Communicating with anti-gun people
How can you communicate more effectively with an anti–gun person who is using unhealthy defense mechanisms? There are no quick and easy answers. But there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Anger and attacks do not work
Most gun owners, when confronted by an anti–gun person, become angry and hostile. This is understandable, because gun owners increasingly face ridicule, persecution and discrimination. (If you don’t believe this, ask yourself if anyone would seriously introduce legislation to ban African–Americans, women, or Jews from post offices, schools, and churches. Even convicted felons aren’t banned from such places – but peaceful armed citizens are!) But an angry response is counterproductive.
It’s not helpful to attack the person you’re trying to persuade. Anything that makes him feel more fearful or angry will only intensify his defenses. Your goal is to help the person feel safe, and then to provide experiences and information that will help him to make informed decisions.
You should never try to break down a defense mechanism by force. Remember that defense mechanisms protect people from feelings they cannot handle, and if you take that protection away, you can cause serious psychological harm. And because defe
Raging Against Self Defense: A psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality, By Sarah Thompson, M.D.
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