March 24th, 2009 04:46 PM
Improving Our Image
A Few Pet Peeves
As people who are pro-gun and pro-second amendment, we are frequently viewed by the general public as being backwoods hicks or uneducated buffoons simply because we exercise our right to defend ourselves and the ones we love. While I readily admit that people with such opinions are usually “sheep,” I still think that it is incumbent upon us to present our very best face to the general public. To this end I would like to beg everyone’s indulgence as I bring up some things that might help us to improve our presentation to those outside the gun community. As I am a teacher, my own suggestions will likely differ from others. Also, since I am a teacher and since I want to make it clear that I am not trying to single out anyone on this forum, I will restrict my initial comments to things that arise from being a teacher as well as a pro-gun citizen. I also encourage people to add to my list of pet peeves.
A few weeks ago I bought a gun magazine at the supermarket. It was not one of the top two or three shooting sports magazines, but it was still a well known magazine. When I got home and began reading it, I was struck by the fact that there were, on average, 3-4 significant typos on virtually every page. I began to wonder what the non-gun public would think about gun enthusiasts were they to come across this particular magazine. After all, they already do not expect us to be able to read, much less write. The next time I went to the supermarket I flipped through the latest issue of the same magazine and found that there were as many major errors as in the previous issue. I put the magazine back on the shelf and walked away.
This made me think about how sloppy my own writing can be when posting to forums like Def-Carry. I realize that the internet is a place for informal communication and that one should not get one’s knickers in a knot over the occasional grammatical error or typo. However, since we are already viewed with suspicion by the general public, I am of the opinion that we need to do our best not to reinforce these stereotypes, whether we are writing in a national magazine, in an online forum, or just speaking with friends. To this end I would like to mention some things that I frequently see or hear that really stand out to me. These are merely observations made out of good will.
The phrase: “I could care less.”
If you could care less, then your level of care must be high enough that your level of care could be even lower than it is. The correct expression is “I could not care less,” or “I couldn’t care less,” in that your level of care is so low that it could not possibly be lower.
“could of,” “should of,” “would of,” and etc.
While this sounds like it is correct when said aloud, “could’ve,” should’ve,” and “would’ve” are correct and are contractions of “could have,” should have,” and “would have.”
I anticipate that someone else's pet peeve might be people who try to correct their grammar or people who have pet peeves. I offer the above out of a spirit of good will, and out of a desire for supporters of the second amendment to be recognized as the thoughtful, literate people that they truly are.
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March 24th, 2009 05:22 PM
Your argument of significant typos in a magazine is pointless. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our country can't get through a major network newspaper without a plethora of significant typos. I'm not sure how a few in one of our "pro" magazines would make any difference at this point.
I submit that you will probably find the same number of errors or greater in the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
"My God David, We're a Civilized society."
"Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
-The Mist (2007)
March 24th, 2009 07:45 PM
I have the same Pet Peeves, but I am guilty as charged occasionally.
Originally Posted by Firkin
I find myself driven to distraction by incomplete sentences or poor sentence structure. Thanks for the post!
March 24th, 2009 08:00 PM
You wana "improve our image" take someone shooting, especially if they have never had the experence... show them that a firearm is a safe tool in responsible hands and that it's a lifesaver... that's what you do.
Sig P220R/Sig P239 (9mm)/ S&W 640/ Ruger Single Six Hunter (.22LR/Mag)/ CZ 452 Varmint .22LR/ Lee Enfield No4 MK2 sporterized dated 1959/ Mosin Nagant M90-30 dated 1942/
March 24th, 2009 08:07 PM
By significant typos I mean: whole sentences repeated; whole sentences from one paragraph that just find their way into another paragraph, completely interrupting the thought of the second paragraph; phrases of 7-8 words that were not deleted after someone edited the sentence to change its sense; sentences completing a paragraph that should have appeared at the top of the next column on the same page but which appear at the top of the first column of the following page. This is just a sampling of what I found on one page.
Originally Posted by packinnova
The main point that I wanted to make is that gun enthusiasts are frequently presented in the media and society at large as being less intelligent than those who have been "enlightened" to the evils of gun ownership. In consequence of this I think that we ought to try to be as articulate as possible.
March 24th, 2009 08:10 PM
To quote a colloquialism: "Been there, done that."
Originally Posted by CR2008
March 24th, 2009 08:14 PM
I could care less about the crazy peoples' opinion of us.
March 24th, 2009 08:27 PM
I share your concerns and we have frequent threads concerning grammatical errors, spelling errors and general construction.
