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Thread: "Personal Defense" v. "Gun Rights"

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    "Personal Defense" v. "Gun Rights"

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    Last edited by user; 01-17-2012 at 08:23 AM.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

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    It's how you characterize the conflict that defines the battlefield.

    In Sixteenth-Century Japan, there was a guy born as a peasant in a farming community; at that time, there was no caste system that prohibited his ascent, and he dreamed of becoming the most renowned and feared samurai in Japan. Because of his participation in some famous battles, and his political acumen, he did just that (the subject of Akira Kurosawa's "Samurai" trilogy). After the Tokugawa family instituted the hereditary shogunate, there was relative peace, and Miyamoto Musashi settled down and wrote "The Book of Five Rings", explaining his views regarding the management of conflict through the application of intelligent strategy. One of his key observations, I think, was the notion that it is a mistake to engage the enemy on his own battlefield. We apply the same principle when we talk about "the home court advantage" in sports. The trick is to make the enemy engage us on our battlefield.

    In the recent Virginia Citizens' Defense League alert regarding media coverage of 'lobby day', I found the following phrases, many used repetitively:

    Guns laws,
    the gun debate,
    gun-friendly bills,
    gun bills,
    gun-control,
    gun-control advocates and opponents,
    pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League,
    the gun-rights group, and
    pro-gun lawmakers.

    I didn't see anything in there at all on the subject of "personal defense"; the word, "defense" does not occur at all in the entire alert, except as a part of the name of the Virginia Citizens' Defense League.

    We are allowing ourselves to be placed on the defensive by our adoption of the characterizations made by the opponents of personal defense. It is obviously and plainly silly to have one's life governed by the worship of guns, but that's how we are portrayed. It is also silly to be focused on "the Second Amendment rights", because that is a mere abstraction, a principle. We are not being characterized as people who are interested in the practical implementation of that principle for the very good reasons for which that Amendment was added to the Constitution. Instead, we are characterized as people who worship some peculiar abstract principle, choosing one out of the entire Bill of Rights, and that we carry guns in the mistaken belief that the document says we can.

    What we don't seem to get is that is precisely why we are portrayed in that way - it conveys the image that we represent a threat to society. Either way, we're weird, whacked-out, wild-eyed, fringe group radical gun-rights nuts, not socially responsible, intellectually honest, and law-abiding citizens who recognize the dangers inherent in living in a world populated by humans, and who wish to have the capability of defending themselves, their homes, and their familes. Rather than being seen as the cornerstone of national defense, we are characterized as a threat to national defense, by people who support a governmental structure that has reason to fear its own citizens and wants the populace to be defenseless and dependent.

    When we buy into the opposition's view that it's all about guns, then there is no difference between ourselves and the violent criminals we seek the means to defend ourselves from. A man with a gun is a man with a gun, when the focus is on the gun. My suggestion: Stop talking about guns! Start talking about "personal defense". Promote your right to personal defense. It's all about personal defense, it's not about the guns. When you take out Badguy who's broken into your house at 2:00 a.m. and is threatening your children, what difference does it make whether you use a baseball bat or a shotgun, as long as it's effective?

    There are "gun laws", "gun restrictions" and so forth, and we can't deny that. But there is no "gun debate" - there is Lori Haas and her ilk talking to themselves about guns - we have no part in any such "debate", because we're about the present right, power, and duty of citizens to defend themselves, their homes, and their families. Instead, let's put THEM on the defensive, and ask them to join in the "personal defense debate" against the people who strive to outlaw personal defense. Stop explaining why we favor "gun rights" and demand that they explain why they are opposed to our being able to defend ourselves from violent criminals.

    There is a joke that resurfaces every now and then, to the effect that "gun control" consists in "using two hands". The reason that's funny is that it's not about the gun, it's about defense. That is the basic shift in the rhetoric I'm looking for. As long as we define ourselves in terms of guns, we lose.

    Here's an example: I've stopped talking about "global warming", and even "climate change". I'm now engaged in dialog over the topic of "weather reform". You see the shift in implication by the recharacterization of the concept. Here's the principle: possession is NOT "nine-tenths of the law": possession is one-tenth; how you CHARACTERIZE that possession is nine-tenths.

    PLEASE, stop talking about "gun rights" or "RKBA" or "2A Rights". Instead, illustrate your views about "personal defense" by showing how those ideas are instrumental in the real goal, which is simply the God-given (or "natural" if you like) right to defend yourself, your home, and your family against violent criminals. Show that murder-capital Prince George's County, Maryland is a "pro-crime" jurisdiction, because the citizens are legally prohibited from having the means to defend themselves, because they believe in, and have adopted, an insane theory they call "gun control".

