I have a friend who keeps going to the range with me and then threatening to buy a gun of his own. He has the grudging support of his wife who got drawn in after a round of clays where she hit more than he did.
She has questions, though. And it has been enlightening for me to talk about familiar things with an open-minded person who comes at gun issues basically from what she sees on TV. She was perplexed about many of the exchanges in the current debate.
She listened patiently to my critique of the “bad gun formula of marginal supply controls as recipe for creeping disarmament.” Against scary looking pictures of AR-15’s it didn’t really click. But she was unwilling just to nod and move on. Her need to understand forced me to work a little harder on the details and to appreciate something I had lost sight of.
I realized that those of us who focus on these issues sometimes use rhetorical tools that fail to resonate for folks who are increasingly lured to think in pictures rather than words. This helped me understand why the bad gun formula as a slippery slope to full confiscation argument might not convince some people until you tell the long story and illustrate it in detail. I thought it might be worth doing that here.