09/17/2013 12:54 pm ET

How to Talk to a Gun Nut (If You Must)

Anyone who participates in online gun conversations has seen entries like this.

"You have no freedom to tell me what I can or can not do. Me packing a firearm is not a danger to you unless you are dim-witted enough to attack me. You have no right or freedom not to be surrounded by people in the USA that has firearms. The real nut cases are sleazy cowardly people like you that are so frightened by fire arms that you would allow crooks only to be armed."

Second opinion?

"F-- you you anti- freedom, anti- American piece off (sic) sh--. I will own any gun I desire and pack them where ever I desire and no freedom hating anti- American scumbag like you is ever going to tell me any difference (sic)."

Thanks for that. While gun extremists term themselves "law abiding," their quick tempers and threats make their claim that society is safer with them packing, well, doubtful. It reminds you of the bumper sticker, "Support Mental Health or I'll Kill You."

In addition to their paranoia -- from George Zimmerman to Oscar Pistorius, who was charged with killing his girlfriend thinking she was intruder -- gun extremists "personalize" politics, which makes them even more belligerent and paranoid, in classic bully fashion. For example, in response to a call for better gun regulation, one online poster wrote:

"Yet again, someone would have preferred my parents be beaten to death and killed while I grew up as an orphan. Go f-- yourself a--holes."


And who can forget the former NRA president Charlton Heston's persecution histrionics, defying his enemies to take his weapon of his "cold dead hands" as he waved a rifle replica in the air?

Still, after their threats, paranoia and persecution fantasies have been aired, most gun extremists settle on a few, shopworn arguments that a fourth-grader could refute.

1. Gun laws don't work -- look at Chicago.

Gun advocates must be disingenuous when they pretend that weapons can't cross city and state lines and that there's no such thing as the Iron Pipeline. Most crime guns come from states like Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and North and South Carolina which have loose guns laws -- including the crime guns in Chicago.

2. Criminals won't obey gun laws so why have them?

Why have laws against running red lights? Scofflaws won't obey them Why have red lights at all? Why have laws against stealing or assault? Why have laws against drinking and driving? Drunks won't obey them. This "self-policing" tack is asinine, with its best exhibit being Somalia.

3. Let's outlaw baseball bats and knives -- they kill too

An online poster wrote: "On the same day as the Newtown shooting a crazy but bag in China killed 26 kids with a knife! (how ironic, that doesn't help your BS, huh?)" Actually none of the children died and only seven required hospitalization. Who's heard of a drive by stabbing or mass baseball clubbing?

4. All we need to do is enforce existing gun laws

"Existing gun laws" allowed Seung-Hui Cho, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, Jared Loughner and James Holmes to buy their murder weapons. Existing laws prohibit a gun registry, require background checks be destroyed in 24 hours and limit use of gun trace data. Existing laws help criminals and criminal dealers who are estimated at 40 percent of gun manufacturers' sales.

5. Gun crime occurs because of "gun-free zones"

Columbine had an armed guard, Virginia Tech had a police department and Ft. Hood was a military base. Nor did a gun spare Sean Collier, the MIT police officer killed by Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. If gun free zones are so dangerous why are there no shootings at corporate headquarters including the NRA's which also bans guns?

Are you done asking for sane gun laws? Force them! Join the thousands making the Tell and Compel pledge.