Off Target

Off Target

Steven Crowder’s latest man-on-the-street video trended on Facebook last week!

In it he shows how clueless people are about guns, even going so far as to rattle off absurd and made-up-sounding terms like “Fully Semi-Automatic” only to have his marks completely fooled!

What rubes!  Fools!  Schmucks!

People who are still completely and totally uninformed about guns and are actually now LESS informed for having participated in his farce!

Wait.  Why are we celebrating this?  Should I be HAPPY that Crowder makes fools of these people- both figuratively AND literally?  As a gun owner and conservative activist who believes strongly in the second amendment, how does laughing at a bunch of ill-informed people help me make my case that more gun control isn’t the solution to the horrific tragedies the Left blames on gun ownership?

Wouldn’t it be more productive to spend part of the video’s 16 minute run time on giving some of those passers-by… I don’t know, facts?

Another conservative YouTuber, Hunter Avallone, also did one of these man-on-the-street style interviews recently.  And, just like in Crowder’s video, he misleads the people who stopped to speak with him– but instead of keeping them in the dark about “which presidential candidate referred to at risk black youths as ‘super predators'” (Spoiler Alert: It was Hillary)  the unsuspecting interviewees had the record corrected for them.  Their responses varied, but they all generally agreed that they’d try to further investigate the quote in question.

Why couldn’t that tactic have been used in Crowder’s video?  Isn’t the higher value educating folks and bringing them to our side?  Why did he settle for low-hanging fruit by just pointing and laughing at people who at their core probably want the same outcome as us?

Yes, the same outcome.

What do I mean by that?  Well, why do people oppose the second amendment?  Is it because they’re the demonspawn of Stalin and Hitler, trying their best to destroy our freedom?

No.  They’re just sick and tired of seeing schools, malls, and movie theaters shot up.  They’re sick and tired of seeing the grieving friends and families of victims.  They’re upset at the evil in this world.

I am too.  I’m sure you are as well.  The only real difference between us and these anti-gun folks is the how, not the what.

We both value the lives of those lost in these tragedies, but we diverge on how to make it so that less of these horrific events happen.

They value life and believe that the government needs to protect people from themselves, i.e. banning or restricting guns.
We value life and believe people should not be prevented from protecting the precious lives of their friends and families.

We both want the same end results, but decades of media-bred distrust has put a wedge between our two groups- how are they supposed to trust our facts and statistics when they’ve been fed a whole different set of information?  Hell, would YOU trust stats from Media Matters?  No?  Then why would you expect THEM to trust stats from the NRA?  It makes no sense.

So, what are WE doing to try to build UP that trust so that we can open up a productive dialog with these folks?

I don’t know.  To be honest, it seems like very little.

But I can tell you one thing: If you were trying to build trust with me, making a video whose sole purpose is to malign me for being uninformed- ain’t gonna get you close.