Action, Meet Reaction

 

John Hawkins lays out, clearly and succinctly, the sheer hatred of conservatives that is currently manifesting itself on the left side of the aisle.

There’s no talk of changing their agenda (other than making it more radical), no talk of appealing to people who didn’t vote for them, no wondering what they did wrong.

That’s the problem. They don’t believe they did anything wrong. They believe the real issue is that you’re racist, sexist, subhuman pieces of garbage who need to be punished.

John’s article wraps up with these sobering words: “I wish it wasn’t that way, but that is what the modern Left has become and if we don’t acknowledge that reality, we’re kidding ourselves.”

Sadly, I agree. During the Democratic presidential debates last year, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that she was proud to consider the National Rifle Association as one of her enemies.

A candidate for President of the United States was proud to count millions and millions of her fellow citizens as an enemy.

Think about that for a second.

In that light, it’s only natural that the NRA would respond, and respond they have, with this recruiting commercial featuring Dana Loesch.

I had a hard, hard time putting my finger on what I didn’t like about that NRA ad. Yes, everything they say about violence from the radical left is true and correct, but what was bothering me was the fear-mongering that was going on in the ad itself.

Well that, and the “freedom’s clenched fist” tagline at the end, which treads way too close to “jack-booted thugs” territory for my liking.

Fear is a powerful, powerful emotion, and it works well as a motivating force. It works on me: I bought my first AR-15 in the autumn of 2007 because I knew I would eventually want to have one, and I was afraid (there’s that word again) that Obama would re-instate the assault weapons ban and make it more difficult to own one.

However, by its very nature, fear is a defensive mechanism, and not something you use to move forward. Fear is something you use to pull back, to retrench. Since the days of the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban, gun owners have had many, many reasons to believe that the government wants to disarm them, and the NRA has been very successful using that fear to motivate its members.

But the tide is turning. We’re winning. The majority of gun owners view their firearms as a necessary tool for the self-defense, just as a fire extinguisher is viewed as a necessary tool for fire prevention. Gun owners now know the confidence of effective self-protection, and fear tactics no longer work well with us.

So how do you tell the NRA’s message, but without the fear? What if the same images were used, but the words were different, perhaps something like this?

I am one of the millions of people who are NRA members, and I carry a firearm with me wherever and whenever I can. I understand that that when I carry a concealed firearm, I give up my “right” to be upset at the actions of others, but Igain the power to save my life and the lives of my loved ones when they and I need it most. That power lets me, and millions of responsible gun owners just like me, weather the storm of political violence that is upon us now, and that confidence will continue to keep us safe and drive us forward once this storm has passed.

Now it’s no longer “We, the NRA, are the Clenched Fist of Freedom”, it’s “We, the NRA, know that there’s hatred and violence out there, and we won’t let it affect us, We are safe, happy and secure, and we want you to be this way as well. Join us. You are not one the people who condone such actions, you believe, as we do, in free speech and the right live free from fear. We are the NRA, and we stand on your side.”

Conservatives are facing an angry mob of leftists, and it is tempting, very tempting, to give into to that anger and fight fire with fire. However, one of the first things you realize as an armed citizen is that Spider-Man was right: With greater power (like a sidearm on your hip) comes greater responsibility in your personal life. This is why serious self-defense instructors teach de-escalation and avoidance rather than violence as the solution to most potentially violent encounters, and it’s a lesson that we need to apply to to the real and potential violence that’s coming from the left right now. Should we give in all the time, in all situations? No, but we should be very, very picky about where we choose to say “Upon this rock, I will make my stand.”

We are not responsible for the actions of others (including the radical left). We are, however, 100 percent responsible for our own reactions.

What will our reaction be?

Published in Guns
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Members have made 33 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Robert McReynolds Member

    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    • #1
    • July 1, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • Like9 likes
  2. Profile photo of Phil Turmel Thatcher

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    I don’t doubt that defending from government agents could become a necessity eventually, but it is something that the American people seem to keep putting off with bouts of electoral sanity. I think I am far more likely to need my sidearm in a spontaneous leftist riot. In either case, situational awareness and a determination to choose the battlespace are critical.

    • #2
    • July 1, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    • Like7 likes
  3. Profile photo of Judithann Campbell Member

    Overall, I think the ads put out by the NRA lately have been fantastic. I understand why some might have reservations about this particular ad, but whoever is doing these ads is brilliant, even if this particular one might have slightly missed the mark.

    My husband comes from Europe, and has never exactly been a gun enthusiast, but he loves the ads the NRA is putting out, and he thought this latest ad was great. He is fed up with leftist violence, and he appreciates anyone who speaks out against it. He probably isn’t alone. If the NRA was attempting to reach people who don’t usually identify with the NRA, they succeeded, at least with my husband. I agree that this latest ad slightly missed the mark, but I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • #3
    • July 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm
    • Like10 likes
  4. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    I have a feeling that the days of leftist violence that marred the 1960s and 1970s are returning.

