Until you've written about 3,300 posts over nearly 10 years now, read every one of over 62,000 comments and replied to thousands of them, you'll never have my perspective on just how very difficult it is to persuade people. I had a college roommate back in the day who used to tell people that I was very persuasive. Sometimes I wish I'd never heard that.
Paleo has been and is a great shot in the arm, because it's relatively easy to persuade people to give it a shot. There's real results. As a blogger, I want to have smart people on my side and as such, I take reasonable care to ensure that what I write has some logic & reason behind it, even though I don't often go out of my way to look up studies. And I'm always willing to change my mind. But even when I do, it's always more like a correction, not a complete reversal. Some exceptions, but even the potato deal is only a short term hack for me, not a way of life (I have another blog about the relegation of LC to its proper place, in draft).
I had no idea that when I began blogging about this gun debate thing—in response to the Newtown, Connecticut massacre of federally mandated Children as sitting ducks—that my intended single post would turn into two, then three, then four and I dunno, is this my fifth?
Paleo is an easy task to interest people. There's a number of elements stacked in your favor. Going against the tide in terms of self-defense involving armed citizens, even teachers in school? Anarchy? Atheism? These are tough nuts to crack, to even get people to think about.
And yet, here's a few comments beyond the emails I've received.
Richard, I have never commented on your site before, but I wanted to let you know that you convinced me to go buy my first gun. This is the finest arguments I’ve ever seen on either side of the debate.
I’m thinking the same thing. Really.
You can hit those links to see how I and other experienced gun owners jumped in to offer advice in how to do this right. This is a potentially deadly tool. Be good. Be cool. Never be a bad statistic. Ever. That is your ethic. Presence of mind. No excuses. Ever.
Then earlier today...
I’m actually glad you’ve devoted the amount of blog space to this issue that you have. It’s something that needs to be discussed, and positions need to be stated clearly. It’s not enough to feel something here; there has to be a sound argument behind those emotions. Guns are scary/cool doesn’t do shit. And while I can only speak for myself, I can say that you’ve moved me very close to your side on this issue. I’ve never handled a gun myself, and come from a pretty lefty family. So it probably isn’t surprising that I’ve always sympathized with the “ban everything” side of things. I can’t say that I’m going to go out, get the training, and get a gun. But I can say I’m considering it, and that’s something I would not have done previously. I’ve examined my previous position, and found my reasons for holding it wanting.
I’m with you, Alex.
Like I always say, one mind at a time. I'm humbled, because as long as I've been at this, it's my more common experience for people to simply evolve their thinking over time. Rare to have them come out and say "you changed my mind."
So I'm chalking this up to a modest feather in my cap, knowing in particular that in all the anti-gun rhetoric over the last few days, not one assured, competent and responsible gun owner went and tuned in their guns.
More Guns, in More Places, by More Competent People of Good Will and Character. Please let's make sure to stay on point: More Guns, not less. More responsible people trained in their use. More uncertainty on the part of predators. More on-scene defense and protection. More man-up.
Less, far less cowering to dinosaurs and whichever King or Court Time Magazine makes Person of the Year, all of whose time is so long past in the space of any truly rational and responsible mind.
Update: Leo, again, in comments below.
Many of the insights on this blog, both written by you and many of the informed commenters have helped to open useful dialogue amongst me and my friends. In the past week, gun violence has been the topic and armed (pun!) with information from this site these dialogues have effectively helped guide 6-8 formerly "ban-assault-weapons" types into some mind expansion. No yelling, no forcing the hand, just good facts and an appeal to logic. Trickle down at its best. Keep it up.