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Day to day activism.

Discussion in 'Firearm Legislation & Activism' started by AndyinEverson, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    First off a couple of things.
    If a Mod. feels that this thread is in the wrong place , feel free to move it as needed.
    And as always the following are just my thoughts , I am not trying to tell anyone how to do anything.
    Just throwing some ideas out there ...

    In gun ownership , like almost anything else little things matter. In fact the little things you do may be the biggest.
    Things like being careful of how you carry yourself.
    We have loads of threads of how , when , where ,why etc ... to carry your pistol or what gun is best to carry.
    What I am referring to is how do your carry or present yourself?

    Case in point. As you can guess , I own guns. And many folks I meet are sometimes surprised to learn that I do indeed own guns.
    Comments like "But you are so nice." or " Yes , but you teach." , "But I like you / talking to you" or many others that are similar , are often heard.
    I guess that is because I do not fit into how most mainstream media portrays most gun owners.

    We all know the stereotype that most media loves to show.
    Do not be one of those individuals. We as gun owners need to be better than what is expected.
    Be respectful , do not spout off "bumper sticker" slogans , stick to facts , dress well , speak well.
    Being respectful isn't always easy. Especially when we feel attacked for something we like.
    Little things like being careful of how you transport your firearm to and from your shooting activity can go a long way to keeping the peace with a anti-gun neighbor.
    Using facts to refute someone's argument is far better than saying the same old slogan , no matter how true it is.
    People will judge you for how you speak and dress. I have a slight Southern twang in my speech and folks can sometimes mistake me for being dumb.
    I am not saying people from the South are dumb , but thanks to the media they are often shown that way.
    Rightly or wrongly there is a lot of truth to the adage "Clothes make the man."
    Folks tend to take a person who is not dressed slovenly or trendy, more serious than one who is.

    The things you do everyday can influence how people view gun owners and firearms in general.
    Hold yourself to a higher standard.
    So if you are cut above so to speak , your everyday actions might just be a powerful force in helping to defend our rights and activities .
    Maybe even more than a formal form of activism such as writing a letter , or signing a petition etc...
    Andy
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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  2. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I agree with most of your points. I consider every interaction I have with a non-gunner or anti-gunner a potential opportunity to educate them, and I'm open to doing so. I like to teach, and if that means teaching a complete newb about guns, I'm usually glad to do so. With that in mind, I don't bring guns up to just anyone. I don't tell people I carry and I don't show my carry gun except in very rare exceptions. Even most of my family have no idea I carry, because I know the reaction from at least some of them would be very negative.

    Changing minds is a very difficult task. In reality, only those that can truly be open to change can be changed. No argument, no matter how well researched, how well presented, how well supported, will change the mind of someone who is closed to any change. So many factors go in to what we believe and hold dear, to attempt to unhinge that and change someone's direction, is no small task. But, it can be done. If you have a willing participant, and you're willing to wade through what could be months or more of discussions, answering questions, listening, inviting, etc., it can definitely be done.

    But to your point regarding things such as how you dress. I do agree with this, but only up to a point. Since the term "slob" can be loosely defined, it's hard to say what truly will constitute that, at least in part. The audience helps define what is appropriate for dress or even how you speak. Take for example the industry I work in. I'm around blue collar workers and suits all day long. Having been a construction worker in the past, who is now in the office, I've seen both sides. I like both sides. But I'm quite aware that how I address/communicate to one may not necessarily be how I communicate to the other. And, sometimes, both can come together just fine. In the field, if we're out laying conduit in muddy trenches and a guy in a full on suit comes up to inspect what we're doing, I can tell you, they aren't going to receive him warmly, or will likely just dismiss whatever he has to say. They'd be more open to a guy that at least loses the tie and jacket, at least for a while. I've known some very fine people over the years that, outside of work don't get any more dressed up than an old t-shirt and beat-up jeans, with a ball cap on top. Their dress may not command the respect of a CEO, but they certainly command the respect of their peers.

