Look, guys, I agree that Ted is passionate about the 2nd Amendment and that he gets his word out there because of his celebrity. But here's what I mean when I say he does more harm than good.
In the U.S.A. there are only three groups when it comes to the whole guns/hunting issue: the gun owners/hunters (us), the anti-gun owner/hunters and the non-gun owners/hunters. This last group is the largest by far. It's important to remember this because most of them can move in either direction on these issues. Since the percentage of hunters has been decreasing for years (kids rather play with their i-pods and be indoors) our place in America's future is not bright.
People who are on the extremes. Let's say the nut cases, like PETA on one side and Nugent on the other, tend to move the neutral folks away from their cause. They don't just turn people off, they move them in the opposite direction. Basically, Nugent sounds good to lots of hunters, and the PETA spokespeople sound just as good to the vegans, etc. But they are both just "preaching to the choir" while offending the folks in the middle. I have seen this happen countless times in my life - never once have seen bashing people over the head change their minds one bit.
To use an oft repeated phrase, "We need to win the hearts and minds" of these people who are in the middle - who by the way will be voting for or against hunting and gun laws, and when the time for that comes, I would much rather have them remembering a persuasive logical discussion than reacting to some rantings, threats and insults from a self-appointed representative of gun owners who they heard on TV, or You-Tube or read about in a magazine.
In my personal dealings with anti-gun or anti-hunting folks, I try to let them say what they believe, and then present rational arguments mixed with thought-provoking questions. Sort of a give-and-take approach. People listen to you if they believe you are listening to them. My bet in all of this is that my reasoning is better than theirs and that even if I bring them just a little closer to my way of thinking, or even just solidify their neutral position, I will have made progress in preserving our future as gun owners and hunters.
If the best we can do is advocate the hard line, we really aren't that different from the PETA types. The strategy and approach being basically the same. What we should try to do is impress people with logical beliefs, rational arguments, and in so doing win converts to our cause. Sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it.
Last edited by onehorse; 08-07-2009 at 09:45 PM.