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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746


October 3, 2002

How to answer the Toughest Question

by Richard W. Stevens
Editor, The Bill of Rights Sentinel

Here's the question:

"Why do you so strongly oppose the government's registering firearms and licensing gun owners? Every car is registered; every driver is licensed or should be. Cars are important and dangerous. Guns are important and dangerous. So what's the problem with gun registration and owner licenses?"

It's a tough question because it draws on the everyday example of automobiles, and most everybody seems to accept state regulation of cars and drivers. Many pro-gun people have real trouble answering this question, and some among us have even surrendered the point.

Logic and history prove that gun registration and owner licensing pose grave threats to life and liberty. But we need to deliver a powerful answer to the question without the social studies lesson. The answer needs to be a fast effective sound bite.

So we are offering the following three-reason package below. This formula is the "long version." If you need to give a quicker answer, then just give the first sentence of each reason. You can deliver the "long version" in 45 seconds - and the "short version" answer in less than 30 seconds.

Three Reasons in a Nutshell

Here is the answer you can give:

(1) Practically speaking, registration and licensing laws do not affect criminals, they only affect innocent citizens.

(2) Fundamentally speaking, citizens in a free society do not have to get permission from anyone to exercise their right to self-defense, just as they don't need permission to freely speak or worship. Licensing and registration schemes require citizens to get permission to defend themselves, so those schemes don't belong in a free society.

(3) Historically speaking, registration and licensing have been part of "gun control" programs that made possible the calculated mass murder of between 70 and 170 million people. Registration and licensing make genocide easier, not harder. I fight against genocide and I don't want to make genocide easier anywhere in the world.

How to Use the Answer

This answer is only 120 words at the most, so you can memorize it. It's pretty easy to memorize because it makes perfect sense.

Why memorize it? Because, when you are challenged, you need to seize the initiative. A snappy but profound quick answer gives no opportunity for interruptions. Speed and power are critically important when the questioner is hostile or you are being interviewed for radio or television. You don't want to have to think of the answer - you need to deliver it immediately.

After you give the "long version" answer, you can turn the tables on the questioner. Ask this zinger question:

"Now that you know the truth about registration and licensing, how can you support those ideas?"

Dealing With The Objections

Objection # 1: "Driving a two-ton car at 60 mph is a privilege, not a right. Owning a lethal weapon should be considered a privilege, too."

Your answer: "Driving a car on tax-funded roads might subject you to the tax-funded government regulations. Exercising the right to self defense, however, doesn't depend on tax-funded resources and should never require anybody's permission."

Objection # 2: "Gun registration and owner licensing helps police solve crimes, just like the cars' license plates and the drivers' licenses."

Your answer: "License plates and driver's licenses don't prevent any crimes, they only help track suspects after the fact. Serious criminals frequently use stolen cars and plates; many drive without valid licenses. Likewise, serious criminals will not be licensed and will use unregistered or stolen guns, and the tracking feature is worthless anyway if the cops don't find the gun."

Objection #3: "You're just paranoid; don't you trust our government to license and register deadly weapons while preserving your right to shoot?"

Your answer: "Wrong question. The government is supposed to answer to you and me. Why does the government so distrust the vast majority of decent non-violent firearms owners that it wants to identify and track every owner and every firearm?"

* * *

What happens when the government holds monopoly power over firearms? How do licensing and registration schemes kill? Read the bone-chilling facts in Death by "Gun Control": The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament ($16.95 postage paid). Order the book by calling (800) 869-1884 or clicking on http://www.jpfo.org/deathgc.htm . Get two free "Gran'pa Jack" booklets with your order. Join JPFO -- still only $20 annual dues.



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