« The State of Hunting and Fishing, Post 9/11 | Main | Winslow Arms: Wildly Impractical, Yet Works of Art »

September 13, 2006

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Gun Nut at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut.

How to Write an Anti-Gun Editorial

In case this job doesn’t work out I’ve been researching how to be a turncoat and write for the other side. My most recent object of study is a piece on the editorial page of The New York Times by Verlyn Klinkenbourg, titled “Once a Progressive State, Minnesota is Now a Fief of the N.R.A.” Mr. K, in case you did not instantly recognize his name, is a member of the Times Editorial Board, and is a big-time wordsmith. (According to his bio on the Times website, one of the magazines he’s written for is Sports Afield.) And so, taking this gem of journalism as an example, here are the four rules to follow if you want to write this stuff.

Rule Number One is: Identify yourself as a gun owner and user; it gives you credibility, a la Bubba Clinton in the duckblind and John Kerry at the trap field. “I grew up hunting and shooting, and I still own two rifles, and two shotguns,” says Mr. Klinkenbourg.

Rule Number Two: Ignore what actually happens when a pro-gun law goes into effect. Minnesota passed its right to carry law a year ago. Since then, people are not shooting people in larger numbers than usual, and the police have not been flooded with applications from touchy citizens who want to go heeled in case someone disses them. Actually, nothing has happened. Nothing also happened when Bubba Clinton’s assault weapons ban sank below the waves, courtesy of a sunset clause.

Situations like this are, of course, intolerable to those who think like Mr. Klinkenbourg. One can imagine him saying, in tones of liberal anguish, “People shouldn’t be out there killing each other. Don’t they care?”

Rule Number Three: Any pro-gun law cannot be the will of the people, but must be due to the infernal machinations of…THE NRA. Which leads us to:

Rule Number Four, which requires that you find something really nasty to call the National Rifle Association. In this piece Mr. K. has come up with “paranoid cabal.” Webster’s Dictionary says a cabal is “a small group of persons joined in a secret conspiracy.”

Now, the NRA may indeed be paranoid. I’ve been an NRA member for 42 years, and I’m paranoid, but then I have cause to be, as thousands lust for my blood. But small? Secret? Holy Hillary, if there is one organization on the face of the earth that is less small and less secret than the NRA, I can’t imagine what it might be. There are 4 million of them, and they are right in your face all the time.

Those seem to be the basic parameters. Just for the hell of it I may do an anti-gun article--if the pay is right. At least you don’t have to know what you’re talking about.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to Write an Anti-Gun Editorial:



Dave, I would add to this the seeming necessity to dismiss law abiding firearm owners with any of the following perjoratives: simple-minded, ignorant, red-neck, misguided, fearful, intolerant, extremist, hate-filled, inbred, and narrow. Those are descriptions I've seen in other articles/essays written by anti-gunners.

BTW, I'm thinking of writing an op/ed piece against all the simple-minded, ignorant, red-neck, misguided, fearful, intolerant, extremist, hate-filled, inbred, and narrow fans of reality TV. Do you think any publications will pick it up?


That article is just another piece of crap about Minnesotans being dumb. I can tell you that I have not seen a firearms murder inthe news in how long.

Mike Diehl

I agree that anti-gun editorials rely on disinformation, and sometimes not-so-veiled aspersions on the intelligence and character of gun owners. Of course, these days that is par for the course in editorial writing. The NRA agitprop guys do exactly the same thing when they talk about the anti-gun opposition.. even when it comes down to arguably worthy notions like requiring all legal firearms sales to use the same background checks used by FFLs.


The fall-out from the "Croc Hunter" still that bad?????

Man,F-n-S is getting strict!! :-)

Ralph the Rifleman

CCW carry increased a few years ago here, in Michigan, when the DA in our county help define the law allowing more permits to be issued.Same old story with the anti's screaming about random shootings in the street, which never happened of course, while the "general carry" policy has been futher defined by "safe pistol zones" the right to carry here has worked out very well and again the anti's have had to eat their words of doom and destruction.
A turncoat article would be interesting to read...I think?

Ralph the Rifleman

Correction...defined as "pistol safe zones"...by Michigan Law.

JA Demko

IMO, "simple-minded, ignorant, red-neck, misguided, fearful, intolerant, extremist, hate-filled, inbred, and narrow" is a pretty good description of most people, regardless of which side they take in the gun debate.


Someone please explain to me how it is moraly superior for those of us on the pro-gun side of this argument to pejoratively label those on the opposing side.

I don't like it when the other side assumes that all gun owners are redneck philistines; however, I don't think that calling those on the opposing side meak, panty-waisted gun grabbers shows any greater level of maturity.

Hell, if I lived in a large city I would probably want strict gun laws. Mainly because of population densities. I wouldn't want my neighbor who may or may not have recieved adequate training shooting through my walls in the middle of the night.

Furthermore, while I think that Ted Kennedy's positions on most issues are at best simplistic. I never had to see two of my brothers struck down in their prime.

Keep it up guys, this name calling on both sides is extremely productive and almost certain to increase the quality and level of discourse on the subject.


Rule number five: Make at least one reference to Europe and their "common-sense approach to gun violence" while convientely ignoring the fact that their crime rates have skyrocketed at a rate roughly in tandem with their subjects (formerly citizens) being disarmed.

P.S. Yes Dave, we are still smarting over the Croc Hunter piece but no, we are not lusting for your blood. We still love you. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton certainly has her minions keeping tabs on your internet activities and outbursts and should the day come that she seizes the reigns of power - off to the gulag with you!