    • #4
    • July 1, 2017 at 5:04 pm
    • Like13 likes
  5. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    Jefferson wouldn’t laugh at you, so why would I?

    If you define the “agents” of a leftist regime without legalistic nicety, your position is plain common sense.

    • #5
    • July 1, 2017 at 5:09 pm
    • Like7 likes
  6. Profile photo of Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    I have a feeling that the days of leftist violence that marred the 1960s and 1970s are returning.

    And how. And unlike last time, they’ll have support from college administrators and from City Hall.

    Now, what will our response be?

    • #6
    • July 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm
    • Like6 likes
  7. Profile photo of Kevin Schulte Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    I have a feeling that the days of leftist violence that marred the 1960s and 1970s are returning.

    And how. And unlike last time, they’ll have support from college administrators and from City Hall.

    Now, what will our response be?

    Well their side lost over a thousand seats in the last 8 years. If they want a repeat of the 1960’s . Well, another thousand seats might put a big dent in city hall.

    Do you hear this Republican Party. Stop being paid shills for the money changers and start representing us. This is your ticket to monolithic Governance.

    • #7
    • July 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm
    • Like8 likes
  8. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    What will our reaction be?

    I’m going to have a beer now. The NRA always wants money. Yeah, a bit of an odd vibe.

    • #8
    • July 1, 2017 at 5:41 pm
    • Like5 likes
  9. Profile photo of Hypatia Member

    I know you to be Rico’s Second Amendment main man! But I’m not quite sure what you want us to answer to “What will our reaction be?”

    I mean, a Leftist just tried to decapitate the legislative branch of our government. With HIS gun.

    Are you saying we want to project the idea that under no circumstances would we defend ourselves with our guns if the Left comes shooting at us?

    Cuz I’ve read the Left has been buying guns like crazy since Nov. 8.

    i totally agree that one of the main reasons for an armed populace is to prevent governmental tyranny.

    It’s just, I’m no longer absolutely certain that I will never need to use the marksmanship I’m honing at sporting clays to fend off a militia of James Hodgkinsons.

    • #9
    • July 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm
    • Like5 likes
  10. Profile photo of Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I mean, a Leftist just tried to decapitate the legislative branch of our government. With HIS gun.

    Are you saying we want to project the idea that under no circumstances would we defend ourselves with our guns if the Left comes shooting at us?

    I’m saying there’s a lot of people on our side of things who are spoiling for a fight, and that feeling is incompatible with how we teach ourselves and others to fight only in the gravest extreme.

    We ain’t there yet.

    • #10
    • July 1, 2017 at 6:57 pm
    • Like3 likes
  11. Profile photo of MarciaJ Coolidge

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    I have a feeling that the days of leftist violence that marred the 1960s and 1970s are returning.

    I wish that I could think you were wrong.

    • #11
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:07 pm
    • Like6 likes
  12. Profile photo of Trinity Waters Thatcher

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    Gotcha, Robert. I have a video surveillance camera system around my house, and the primary reason for it is harassment by our local Gestapo. I’ve never used the recordings against actual perps, but have twice against those sworn to serve and protect. They approach my house with caution now, seeing the cameras and my prominently displayed 2nd amendment stickers on the windows. This, 20 miles south of Portland in my sanctuary city and state.

    • #12
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    • Like7 likes
  13. Profile photo of Trinity Waters Thatcher

    DocJay (View Comment):
    What will our reaction be?

    I’m going to have a beer now. The NRA always wants money. Yeah, a bit of an odd vibe.

    Money talks, bullshit walks.

    • #13
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm
    • Like3 likes
  14. Profile photo of Trinity Waters Thatcher

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I mean, a Leftist just tried to decapitate the legislative branch of our government. With HIS gun.

    Are you saying we want to project the idea that under no circumstances would we defend ourselves with our guns if the Left comes shooting at us?

    I’m saying there’s a lot of people on our side of things who are spoiling for a fight, and that feeling is incompatible with how we teach ourselves and others to fight only in the gravest extreme.

    We ain’t there yet.

    Wait five more minutes, then email Paul Ryan with your concerns? The rage is building exponentially.

    • #14
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    • Like2 likes
  15. Profile photo of Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I mean, a Leftist just tried to decapitate the legislative branch of our government. With HIS gun.

    Are you saying we want to project the idea that under no circumstances would we defend ourselves with our guns if the Left comes shooting at us?

    I’m saying there’s a lot of people on our side of things who are spoiling for a fight, and that feeling is incompatible with how we teach ourselves and others to fight only in the gravest extreme.

    We ain’t there yet.

