Why is it so hard for “gun people” to talk to anti-gunners and vice versa? Why is it so hard to create a meaningful dialogue and work toward some common ground and understanding?
Steven Crowder did an interesting crowd experiment that shows one reason why, and why there is no such thing as “common sense” gun control measures if the public doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
He set up a table in a public place with an assortment of firearms laid out on it. He then asked people who approached if they were gun owners.
If they were, he had them move along. If not, then he started asking them questions about the guns on the table, using the buzzwords that most often find their way into mass media reports about firearms like “fully semi-automatic.”
What it came down to was this: people with no firearms experience saw anything resembling an AR-15 or an AK-47 as far more dangerous than a rifle with a more traditional wood and steel construction.
One person says that a .30-06 rifle is less dangerous than a .223 AR-15, so much so, that nobody should even be allowed to own the latter.
The people Crowder talked to were also under the impression that AR-platform rifles are not used for hunting, nor could they be, when the rifle design is actually very popular among hunters, especially for small game in the more minimal calibers, and for all other game in larger calibers.
Crowder quotes a typical statistic: “Ninety-eight percent of all mass shootings are committed with an AR-15” and shows the fact at the bottom of the screen that “rifles of all kind only account for about 3 percent of all criminal firearm deaths.”
In fact, rifle deaths have actually decreased since President Bill Clinton’s Firearms Ban expired in 2004.
Crowder said, “We noticed a distinct trend. If a rifle was metal and wood, people were fine with it. If it was black and tactical-looking, they wanted it banned.”
So it seems to come down to the old ‘black gun’ stereotype for many people, according to the video experiment.
Then it moved on to handguns. Oddly enough, while handguns were the most vilified firearms in the media during the urban gang wars in the 1990s, they didn’t pose much of a threat to the people who came up to Crowder’s booth.
“I understand why some people feel they need a gun for self-defense, and I feel sorry for them,” one man said.
“Right, you should call someone else to come and protect your livelihood,” Crowder responded.
“That’s right,” the man said.
“It turns out that common sense opinions on guns doesn’t involve any actual knowledge of guns,” Crowder says.
Then he moves on to asking people about what calibers would be acceptable. One man thought the .30-06 round was too large, but that the rifle that fired it was acceptable. Another was vehemently against the AR-15, but was fine with the .223 round.
Just give it a watch, and try to not clench your fists too tight.