Responsible informed ownership
All my platoon sergeants (well the good ones) said the same thing, “Never lose your bearing”. In my particular case, that phrase usually meant “Don’t lose your cool”. If you know a bit about reading between the lines, or maybe a bit about me, you probably realize it means: “thou shalt not physically, or verbally abuse any idiot, of superior rank or in view of anyone of superior rank”. Left to their own devices idiots frequently dig their own holes and I don’t need to point it out to anyone. Trouble is I don’t have much patience when some idiot gets in my face.
Case in point – the Army, Japan
[If you’re in a rush you can skip the story. I’ll never know.]
I park my car on my way to work. I get out of the car, (not as easy as it sounds as it was a small Japanese car and I’m not) and commence walking to the complex where I work. All is well.
Enter the stranger —“That’s a crappy parking job”.
Stop. Turn. “Huh?” in the traditional ‘I wasn’t paying attention. Were you talking to me?” fashion.
I notice Stranger is the same rank as me. My lack of “Sir” and salute will not be a problem. All is well.
Stranger is not content with my response. “Can’t you see the lines? Where did you learn to drive?”
Now, in my world and many military places, ‘On time’ means 5 minutes early. At this point, my 5 minutes will probably be killed by the walk to the door and Stranger is holding me up here in the far end of the parking lot over what appears to be ‘parking symmetry’. Being late will terminate the current ‘All is well’ status.
Promote ‘Stranger’ to ‘Potential Idiot’ (PI).
Tune out PI’s ongoing verbal barrage.
Examine parked car. Note, car within painted parking lines in all four quadrants but by a somewhat narrower margin in the left rear.
Consider ignition key location, distance to driver’s door, probable time commitment for reentering vehicle and repositioning.
Carefully weigh desire to be on time vs. desire to appease PI.
Result: Walking faster and continuing to ignore PI will result in ‘on time arrival’. All is well.
Attempt to implement result. Path blocked by PI.
Promote Potential Idiot to Full Idiot status. (FI)
Internal self control gauge indicates “dangerous” level. All is not well.
I do not have the time to schedule this FI for an attitude adjustment.
I do not have time to fold myself in half and get back in this tuna can just so this FI will shut up about my parking skills.
Situation rapidly approaching ‘NOT GOOD’ status. Immediate Action required.
Turn. Grab rear bumper of car. Slide car the required 4 inches to the right. Release.
Note, FI has ceased verbal barrage.
Turn. Note absence of FI.
Re-initiate Plan A: “walking to work”. All is well.
Note, FI reached the door in record time.
Moral of the story: stay calm and idiots will find someone else to badger. No yelling or pummeling required.
What to do when some anti-gunner gets in your face? Be calm, cool, collected & informed (know your enemy). Never lose your bearing.
Know more than they do, know your sources & know your stats (gun grabbers love stats).Guy Smith over at Gun Facts has some good info on common myths and how to bust ‘em up. I grew up in a family of shouters so shouting is kind of a knee-jerk reaction for me in times of stress. I’m predisposed, you might say. I have learned over the years that people often (women especially) will immediately stop listening to WHAT you’re saying and focus on HOW you are saying it the moment you begin to yell. Calmly dispute their arguments and hopefully over time things will sink in. Never lose your bearing.
My personal approach I learned from an old army pal. He’s used it effectively on people who come by, knock on his door and want to talk about religion. Instead of being confrontational and pointing out errors, simply ask questions. Where did you hear that? How many? Where can I find that info? If you get really good they will lead you right up to the very point you want to make, and the look on their face when they say it out loud is priceless.
Our logical arguments are often lost on the grabbers and it’s frustrating when they refuse to see the light on even the simplest concepts like “criminals don’t care about the law, that’s why they are criminals”. Understanding how their minds work (or why they don’t work) helps us to know their motivations. I’ve always been inclined to lump people in the ‘too stupid to mess with’ category when their arguments don’t make sense. The fact they may have mental blocks and deep seated fears inhibiting their common sense and logic never occurred to me. Going off on someone who’s already spooked will only reinforce their fear and give them more ammo for their next encounter.
Unfortunately, scared people and misinformed people can still vote.
We have to know the law and know our politicians. Know how they vote, watch ‘em and yank ‘em up short when they try to do things we don’t want. It’s the information age; we can see it on TV or read it online or in the paper. We can use the media to help our cause.
“We the people”. The government’s power comes from the people. It’s time the government remembered it.
** it’s late and proofreading is overrated anyways… if it’s jumbled i’ll fix it later