    Wait five more minutes, then email Paul Ryan with your concerns? The rage is building exponentially.

    There is way too much “monkey dancing” going on here for me to endorse what the NRA (and others) are doing. The threat from the left can be ended without violence, and without yielding any ground on our part. They’re spoiled brats, not our equals. Let’s stop treating them as such.

    • #15
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm
    • Like5 likes
  16. Profile photo of Hypatia Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I mean, a Leftist just tried to decapitate the legislative branch of our government. With HIS gun.

    Are you saying we want to project the idea that under no circumstances would we defend ourselves with our guns if the Left comes shooting at us?

    I’m saying there’s a lot of people on our side of things who are spoiling for a fight, and that feeling is incompatible with how we teach ourselves and others to fight only in the gravest extreme.

    We ain’t there yet.

    Wait five more minutes, then email Paul Ryan with your concerns? The rage is building exponentially.

    There is way too much “monkey dancing” going on here for me to endorse what the NRA (and others) are doing. The threat from the left can be ended without violence, and without yielding any ground on our part. They’re spoiled brats, not our equals. Let’s stop treating them as such.

    Isn’t that the thing about guns? The great equalizer?

    • #16
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:51 pm
    • Like2 likes
  17. Profile photo of DocJay Member

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    DocJay (View Comment):
    What will our reaction be?

    I’m going to have a beer now. The NRA always wants money. Yeah, a bit of an odd vibe.

    Money talks, bs walks.

    They’ve had a few grand from me over the last 10 years. I miss Charlton Heston though, what a stud.

    • #17
    • July 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    • Like6 likes
  18. Profile photo of OmegaPaladin Coolidge

    I don’t see the ad that way.

    I hear it as saying: “We understand what you are seeing. We see it too – you aren’t going crazy, but the Left is. We have your back, patriot – you are not alone.” It’s a reassuring message.

    It’s a bit like the movie Obsession – it says “Yes, Islam has a serious terror problem, and it is normal to notice that. It is not bigotry -some uslims are seeing this and they are trying to change it.”

    • #18
    • July 1, 2017 at 8:07 pm
    • Like6 likes
  19. Profile photo of harrisventures Thatcher

    I think the ad is actually right on point. The left is creating an atmosphere of great hysteria. I never leave my home without being armed. I do not go to places that prohibit arms.

    Homicide rates are up across the board, policing is down.

    5 years ago, I never worried about going to the grocery store. Now, I make sure to keep my situational awareness at yellow at all times.

    I don’t go to where there may be protests, and I don’t hang out at nightclubs, but what happens if protesters shut down the highway? I’m peaceful, I don’t want any trouble, but it seems trouble is brewing and I think everybody needs to be ready for it.

    I think this ad is doing a service in alerting the NRA audience about the current political and cultural situation. I hope we can avert it, but I fear we may end up in a situation like South Africa before to long.

    I hope not, but in the meantime, I’m armed and keeping my eyes open…

    • #19
    • July 1, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    • Like4 likes
  20. Profile photo of harrisventures Thatcher

    Seen on facebook… a preview of what is to come:

    “The police in Berkeley allowed the commies to attack us conservatives with impunity on Feb. 2nd, March 4th and April 15th. On Feb. 2nd the commies routed everyone, injuring a bunch of people and causing massive amounts on damage. On March 4th we conservatives knew what to expect and stood our ground despite being outnumbered 3 to 1. On April 15th the numbers were more even but the commies had far more weapons. Despite our disadvantage the commies had their asses handed to them by patriots on the streets of Berkeley on April 15th. Repeat: The commies’ asses were handed to them. In Berkeley. By patriots. Then on April 27th we conservatives rallied again in Berkeley. We had the numbers and we were prepared in every way. The police *finally* decided to do their jobs after utterly failing to do so three (3) times! We FORCED the Berkeley PD to defend the free speech rights of conservatives from commie assault. There was no fighting on April 27th. We had a wonderful rally and a big party afterwards. Commies are hateful, evil and criminal. They need to be met with force. It is our responsibility to secure our own rights. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it still is. We will rally again in Berkeley in August. Our desire is that it will be peaceful and we’ll all just have a nice fun day in the park. However if the commies once again show up with other ideas, and if the police once again stand down, we will see about that then!”

    People are not willing to just sit back and take it anymore…

    • #20
    • July 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm
    • Like9 likes
  21. Profile photo of Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    DocJay (View Comment):
    What will our reaction be?

    I’m going to have a beer now. The NRA always wants money. Yeah, a bit of an odd vibe.

    Politics, mother’s milk. The NRA is a political organization.

