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How to Convince a Liberal to Come to the Range

Here’s a simple list of ways to help you convince a liberal to visit a gun range.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re well aware of all the controversy around gun control in our nation. In the wake of many devastating terrorist attacks and a major national election, it’s easy for discussions on controversial topics such as this to lead to political arguments.

What we’ve found is that a good portion of the time, on the topic of gun control, the position of some on the left is often based on misinformation or a general unfamiliarity with guns. One simple way to address this is to ask those on the left to visit a gun range.

Problem is, that’s rarely on the top of the list for many liberals. So how are you supposed to get them there?

Here are five tactics that might help you convince them to check out your favorite local shooting spot.

The Smile Bet

Ah yes, the infamous smile bet. This is a personal favorite. When disagreeing with a liberal around gun safety and gun control, ask them to accept the smile bet challenge.

Tell them you’ll take them to the range. You’ll provide all of the firearms and ammunition. The only challenge they must accept is to go through the entire event without smiling or giving any impression of enjoyment.

Have them take a few shots at a close target with a small assortment of handguns, then lay behind the impressive optics of your long range weaponry. Often, if they’re even a mediocre shot, they’ll be excited at their performance and admit, they were “in control” the entire time.

On the rare occasion you have liberal friends that succeed at the smile challenge, worst case is that they likely witnessed a large collection of safe gun owners using ear and eye protection, properly handling their weapons, and nobody dying. Oh, and if these people are your friends, maybe consider finding some new ones. People who can’t smile at life’s little pleasures are lousy.

Disarm the Political Argument

If possible, remove politics from the equation. In today’s society it feels more like we’re only red and blue states as opposed to United States. It seems everything can quickly turn into a political argument, especially in the midst of an election.

Start by admitting there are many Republicans that are unfamiliar with gun ownership, who’s opinions may vary from your own. If done correctly, you could likely then get them to agree that there are many pro-gun Democrats as well.

For example, of the Democratic Senators that participated in the recent sit in for Gun Control, 26 of them are registered gun owners. You could also point them to popular organizations like the Democrats for Gun Ownership Facebook page, the Pro Gun Progressives group, or the Liberal Gun Club. For the sake of all involved, try to avoid citing anything by FOX News.

Set up a Shooting Schedule

Talk About Murder

This is one of the favorite arguments by gun control advocates. More guns means more death, right?

Oddly enough, for the educated, it’s also a favorite argument for Pro-Gun advocates.

Have a few honest statistics in your back pocket to support your claim. You could mention that in states with the most gun ownership, homicide rates trend much lower than those with low gun ownership. Discuss the murder rate in Chicago, an area with one of the tightest approaches to gun control in our country. Perhaps you could discuss how infrequent AR-style guns are used in murders in comparison with other weapons.

If you can get into an honest discussion about safety and approach the conversation from a “prove me wrong” or “prove yourself right” point of view, you might just be able to get them to agree to the experiment of checking out a gun range.

Offer an Exchange

An exchange is a simple way to get a liberal to experience the gun range. Offer to attend an event of their choosing or visit one of their clubs in exchange for them doing the same.

Take them to the range and have them experience the same effects as those above in the smile bet.

Locked Firearm

Familiarize Them in a Low Pressure Environment

Safely familiarize them with firearms and other equipment gun owners use, if you can. Often times the scare tactics of mainstream media or a simple unfamiliarity with firearms has corrupted the general impression of guns for some people. The simple thought of being near a gun can be scary.

This isn’t an attribute that only describes those who are left leaning. Many Republicans who haven’t grown up around firearms will experience the same feelings.

Try this. Chances are high you either have kids, know someone with kids, or have younger family members that can boost your position. Having a well-trained young person assist in making the case for safe gun ownership and operation can be quite compelling. Especially when done in the confines of a familiar location like your home, a place they’ve visited often.

Have your teenager walk through the basic steps of gun safety. Introduce them to noise cancelling ear protection and safety glasses. Other simple things like how to transfer a gun from one person to another, where to aim the barrel when not shooting, and highlighting the safety features of a firearm can help to quickly increase the comfort level of your liberal friend.

What other ideas have you tried?

Like what you see here? Click here to read more great hunting, outdoor, and shooting articles by Reid Vander Veen. Also, check him out on Twitter @ReidVanderVeen and on Instagram.


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How to Convince a Liberal to Come to the Range