Anti-gun bias is not something new that came in with Kerry/Clinton. When I was in a college speech class in the 70's I gave a persuasive speech on pro-gun/against gun control. I did a lot of research and gave what I thought was a helluva speech. Some of my classmates thought so too. However; the professor came up to me after class and with a shocked expression on his face said, "I had no idea you were a pro-gun person" I made an A in the class, but the final grade was a C.

Ralph the Rifleman

I also argued the point in speech class,in the 1980's time frame,in favor of gun control, very strict gun control speech I may add, and I received kudo's from the class and prof, as well. One classmate actually thought I had changed my views on hunting/gun ownership when she asked me,"I thought you were a hunter?"..so I was a turncoat,for the sake of an "A" grade; Case in point, if the pro gunner turn coats, he may be our greatest threat to our freedoms!
As a famous blogger once said-"Trust no one...."


"Every concealed weapon, with very few exceptions, is a blow against the public safety." - Mr K.'s article

What does this even mean? What are the few exceptions? More importantly, how do I become an exception? I legally carry a firearm concealed, but I don't want to be a blow against public safety. Maybe I'm not rich enough, or important enough, or enough of a celebrity to carry a gun for personal protection.

Note to self: Make an appointment to hire some bodyguards and a publicist.

Later, he writes: "The criminals know they’re not supposed to have them but find (guns) easy to get, thanks to the N.R.A."

This is now my new favorite "Most Asinine Quote Ever." Thank you, Mr. K.

Dale M

It seems, with regard to the gun debate, that the pro and anti groups utilize completely different ways of thinking. The anti group primarily utilizes emotion, while the pro group tries to use facts and logic.

Unfortunately it seems that many who ascribe to the anti point of view do not understand fact and logic...

I've had some minor successes in getting anti types to see the other side if I can persuade them to go shooting with me. I like to use .22 rifles and keep the targets fun. Once they get an opportunity to see how guns really work and that they don't have an evil mind of their own, at least there is hope for further discussion and learning.

I've got to say that if I'd been raised on today's movies, TV, and newspapers, rather than being brought up shooting, that I might well be afraid of guns..

Mike Diehl

"The anti group primarily utilizes emotion, while the pro group tries to use facts and logic."

That's an emotional claim, not a factual or logical one. And as such it disproves itself. Reading the ads in American Hunter it is quite clear that the NRA often relies on emotion in lieu of facts or logic. It remains the case that the radicals on both sides of the argument cherry pick data, and alternate between cajoling (I won't say "reason") and emotional agitation, rather than informed debate.

Richard A. Smith

Dave; I can simplify this article for you immensely:
To write an anti-gun article:
1) remove brain
2) drop brain in toilet
3) flush
4) put what normally goes in toilet in head
5) begin writing.
It is the same as the recipe to become a liberal Democrat. (Oops! Did I say that?!)

Of course, you might be paid by the word or required to write a certain number of words, so you can do it your way, too.

JC Blauvelt

You will never make it as an anti-gun writer. You have too much humor in your writing. Liberals are completely humorless.


Dale M......Amen...as i have said before on this blog...patience, rational debate on the FACTS and finally getting the anti to the range to SEE how us "Bubbas" act on the range and to see how much fun it can be to compete against ones self will win over MOST antis. Leastwise those willing to learn.

I happen to have a date with ANOTHER rabid liberal left anti gunner to go to the range....just thinking we shall wait until AFTER hunting season starts. Too many folks at the ranges right now sighting in for deer season to make for a "quiet, peaceful" learning experience. IMO

craig j. curtis

garret do you really think name calling is a problem here this site is for us to vent on the &^$$%^ gun grabbers and their rantings. i suggest to you if the colourfull way the antis are presented here really puts your panties in a bind . get some boxers bubba !! seriously give us a break the fricken blood sucking laywers , bleeding liberals arent going away and i for one wont either and we can call um as we see um kapicsh !! thanks again dave

craig j. curtis

im sorry garrick missspelled your name


All the slime slurping, gun hating liberals need to do is remember that guns like cars are just metal until a human operates them. There are those who abuse cars and the rules of the road and there are those who abuse firearms and the rules of shooting and hunting safety. Both types of abusers should be punished according to the laws of the state concerned!

Ralph the Rifleman

Hey Craig J.
Touche`....BUT I do hire a lawyer when needed, for we do agree they are part of the(corporate)food chain.....sharks in pinstripes.

JA Demko

I guess I better get some boxers, too. The anti's behaving badly is their own problem, but I am often mortified by some of the dumb-ass things said by people on our side of the fence. Our side likes to paint anybody who is an anti as stupid, evil, scheming, underhanded, murderous, and COMMUNIST! Because they are anti, nothing they say or do is accorded any value or respect whatsoever. Yet my personal experience with people tells me that lots of idiots and jerks support the RKBA. Go to any gun show and you'll meet them in droves.

Mike Diehl

Heh. Right on JA. On one moonbase you've got antis, and on the other moonbase you've got anti-antis. A radical for every occasion waiting to be deployed.

craig j. curtis

your right rifle man ive even got family that practice in muskegon hope he doesnt blog here ! but hes a hunter and gun enthusiast god bless him , i get a little carried away but name calling is just part of the fun woohoo c.j.c.


Ralph the Rifleman
defined as "pistol safe zones"...by Michigan Law.(read as Scumbag safe work zones)

I guess OSHA demands ALL folk deserve to have safe work areas. ;^D

Our Blogs