    My point in that respect is, if you are hoping to impact someone, then consider who your audience is, even if it's just an audience of one. Over-dressing can be just as ineffective as under-dressing, depending on the circumstance. But beyond that, it also comes down to respecting the person you're talking with. Actually listening to them and their concerns, answering questions truthfully, logically, and, when necessary, admitting you don't have an answer to every question. Take time to do your research, and be as prepared as you can to answer with truth and facts. If you can keep the line of communication open, you may just have a chance to convince an anti that you're not a savage and they may just change their thinking. And yes, it can happen, I've seen it happen. It just doesn't happen as often as we'd like.

    We are our own best salespeople for gun rights, and sometimes our own worse enemies. I agree with Andy's premise that we need to think of this as tackling the gun-grabbing issue one person at a time. Every gun owner may have that opportunity, the question is, are you able to make an anti into a pro-gun friend, or turn them into an even bigger enemy?
     
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  3. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll change slob to slovenly ...You are correct "slob" is not a good word for what i wanted to say ....
    Thanks etrain.
    Andy
     
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  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't know that there's a need to change it. I just think the term can float a bit based on who you're going to be talking to. I still get your point and definitely agree, present the best picture you can, or, at least, don't give them something to be thinking about (such as your stained shirt??) so that they end up focusing on your appearance rather than listening to what you have to say.
     
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  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I can appreciate the above sentiments and stances but I fall under the slob category possibly... When I go to events I "hunter up" and wear boots, camo, jeans etc. When I meet you to exchange goods, I may be in flip flops, shorts and a hoodie in the middle of winter.

    The only time anyone sees me with a gun though is when I am hauling them in and out of the car to or from the range.

    I don't hide the fact that I am loading 3-4 rifles into my car or a handful of pistol cases.:rolleyes:

    My neighbors and I all get along and are friendly to differing degrees but we all know each other and I leave wooden backstops that I haven't bothered to take targets off of in my driveway most of the time so I guess I'm not too worried about my neighborhood knowing I have guns - that's what the safe is for.:cool:

    When out and about, unless it is during a day I'm openly carrying for a reason, I don't consider how I dress because the only person that will see my gun is one that is attacking me, at which point I'm not too worried about what they think of my clothes;).

    Now attitude and demeanor I do believe go a long way in your daily life but doubly so when armed - I always deescalate and avoid when possible. I'm a southern gentleman as I was raised to be, but I've been known to walk around town with a scowl on my face on off days. Either way, I've never had a conflict unless the Internet or a car was between myself and the aggressor.:D


    BTW - I've lost all my accent but put me in a room with someone with a southern drawl and I'll be talkin like that in about 15 sec lol.

    AND I've found using a bit of slang and drawl around some folk is disarming, so people maybe already think I'm dumb hahahao_O.
     
  6. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    There was a video a few years back by the NRA that showed DR, and professionals that carry
    the Antis actually in our minds have the same stereo type, we picture snadles, dreadslocks tiedye well you get the picture. The problem is negativity is often demonstrated in the worst way via a nut job on TV.
    Case in point UCC ? President Arrivals. Actually 99% were respectful he was here. If Hilary was here that would be different but like, him or hate him he is our President and CNN had a field day showing confederate flag carrying rednecks in truck with signs telling him to GTFH, and alike.
    I was here I saw it all it was total B.S. there were protesters but only three or four were dressed badly,no teeth, bad hair sitting on a truck yelling obscenities. But thats what people see.
    I still have feelings about the in my opinion idiots at the rally in 2014 that decided to carry in the Oregon Capital and then rack the slide to draw attention, seen the videos its 100% true they did that. Meanwhile we were all outside peacefully trying to stay warm and dry. The way to break stereotypes is to have professionals involved. Even the leader of a local lobby looks like grizzly Adams and thats what people see as stereotype. To each there own but the antis are just wanting for opportunities lets not feed the sheep .


    ( edit by the way I have a beard, mustache and soul patch so not saying I don't fit the stereo type either as I sorta do)
     
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  7. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Ha! That's funny - you just described my facial hair to a T:D
     
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  8. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    @DuneHopper, that's not you in the avatar?? :D

    Mmm, rain gear to a gathering on the mountain in February? :confused:
     
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  9. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Becoming a firearms owner with a permit to carry concealed has made me mellower. I "Think" a lot more before acting or opening my mouth. I dress grubby because of work, and many times wear work clothes to shop before/after work.
     