Originally Posted by Firkin
Just curious, what makes you believe that 'gun enthusiasts' are not less intelligent than the 'enlightened?' Are there studies, statistics or research papers?
March 24th, 2009 08:31 PM
"Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."
Who is John Galt?
March 24th, 2009 08:36 PM
I really do not believe there is much need to try to improve our image. However, I do feel that it is pointless for some of us to believe that all 300 million Americans will have the same belief about guns. Face it, many people are going to be against guns, let them have their belief. Insulting and berating them will not change their minds. Besides most of it is in how you present yourself. Still, we must remain vigilent and stay on top of our respective lawmakers.
March 24th, 2009 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by Kerbouchard
I think another way that people can help to improve our image would be to increase your knowledge of things like gun laws, the second amendment, and not only how it applied when it first came about but how it still applies today. Teach people the facts. Dont stoop to their level of finger pointing and name calling, and twisting facts around.
Give them legitimate resources to do their own research, not the NRA. The reason you shouldnt use the NRA or any other "pro-2A" organization is because they have an agenda just like the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun groups. I dont know about you but I take any "facts" from the Brady bunch with a grain of salt. They will do the same of "facts" from the NRA. Sources like Gary Kleck's studies come to mind.
Knowledge is power. Ive never seen or heard of anyone going from pro-gun to anti-gun, but I have seen it the other way around, and thats because someone told them the truth and empowered and inspired them to find out for themselves.
Note: This post may contain misspellings, grammatical errors, disorganized sentence structure, or may entirely lack a coherent theme. These elements are natural to the process of writing, and will only add to the overall beauty of the post.
March 24th, 2009 11:01 PM
Run, it's the grammar nazis!!
I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist that.
However, I'm inclined to agree with the OP. When someone from the general "gun fearing" public sees or reads ANYTHING we have to say on the topic, we should do our best to present ourselves in a professional, competent manner.
The more people we are able to educate about firearms, the more our (gun owners) numbers will swell. We need to remind that public on a daily basis that guns are nothing more than tools, and that the people who own them are in fact intelligent, well-mannered members of a civilized society who strive for little more than to provide for, as well as defend their families should that need ever (hopefully never) arise.
If someone sitting on the fence of becoming a lawful gun owner were to read a sentence along the lines of "I <3 glock because it can take ponding and still shot." (OK, that was an extreme example, and one I've yet to see anything like on this forum.) They might think that person is a complete idiot or they may take it to mean that all gun owners are brain dead morons and simply refuse to read any more because they just wouldn't want to be lumped in with people like that.
Yes, we all know it would be nice if the media would portray us in a more positive light, but we all also know that the chances of that happening are about the same as Angelina Jolie not adopting more third world children. In other words, it's up to us to show firearms in a positive and intelligent manner since we're NOT gonna get any help from outside sources.
Cliche upcoming: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression..."
"Stand your ground, don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" - John Parker April 19th, 1775 Lexington, MA
March 25th, 2009 12:04 PM
I did not really mean to open a hornet's nest. I was trying to bring up issues of language and yet still place it in the context of guns and writing about guns. By recounting my experience with the two gun magazines I was simply providing a context for why I wanted to address issues of language.
Originally Posted by SelfDefense
I believe that responsible gun owners are as intelligent or perhaps more intelligent than average, though I readily admit that I am not familiar with any studies addressing this issue. While the gun owners among my own circle of friends are mostly Ph.D.s or J.D.s, I doubt that this is a good sampling.
My comments about perceptions of gun owners refer mostly to how the main-stream media sometimes tries to demonize gun ownership, not just by demonizing the guns, but also by presenting gun owners in a negative light.
March 25th, 2009 12:12 PM
Thanks, for the suggestions, jbone. I myself am guilty of not reading as much as I should on the history of the second amendment and similar topics.
Originally Posted by jbone
March 25th, 2009 01:09 PM
I would have to agree with the OP, too. I have grammar-nazi tendencies as well, though I am far from perfect. But that tendency gives me the same judgmental attitude as others -- "You can't even spell right?" "You're putting a sign on your business, and you don't know the difference between your and you're???"
Back not too long ago when I was gun-neutral, occasionally wavering towards anti-, I really did believe that most gun owners were beer-guzzling, flannel-wearing rednecks who couldn't speak in polysyllables.
I know better now, but there are plenty of antis out there who still see us the same way.
We need a better image, and every little thing helps.
"I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."
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