    • #21
    • July 1, 2017 at 10:02 pm
    • Like1 like
  22. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    I don’t know about “blow back” but I can certainly disagree with that statement. The US Government knows it has a heavily armed population and I assume they know they’d lose any major conflict. I pay close attention, but the only vibe I get from the government is that if you give them a reason to come knocking on your door, like collecting automatic weapons and/or explosives, you’ll have a fight on your hands. Since I don’t, I do not see myself fighting “government agents” any time between now and when I die of old age.

    I feel it is far more likely that I might get swept up in a Leftist altercation or riot, since I see them getting more insane every day over Trump refusing to grant their wish and step down.

    • #22
    • July 1, 2017 at 10:24 pm
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    This is going to cause blow back but my primary reason for being armed is because one day I fully expect to have to defend my life and my family from government agents. You all can laugh at that and call it paranoid but if that isn’t your motivation then you aren’t paying attention.

    Gotcha, Robert. I have a video surveillance camera system around my house, and the primary reason for it is harassment by our local Gestapo. I’ve never used the recordings against actual perps, but have twice against those sworn to serve and protect. They approach my house with caution now, seeing the cameras and my prominently displayed 2nd amendment stickers on the windows. This, 20 miles south of Portland in my sanctuary city and state.

    You people need to get the Hell out of the Communists states where you live and get down to Texas where we respect your freedom. Unless you’re building a Koresh kind of compound, then please stay there. We already had one of those.

    • #23
    • July 1, 2017 at 10:27 pm
    • Like2 likes
  24. Profile photo of Kevin Schulte Member

    Accepting Berkeley or Portland, maybe a couple college campi. I don’t see this civil war. Yes troubling skies. However, I live 25 minutes from Ferguson Mo OH MY! My place of work is in the less than preferably side of St. Louis City. I drive thru many communities like Ferguson on the way to work. I live in middle class suburbia.

    I say all this to point out, the vast ( and I think hugely vast) amount citizens just want to live and let live. Hugely-mostly-vastly amount of our fellow Americans do not want civil war or civil unrest, me included. Also, the vast amount of the Hillary and Bernie supporters thou communist and hate hate hate Trump, don’t wish to riot.

    The more likely trouble I see is. Economic melt down. Then lots of lawlessness from a corrupt Godless populace. Then you better be CC .

    • #24
    • July 2, 2017 at 5:21 am
    • Like2 likes
  25. Profile photo of Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    Accepting Berkeley or Portland, maybe a couple college campi.

    I’ve been in Berkeley for a long time and I still have a hard time accepting it.

    • #25
    • July 2, 2017 at 10:16 am
    • Like3 likes
  26. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    Kevin Creighton: That power lets me, and millions of responsible gun owners just like me, weather the storm of political violence that is upon us now, and that confidence will continue to keep us safe and drive us forward once this storm has passed.

    I wish I could envision the storm passing; I can’t. And I tend to be optimistic. I expect things to get worse for a while, because I see no signs–yet–that things are getting better. I think the ad is fine. It’s powerful and truthful. And we do feel safer being armed.

    • #26
    • July 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    • Like5 likes
  27. Profile photo of J. D. Fitzpatrick Member

    It’s rare that I literally cannot watch a clip past 25 seconds, but that was the case for that NRA ad.

    I suppose it does what it needs to do to make money: express the emotions that its supporters are feeling. A lot of conservatives loathe the left, and many of them will see this ad and reach for their credit cards.

    But I found the reciprocal anger in the ad just as unpleasant as the rage displayed by the radical leftists.

    I agree with Kevin. This isn’t the way.

    • #27
    • July 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm
    • Like2 likes
  28. Profile photo of Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    J. D. Fitzpatrick (View Comment):
    reciprocal anger

    Borrowing that.

    • #28
    • July 3, 2017 at 4:47 am
    • LikeLike
  29. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Thank you, Kevin. This ad is exactly the wrong message gun owners should want to send. We are here to defend ourselves and our loved ones, not to pick a fight or let ourselves get goaded into one.

    • #29
    • July 3, 2017 at 8:09 am
    • Like1 like
  30. Profile photo of OmegaPaladin Coolidge

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):
    Thank you, Kevin. This ad is exactly the wrong message gun owners should want to send. We are here to defend ourselves and our loved ones, not to pick a fight or let ourselves get goaded into one.

    And where is the ad saying that? It never mentions using a firearm – it is saying that we are in crazy times and the NRA is in your corner. I’ve seen ads for Ricochet and National Review with a similar thrust

    Further, Antifa is outrageous. It is reasonable to look down on them. They need to be stopped by all legal means.

    This ad is actually more interesting in that it has a definite partisan slant to it. I guess the Blue Dogs really are dead, and democrats are the disarmament party

    I think Kevin’s ad would work as well just with more reassuring imagery – say a father / gun owner at the range then taking care of his kids. Maybe calmly staring down a crazy man or some other threat. Could also work with a mom.

    • #30
    • July 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm
    • Like1 like
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