    Become a "personal defense advocate", and make Lori Haas and the Brady Bunch explain why they're "personal defense opponents".
    Last edited by user; 01-18-2012 at 09:45 AM.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

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  3. #3
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Good post.

    Ten years ago I read a leftie-prog-democrap handbook on 'framing' of issues with which your statements resonated. I'm sure it's been too long for me to recover the title; let's see ... Off to the public library in Chuckton, SC....

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    I think you bring up a great argument user. The only problem I see is them turning around and saying "we aren't against self defense, you can defend yourself without a gun". Then we would say that since criminals have guns, we need access to the the same or better to defend ourselves. It becomes about the guns again. Maybe they'll then push 'less than lethals' and say we don't need guns. Ad nauseum.

    Nothing you said is untrue but I just wonder what happens when we see things through to their natural conclusion. I agree that it's in our best interest to advocate self defense, as opposed to gun rights but we should realize that it will boil down to guns anyway regardless of the rhetoric. So, yes your rhetoric sounds better in public debate and if that's the only thing you are shooting for, it's probably a win.
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    It is only January and the OP's remarks may well be the best of 2012.

    We are involved in a war of public relations in which we hold our truths (facts) to be self-evident. If you have ever been in court, then you know that truth has little bearing - what counts is the judge's perception of it. How do we get the message across? - Consider more the listeners.

    I agree that we should refine our goals and use the language that expresses that in the most effective way possible.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Good post.

    Ten years ago I read a leftie-prog-democrap handbook on 'framing' of issues with which your statements resonated. I'm sure it's been too long for me to recover the title; let's see ... Off to the public library in Chuckton, SC....
    I believe you are talkng about "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky. It is ESSENTIAL reading for ANYONE who is politically active. We "constitutional" types need to read this book so we know all the tricks and underhanded shenanigans that the left (and the right) try to pull on the public. By knowing our enemies, we can more easily defeat them.

    Also, another seminal work on PR is "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays (the father of modern Public Relations). Actually ANYTHING by Bernays is essential to anyone interested in PR and manipulating the opinions of the public.

    I have long maintained that the 2A rights movement would benefit TREMENDOUSLY from a strong education in Bernays and Alinsky. We have depended for far to long on the mistaken preseumption that the majority of the public actually is capable of logic, reason and critical thinking. They are not. They are brainwashed, ignorant, uneducated sheeple, and need to be fed a steady diet of emotional BS, anecdotal evidence, and argumentum ad abusrdum to hange their opinions because that is how they have been raised, educated, and are continually conditioned by the media and society. This is a sad but true fact in today'w world.

    Most people in the US today are incapable of critical thought. Read Charlotte Iserbyt--it has been the goal of the Educational Establishment to create a population of dumbed-down, emotional, non-scientific non-mathematical slaves for the last 50 year in the US and they have, in large part, been tremendously successful in this endevor.


    "If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril." --Sun Tzu
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-17-2012 at 11:05 PM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    It is only January and the OP's remarks may well be the best of 2012.

    We are involved in a war of public relations in which we hold our truths (facts) to be self-evident. If you have ever been in court, then you know that truth has little bearing - what counts is the judge's perception of it. How do we get the message across? - Consider more the listeners.

    This is the sort of talk that has gotten me banned off several other forums

    COMMENTS REMOVED: Bashing other gun rights group
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-18-2012 at 12:07 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Very well said, user.

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    I recall reading somewhere an entire list of typical gun control phrases/words, and a better pro rights phrase/word to replace them with. I can't for the life of me figure out where I saw it.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpg9999 View Post
    I recall reading somewhere an entire list of typical gun control phrases/words, and a better pro rights phrase/word to replace them with. I can't for the life of me figure out where I saw it.
    Maybe this one:
    http://www.gunlaws.com/politicallycorrect.htm
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Thanks, that's it!

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    Good Analogy

    I like how you invoke Miyamato Musashi. His tactics and measures of combat can be directly applied to modern hand-gunning and surviving a gunfight, or a hostile situation. The act of self defense is in and of itself a measure of ones combative skills, and sometimes one's willingness to accept a certain mindset. No Mind, No Sword: Allowing the natural and instinctive movements to happen in a free-flowing manner devoid of thought in regards to "winning or losing"~ To simply strike for the sake of hitting the target.
    - Some great reading indeed, The book of Five Rings. I recommend it for anyone who wields a weapon of any sort. Much of it can even be applied to daily life.

