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Op-Ed: Why Beliefs Vs. Knowledge Makes All The Difference When It Comes To Gun Ideology

April 05, 2017

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We often think that people gather facts, develop an opinion and then gravitate toward a political view or ideology based on their findings. I have come to learn that we often form an opinion on a topic or adhere to an ideology, first, based on our experiences, then pick and choose the data that fits that which we believe to be true. We then often discard the data that doesn’t fit our current beliefs. Some experiences are real and some are perceived through media and what people tell us.

If it’s true that we all pick and choose the data that supports our existing beliefs, then the question is: can it apply to both Pro-Gunners and Anti-Gunners? Yes, it can but there is a distinct difference between the two.

The learned respect for guns is often gained through actual experience and often by being raised in a pro-gun environment. In other words, we develop real “hands on” experience and from that understanding, we build an opinion and develop beliefs. This is something that becomes engrained and internalized, almost like a cultural belief.

In other words, it becomes part of our life and we embrace it as part of who we are as people, whether it be for hunting, sport or self-defense. When something becomes part of our ideology in this way, it is integrated rather than taught and/or memorized. Being around guns all the time, shooting them, cleaning them and feeling comfortable with them and other gun-owners are experiences that are real, true and undeniable. It takes extreme outside forces to cause us to deter from something that is so inherently instinctive. When guns become part of our life in this way, it is part of our character.

When an anti-gun position is taken, it comes from beliefs that “guns are dangerous.” These beliefs are developed through things that Anti-Gunners hear from other people and from what they see in their media feeds. These things may or may not be true and most often do not come from personal experience. These beliefs are typically developed from what we are told or taught to believe.

An anti-gun position is based on the rejection of guns rather than the embracing of guns. This distinction is crucial because one is based in acceptance through real experience and one is based in avoidance, through fear and a lack of understanding or experience. In other words, a pro-gun position is based on something that is part of who we are and an anti-gun position is based on something we are afraid of or wish to avoid.

So, when someone accepts data that supports their pro-gun position, they are most often evaluating that data from a perspective of real experience. That gives it validity. When someone only gathers data that supports an anti-gun view, they are building a case against something. Most often, a case that is not based in experience and often with data that is inaccurate.  

This position is not typically based on integrated knowledge or experience, rather compiled data that is often fabricated. This is why an Anti-Gunner believes no one should have guns in public, while a gun-owner knows that his or her gun is actually making people safer. It’s the difference between thinking something is true and knowing something is true.

Does it make sense for gun-owners to give credence to an Anti-Gunner’s views on something they have no real experience with?

Of course not.

Stick to your guns,

Dan Wos

Dan Wos is an American entrepreneur, author, musician and NRA member. He is the author of ‘Good Gun Bad Guy – Behind the Lies of the Anti-Gun Radical’ The book reveals the corruption and deceit that comes from the anti-gun lobby as it attempts to vilify law-abiding, gun-owning Americans.