is too respectable for them. The sun is not about to stand still or go out, nor the rivers to dry up because there was a mob in Boston on the 5th of March that attacked a party of soldiers… Soldiers quartered in a populous town will always occasion two mobs where they prevent one. They are wretched conservators of the peace. He described how the shrieking “rabble” pelted the soldiers with snowballs, ice, stones, oyster shells, sticks, “every species of rubbish” as a cry went up to “Kill them!, Kill them!” One soldier had been knocked down with a club, then hit again as soon as he could rise. Adams then asked, “Do you believe he should behave like a stoic philosopher, lost in apathy?”  Adams argued that “self-defense” was the canon of natural law and that better many guilty persons (these Americans) be punished, than one innocent person should be punished. He said, “the reason is because it is of more importantance to community, that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilty should be punished”. “Facts are stubborn things”, he told the jury, “and whatever be our wishes, our inclinations or the dictums of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence”. 

(Thanks for tolerating the lengthy post)… I point out Adam's profound words and bold position to stand for truth, because we need to hold to account violators and abusers of gun use and rights even harsher than the left. BUT (big but) to give ourselves credabilty we must bring reason to the party and avoid swinging to another extreme like those “Strange Rangers”. Speak truth, live truth, defend truth – be accountable and hold everyone accountable – not just the left. Those of us guarding our Castles and trying to fight the good fight ought never be ashamed to humble ourselves if we up, but also never be afraid to speak the truth, with gentleness and respect, to those that are acting foolishly, misrepresenting what is dear to us or are just plain ignorant. It is all in the approach. A harsh word stirs up anger, and a gentle word turns away wrath.

July 10, 2011
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yotebooter said:

(Thanks for tolerating the lengthy post)… I point out Adam's profound words and bold position to stand for truth, because we need to hold to account violators and abusers of gun use and rights even harsher than the left. BUT (big but) to give ourselves credabilty we must bring reason to the party and avoid swinging to another extreme like those “Strange Rangers”. Speak truth, live truth, defend truth – be accountable and hold everyone accountable – not just the left. Those of us guarding our Castles and trying to fight the good fight ought never be ashamed to humble ourselves if we up, but also never be afraid to speak the truth, with gentleness and respect, to those that are acting foolishly, misrepresenting what is dear to us or are just plain ignorant. It is all in the approach. A harsh word stirs up anger, and a gentle word turns away wrath.


No apology needed for the length of your post, Yotebooter.  It was worth every word. 

All the serious “gun folk” that I know – and that would be a considerable number of people – are good, hard-working, humble, and decent people who mainly just want to be left alone.  As you point out, we ought to be diligent about policing our own ranks if only so that the fringe “Strange Rangers” or “Mall Ninjas” don't represent the rest of us.  Welll said and an excellent post.

July 10, 2011
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Well Said Wink

July 10, 2011
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yotebooter said:

(Thanks for tolerating the lengthy post)… I point out Adam's profound words and bold position to stand for truth, because we need to hold to account violators and abusers of gun use and rights even harsher than the left. BUT (big but) to give ourselves credabilty we must bring reason to the party and avoid swinging to another extreme like those “Strange Rangers”. Speak truth, live truth, defend truth – be accountable and hold everyone accountable – not just the left. Those of us guarding our Castles and trying to fight the good fight ought never be ashamed to humble ourselves if we up, but also never be afraid to speak the truth, with gentleness and respect, to those that are acting foolishly, misrepresenting what is dear to us or are just plain ignorant. It is all in the approach. A harsh word stirs up anger, and a gentle word turns away wrath.


You've said a mouthful, yotebooter.

Of possible interest:  all but two of the soldiers were found not guilty;  the two were found guilty of manslaughter, and not murder.  The trial as a whole was quite a tribute to the American justice system. 

July 10, 2011
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Glad you enjoyed the post. Also interesting is that Adams defended 4 American sailors for killing a British Naval Officer who had boarded their ship with a “press gang” (impressment is like shanghi – ing someone) intending to grab them and force them to serve in the British Navy. They were acquitted on grounds of self defense. The truth for what is right stood firm in both these cases. Lots of stories like these in this biography of John Adams. The book is amazing. I'd recommend it to anyone. It is by David McCullough.

July 10, 2011
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yotebooter said:

Glad you enjoyed the post. Also interesting is that Adams defended 4 American sailors for killing a British Naval Officer who had boarded their ship with a “press gang” (impressment is like shanghi – ing someone) intending to grab them and force them to serve in the British Navy. They were acquitted on grounds of self defense. The truth for what is right stood firm in both these cases. Lots of stories like these in this biography of John Adams. The book is amazing. I'd recommend it to anyone. It is by David McCullough.


Thanks for the book recommendation:  I've placed a hold for it at our local library.

Another interesting thing on this topic is that the American colonists already had quite a few of the rights we associate with the United States, by virtue of their being British subjects.  We lament the loss of rights in this country, but we are not alone in the Anglosphere in suffering such a fate. 

We've a long way to go to regain many freedoms, but each step helps. 

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