    - I also agree with your philosophy on words creating a perception that guide the thinking of the masses to a pre-defined resolution....(at least thats how I read it). This is why we call them sheeple.... and yes, i agree we need to consider our approach to getting the common opinion stacked on our side. Pro freedom, Pro self defense, Pro self empowerment to better infuse the common man and woman with the concepts of anti-victimization, self preservation ... Not being babysat by the state, neighbor, or common stranger.

    - A task worthy of warriors and heros indeed.

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    Last edited by Batousaii; 01-18-2012 at 02:39 AM.
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    Well written user.

    One thing on my mind though is that in having to discern between personal defense and gun rights is that the "target audience" (no pun intended) may well be those whose minds are long since made up that guns = evil and I'm not sure that would change simply by reframing the discussion topic. It's sort of like IBM where if you worked for them now, when you introduce yourself to someone do you start by explaining that you don't do "international business machines" anymore, or do you change the company name to one that nobody recognizes (thereby losing a significant amount of brand recognition), or do you tell them that you're with IBM and then go on to explain what you can do for them? As far as I know, they use the later approach.

    In my own mind, while I get the concept of personal defense, when I hear that term my ears immediately pickup on it and my thoughts go elsewhere. I'm a 5th degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, so "personal defense" has a whole different meaning to me and in hearing that I immediately want to know if someone is trying to introduce some other silly law or that they want to know if you have to "register" your hands/feet as weapons (yes, people ask that). Personally I'm not sure that I would want to have to explain that while I believe in "personal defense" and have a totally different concept of what that means to me (especially if you happen to be standing about 20 feet or less from me) and has meant to me for about 45 years now, that what I really mean in "this" particular context is guns. Especially if the discussion has to do with using guns for personal defense, and those advocating gun control.

    But I do get your well crafted point and think that it provides the basis for further thought and discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    I think you bring up a great argument user. The only problem I see is them turning around and saying "we aren't against self defense, you can defend yourself without a gun". Then we would say that since criminals have guns, we need access to the the same or better to defend ourselves. It becomes about the guns again. Maybe they'll then push 'less than lethals' and say we don't need guns. Ad nauseum.

    Nothing you said is untrue but I just wonder what happens when we see things through to their natural conclusion. I agree that it's in our best interest to advocate self defense, as opposed to gun rights but we should realize that it will boil down to guns anyway regardless of the rhetoric. So, yes your rhetoric sounds better in public debate and if that's the only thing you are shooting for, it's probably a win.
    I welcome the debate about which means of personal defense is most effective. When that happens, we'll be playing on our own turf, and we'll have already won. The enemy will have been lured into a battlefield of our choosing, and we'll have the tactical advantage at that point. Some folks will be happy with baseball bats, and some folks will need shotguns - entirely different argument from guns/no guns.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drdan01 View Post
    Well written user.

    One thing on my mind though is that in having to discern between personal defense and gun rights is that the "target audience" (no pun intended) may well be those whose minds are long since made up that guns = evil and I'm not sure that would change simply by reframing the discussion topic. It's sort of like IBM where if you worked for them now, when you introduce yourself to someone do you start by explaining that you don't do "international business machines" anymore, or do you change the company name to one that nobody recognizes (thereby losing a significant amount of brand recognition), or do you tell them that you're with IBM and then go on to explain what you can do for them? As far as I know, they use the later approach.

    In my own mind, while I get the concept of personal defense, when I hear that term my ears immediately pickup on it and my thoughts go elsewhere. I'm a 5th degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, so "personal defense" has a whole different meaning to me and in hearing that I immediately want to know if someone is trying to introduce some other silly law or that they want to know if you have to "register" your hands/feet as weapons (yes, people ask that). Personally I'm not sure that I would want to have to explain that while I believe in "personal defense" and have a totally different concept of what that means to me (especially if you happen to be standing about 20 feet or less from me) and has meant to me for about 45 years now, that what I really mean in "this" particular context is guns. Especially if the discussion has to do with using guns for personal defense, and those advocating gun control.

    But I do get your well crafted point and think that it provides the basis for further thought and discussion.
    If you are in any way active in teaching/instructing Tae Kwon Do in Virginia you will recognize the name Master Douglas Taylor - an old acquaintance and family friend. Have never heard him advocate that any of the martial arts was a satisfactory solution for all people in all circumstances - nor has Grand Master Dong.
    http://www.dongs.com/about/instructors/

    User's point is that the verbiage and therefore the response of the listener can be influenced/controlled directly as a result. User is recognized as a consummate professional in the history, language, law and use thereof in seeking satisfactory conclusions to our self defense problems. Public relations through effective communication being the point element in this quest. Effect control of the head of the beast and control the rest of the animal.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  16. #16
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I believe you are talkng about "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky.
    Possible but not likely for Alinsky's notoriety. As I hope I said, it was a handbook on framing issues.

