The Pledge, Revisited

I haven’t made a big deal of it, but some time back I published The Pledge, my effort to bring civility to discussion about guns and gear. Specifically, the whole issue of Clips versus Magazines makes me laugh, as if it really matters.


Most recently comes this celebration of ignorance from California State Senator Kevin De Leon:

Okay, yes, what he says is ludicrous and totally wrong. But I believe that’s out of ignorance. What irks me is the way gun people make fun of what he says, as if that will change anyone’s opinion of what he is trying to do.

Yes, there is a difference between a clip and a magazine. Yes, that gun cannot shoot 30 rounds in half a second. But making fun of that does nothing to change the Senator’s mind about gun control, and, more importantly, it doesn’t change the minds of his voters, who are likely just as ignorant and just as determined to do away with the Second Amendment.

In fact, let’s try a thought experiment. Imagine that I am trying to sell rattlesnakes to school children. Imagine there is no law against that. So, you make an impassioned plea to change the law so that no one can sell poisonous animals to school children. You get up in front of the city council and make your case. It gets noticed on the news, and on YouTube.

Only, now I come in, and I make a rebuttal YouTube video that points out how stupid you are, how monstrously dumb, because, stupid, rattlesnakes aren’t poisonous at all. Stupid.

And, of course, I’m right. They aren’t poisonous at all. Yes, they are venomous. But does my pointing out how stupidly wrong you are change your mind about rattlesnakes? No. In fact, I am guessing (providing you are still reading this) that you are now more disposed to ban rattlesnakes of all sizes, and probably thinking about banning every snake and narrow animal down to earthworms as well.

Why? Because ridicule is a very poor tool for convincing someone to change their minds, and, in fact, more likely leads to the opposite.

So, this brings me to Pledge Item Number 1. Let’s stop ridiculing people who use incorrect gun terms like clip and magazine, especially pro-gun new gun owners. But let’s also extend this to the anti-gun side.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If the terminology they are using is inherently wrong, yes, let’s gently correct them, to the extent that we show how the use of the wrong terminology is dangerous or actually makes their proposals more onerous.

If we don’t, in my opinion we risk making the clash with those who want to take away our rights a lot worse, which would have unknown consequences at best.

So, I restate The Pledge:

When posting on-line, I will never:

1. criticize anyone for using “clip” instead of “magazine”

2. get in a discussion about which caliber is acceptable in a gunfight*

3. get in a discussion about whether you should use a Glock grip plug

4. criticize anyone about how often they clean their gun

5. criticize anyone for what cleaner or lubricant they use

6. call a shotgun a shottie

7. call a revolver a wheelgun

8. call Walmart “wally world “

9. post simply “+1”, “well said,” or some similar agreement, except as part of a retweet, thereby showing my endorsement and agreement

10. accuse anyone of kool-aid drinking

11. tell you that your gun or ammo is unsafe** or junk

12. change your words and say I “fixed it for ya”

13. tell you to move to a gun friendly state

14. use profanity frivolously

15. have a contest that is announced on one or more sites but only available to members of another site.  I.e. no “Facebook only” contests that are announced on Twitter.

* because of this.

** unless I think it is unsafe in my opinion as a Certified Glock Armorer, in which case I will tell you why I think so, and what I think you should do about it.