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News & Editorials

How to win friends and influence people regarding the RKBA
by Dr. Michael S. Brown


At a recent conference on the Second Amendment, there was a lot of discussion on how to reach the segment of the population that is not committed to an anti-gun ideology - those folks in the middle whose support we desperately need. Some surveys have been done which are backed up by the experience of some of the participants at the conference. Here are some of the conclusions which you will probably not like, but are worth hearing, I think.

1. Although most people kinda feel like the Second Amendment does guarantee what it says it does, they don't really care that much about it.

2. Very few people buy our arguments that gun ownership can prevent tyranny or genocide. In fact, each time we say that, many people tune us out thinking that we are crazy extremists. I guess they just aren't capable of seeing the big picture or taking an interest in something that does not affect their lives in the immediate future. Think back to your last history class - how many people were really interested in history (or government)?

3. The question of increasing government control of our lives is not one that keeps most people awake at night. When we bring up that subject, another big segment of the population puts up their mental shields and our arguments are wasted.

4. The primary issue that reliably generates support is the question of the right to self defense. Americans really believe that we have that right and we need to use that argument over and over in our writings and persuasive dialogs.

5. One other thing that works is pointing out the lies and distortions of the anti-gunners. Most people don't like it when they figure out that they have been lied to and many people have deserted the anti-gun side when they realize their inherent dishonesty.

6. Don't count on the Supreme Court, or any other court, to preserve our gun rights. From what the attorneys in the group told us, Judges as a group are elitist snobs who don't think that ordinary citizens should have guns. This is why good defense lawyers never use the Second Amendment as a defense. They know that most judges hate it. Only unskilled, low paid, public defenders ever mention the 2A as a defense, which helps explain why those cases are always poorly argued and they always loose. Even a positive Supreme Court ruling in the Emerson case would only be a small first step. There are probably a dozen separate issues associated with the RKBA that would need to be ruled on by the court if it decides to slowly start addressing this neglected issue.

7. Law students learn almost nothing about the Second Amendment in law school except perhaps that it refers to a right of the states. That imprint permeates our entire "judicial culture". Maybe this will slowly change since the flood of pro 2A law review articles has come out in the last decade, but it will take a few more decades for those to have much influence.


If you are trying to convert non committed people to our side, keep your opinions about tyranny, genocide, jackbooted thugs and the Second Amendment to yourself unless they specifically ask about it.

Don't count on the courts until the judicial culture can be changed. For the time being, political power is the ultimate weapon.

Keep talking about self defense and disproving the lies of the anti-gunners. Repetition is good. Hammer those points home again and again.

Take Care,

Mike Brown
Vancouver, WA

Dr. Michael Brown is an optometrist who moderates an email list for discussion of gun issues in Washington state. He may be reached at: or through his web site at:  Several of Dr. Brown's articles are also hosted on this web site, by clicking here.

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Both the oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms. Aristotle

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