posted Mar 7, 2013, 8:13 AM by Ronnie V
updated Mar 22, 2013, 2:13 PM
Several days ago I suggested that we need to stop finding ourselves in “defense” mode when it comes to 2A rights. I suggested that the future of our 2A civil rights is going to depend on us transitioning into “offense” mode. Offense mode employs the use of strategies used in other successful civil rights movements: --Proactive visibility and immersion into mainstream society (coming out of the closet, if you will).
--Public education of what we “are” and “are not” through visibility, purposeful action and sharing of information.
We can’t rely on the media to inform the public about the facts related to law abiding gun owners, even when those facts are readily available. In fact, as we’ve seen repeatedly even in our local media, we must constantly battle their deliberate misinformation and distortion of facts, which is designed to create bias, fear and further the anti-gun agenda.
Anyway, later in the day after I wrote that suggestion, I happened to make a trip to the grocery store with a friend.
----Back story: Happily, I was returning to Cub Foods, which, if you’ll recall, I was kicked out of in December due to their (unposted) “gun ban” policy. I had been shopping with an open carry, holstered firearm and some hysterical hoplophobe reported me to the manager. As a result of your calls and letters to Cub Foods after I posted that experience, they reevaluated and reversed their “gun ban” policy in late January. (That info is actually germane to the experience I’m about to relay. If you missed the Cub Foods story, click here for the details:http://www.minnesota2a.com/action-alerts/updatecubfoodsbansgunsthosewithpermittocarry)
Since I’d just posted on this page about being “proactive and visible,” my friend and I were purposeful about attaching our “99.9% Law Abiding Gun Owner” buttons to our jackets before heading out to the store.
While in the check out line, the female cashier glanced up at me and said, “I like your button.” I said thank you, and told her that we were actively involved in fighting the bills in the MN legislature, and she said, “They’ve already taken too much from us, good luck.” My friend and I smiled and were pleasantly surprised to encounter a supporter.
Wheeling our groceries out, we stopped at the lotto counter and the female employee behind the counter asked, “What does that button mean?” Bracing for a possible sour reaction, I began to explain that we were lawful gun owners, as are 99.9% of gun owners, but yet we’re being targeted and blamed for the actions of deranged mass shooters and other criminals.
She almost squealed in appreciation and agreement and went on to tell us that she wants to get her permit to carry, and that she’s so sick of the anti-gun agenda coming from the administration. She even mentioned that “someone had been kicked out of the store a few weeks prior for open carrying…” and rolled her eyes. I told her that person was me, and that Cub Foods had reversed their policy after that incident based on our calls and letters. She was expressing so much excitement talking to us that I took my button off and handed it to her and said she could have it.
Meanwhile, another female employee, seeing our animated conversation, walked up and asked what we were talking about. We explained the buttons to her and that I was the person who’d been kicked out of the store back in December. The second woman went on to tell us that she and her husband were scheduled to take a class to get their permits to carry, so my friend gave her a button as well.
My friend and I left the store completely amazed at the positive encounters we had talking about gun rights with three random employees in a store that I’d previously been kicked out of for carrying a firearm, and that they were all females to boot!
Conclusion: Don’t believe what you read or hear in the media about “public opinion” on gun control. Trust your own observations and personal experiences based in every day reality and interactions. And continue to be visible and proactive in sharing information. We will turn the tide.