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    Personal Protection

    I very appreciate what user has written. It is almost from the perspective of civil rights activism. My suggestion for improvement would be to use the phrase "Personal Protection" instead of "Personal Defense" for several reasons. One, "defense" for better or worse sounds, well, defensive; as such, it seems more negative than positive. It also seems more like a legal term, closely related to self defense, affirmative defense, defense attorneys, and so on. The term "Protection" in contrast has only positive connotations. A fire extinguisher is "fire protection" a gun is "crime protection" and so on. Who could rationally be against PROTECTION?

    And two, alliteration is always helpful, and "Personal Protection" is certainly that.

  18. #18
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Don't Think Of An Elephant!/ How Democrats And Progressives Can Win: Know Your Values

    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Good post.

    Ten years ago I read a leftie-prog-democrap handbook on 'framing' of issues with which your statements resonated. I'm sure it's been too long for me to recover the title; let's see ... Off to the public library in Chuckton, SC....
    Maybe this, based on size, 144 pp and pub date while I lived just down the street.

    Don't Think Of An Elephant!/ How Democrats And Progressives Can Win: Know Your Values And Frame The Debate: The Essential Guide For Progressives by George Lakoff

    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Think-Ele.../dp/1931498822

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    Possible but not likely for Alinsky's notoriety. As I hope I said, it was a handbook on framing issues.
    There is no debating that Alisnky is a first class dirtbag, a purveyor of dirty tricks, lies and propaganda.

    But to consider yourself a political activist, and NOT read his work is doing yourself and your cause a HUGE disservice. Knowing the "other side" and being prepared for their inevitable textbook attacks can only aid in your victory.

    Get it. Read it. Know it. Use it at a tool AGAINST it's devotees....

    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." --Sun Tzu, from "The Art of War"

    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-18-2012 at 06:05 PM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    (Spacer to allow for advertising that makes long, narrow columns of print difficult to read: the real post starts in the reply below.)
    I like how you did that.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

  21. #21
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    There is no debating that Alisnky is a first class dirtbag, a purceyor of dirty tricks, lies and propaganda.
    How presumptuous. There is another thread here, on etiquette, equally mistaken. I am not a "political activist" and my cause is mine. Y'all must needs to study up on the amen-corners of the the world - and their elites elders deacons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If you are in any way active in teaching/instructing Tae Kwon Do in Virginia you will recognize the name Master Douglas Taylor - an old acquaintance and family friend. Have never heard him advocate that any of the martial arts was a satisfactory solution for all people in all circumstances - nor has Grand Master Dong.
    http://www.dongs.com/about/instructors/

    User's point is that the verbiage and therefore the response of the listener can be influenced/controlled directly as a result. User is recognized as a consummate professional in the history, language, law and use thereof in seeking satisfactory conclusions to our self defense problems. Public relations through effective communication being the point element in this quest. Effect control of the head of the beast and control the rest of the animal.
    Not sure if I've met Douglas Taylor (don't recognize the name, but his face looks familiar). But I used to know Grand Master Dong as w-a-y back on my trips to Richmond I did from time to time work out at one of his studios (he knew one of my Grand Masters from TN).

    But I wasn't suggesting that martial arts was a satisfactory solution for all people, not even sure that I'd suggest it as the best solution for most people. I get user's point, think that it was well stated. I was simply saying that for me, personally, I'm not sure I can get past what my own personal perception of the term "personal defense" has always meant. Perhaps I'd have an easier time of that if we were talking about unarmed vs. armed....but then I suppose the whole conversation would center around what exactly is "armed."

    Interesting, it's harder today with Wikipedia and the protest, but I haven't found a definition for "personal defense."

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdan01 View Post
    --snip--
    Interesting, it's harder today with Wikipedia and the protest, but I haven't found a definition for "personal defense."
    Personal defense = self-defense of person.

    My favorite since it incorporates so many aspects - and it is first on Google search too.
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...m/Self-Defense

    Note see last definition on that page.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 01-18-2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: corrected format
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Personal defense = self-defense of person.

    My favorite since it incorporates so many aspects - and it is first on Google search too.
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...m/Self-Defense

    Note see last definition on that page.
    I do see that, but was looking for something that instead defined "personal defense" itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Personal defense = self-defense of person.
    Also, personal defense is more inclusive than self defense. Personal defense can encompass defense of self and others.

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