  10. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I already told you I didn't want to get my weatherproof gear out because it might have gotten dirty :p, or wet I think you pointed out:D.

    Boots and jeans are pretty rare for me these days, just range days or something going on in the woods. It used to be my 24/7 wear up till a few years ago.
     
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  11. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    We've met a couple of times, I would never have classified you as a slob, not even close. When I think slob, I think of some of the folks I encounter when I walk the Eastbank Esplanade - you can really get a sense of slob there.

    As for the shorts, I seem to know a lot of guys that wear them year round. I guess I don't give it a second thought as a result.

    Maybe we should classify your style as "southern gentleman casual" ;)
     
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  12. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'll agree with that. Even on my grumpiest days I'll stay on my best behavior when I have a gun on me.
     
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  13. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks!:)

    How about "Southern Comfortable" lol?

    I love the outdoors and grew up playing in the mud but as soon as I get home I gotta get clean!:D
     
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  14. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Next time we meet up I think I'll start throwing some "Drawl" at you and see what happens? :p

    You going to make it to the Tillamook clean-up?
     
  15. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    Had this at least 20 years now all though lots more grey in it then it used to have.
    Also had facial hair even before I met my wife over 30 years ago. But the setup now has been 20 years there abouts. Important part is Wife loves it so I keep it year round even summer.

    Hehe, nope. thats my alter ego.
     
  16. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else like me get weird looks checking mail in the snow with bear feet.
    I remember one time I had shorts, Tshirt no shoes it was 18 outside neighbor came to check mail in coat hat gloves. Looks and me standing on the ice barefoot on the ice and said , you must be from Oregon ? LOL Nope just always been outside until the last two years I was outside every day most the time. Don't like indoor much unless I am sleeping . No sure is that a stereo type to the activism kind here ?
     
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  17. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Have had the soul patch for probably 20 years - just before they started to get popular again. Wife met me bald and shaved and has preferred that up till a couple years ago, now the 5 o'clock shadow is worse then looking at a beard she says so now I get to play but mostly keep it trimmed except the fall.


    I have my next door neighbors with a load of kids and are real nice. We got a call from the neighbor across the street that she was stranded in Portland and could I feed her dogs.

    So just having had ink done on my arm I went across the street in 10" of snow in just shorts, no shoes.

    Walked across and noticed them making a snow man in the front yard with either friends or some family. I went and checked on the dogs and headed back, again with the side looks and what not.

    One of the little girls is very out going and friendly and waved at me, so I waved back and hollered over to them, "Why are y'all so over dressed for this weather!?!".

    That got some good laughs from the both the kids and the adults and broke the ice (pun?). They are good people and we have been neighbors a long time, it's not the strangest things they have seen me do I'm sure :D:p.


    @DuneHopper we have to meet up some day and spend half a day shooting the breeze; if we can keep it to half a day lol.
     
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  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Over here,I have met maybe 4 people who don't look like they own guns,not counting the kids. Little kids,lol
    There's that old saying,don't judge a book by it's cover. But in reality,we are all guilty of this
    I won't change this into a culture and dress topic but no matter if it's right or wrong,if you want respect you do need to be somewhat presentable.Dress like a militant and be treated like one.Dress like a thug with your pants hanging low and be treated appropriately.
    Dress and present yourself as a up standing citizen and be treated as such
    Should you be able to dress as you wish and still get respect from everyone? Sure
    It isn't reasonable to believe you will though

    Good topic BTW;)
     
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  19. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    :s0101:
     
  20. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I think about this. Most days I wear work clothes. That will be well worn, and possibly dirty, jeans. Work boots stained from grass and dirt, a bandanna and dark safety glasses. A flannel shirt, untucked, or just a whit tee shirt during warm weather. With my work chances are it will look dirty after work. I figure if i was just sitting outside the Safeway some people might hand me money! BUT, when I'm up and about I'm MOVING. I walk with purpose, with my head up, shoulders back, and alert!

    Not sure if people think dirt bag when they look at me or not? Don't care much, and I'm not going to come home and clean-up just to drop into Safeway to pick up some pork chops for dinner.
     
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