Jul 10

How do you fight an on-air ambush?

Being on hundreds of talk radio shows entirely on second amendment issues, and having been asked to coach other contributors, I decided to start my own business on coaching liberty contributors to be super guests on the air. Please follow me on Facebook.

Gotcha politics and media: If you get onto talk radio as a guest expert, you have to anticipate hostile gotcha callers, especially if you’re daring to escape preaching to the choir and finding new audiences for the liberty message. In that case, how do liberty contributors as invited guests take the ambush calls on the air? Simple: by seizing the opportunity to educate the listener, not the hostile – and still not arguing with the caller. The key is to furnish an extremely illuminating answer.

Remember that the Troll is not only anti-social, but angry and very likely ill-informed. The audience is not nearly as hostile as the Troll is, but still interested in your own character and patience in how you will handle the Troll. How this is actually done is best conferred in personalized coaching, but here is the thumbnail version. Remember also that you’re a good will ambassador for liberty outside the choir and now you are before listeners who do not know what you know. Not yet, that is.

1. Do not deflect the question. Do not mock the question or the caller. Craft as germane an answer as you can.

2. Answer the question, whatever it is; respond, no matter how gotcha it was put to you. Odds are it is a very good opportunity to educate the audience and skip the Troll; disabuse the Troll by enlightening the audience and him in the process. Do not waste precious seconds being polite, acknowledging good points of his view, being humble and over-generous to the Troll; do not waste precious air-time being friendly and do not quarrel; be objective and begin your point immediately. Allow the audience to see this directness in your response. They’re waiting for it.

3. Educate listeners on precisely the best possible thing they should know in what they are asking. You’re the expert, it’s your call.

Example: Why do you need a gun? You must really hate authority. Why do you hate the police so much?

Answer: Why I am armed is largely because of several realities a household has to live with. The first is that police have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others. What this means to you is that the nearest unit may have other priorities and cannot be held liable if they should be unable to get there in time. Most emergencies are much faster than the average response time of first responders, so you need to first appreciate that you are on your own during the most critical moments of the emergency. How you elect to handle this reality is a household decision between being prepared versus refusing to own a gun in the home and being entirely unprepared. Remember that refusing to own a gun in the home is to believe that you have delegated to others responsibility for your own safety; you cannot really delegate it away to anyone else in the least, since they are under no obligation to take your place. 

The beauty of this opportunity is in the truth that you – the expert – know what needs to be most emphasized in an answer most meaningful to the audience. For instance, the gist of your answer could also be this: Understand that a citizen has a great deal of latitude in what they may do in the absence of police. It is important to know this latitude since you never delegated to police the responsibility for your safety. In short, the law recognizes that you are free to act reasonably in their absence. Put another way, if the target of violence is armed, there is more reasonableness, more public policy, more public interest and more law present than in all the gun laws.

One doesn’t ‘hate police’ by knowing this important reality and sharing it. Gun owners and police are allies, actually, the same mission, the same purpose. Police themselves warn citizens of this, depending on which jurisdiction you are. Officers who mention this to you care about your household much more than the people who want you to have no weapon.

One of the greatest mistakes of some households is that they do not consult gun owners before refusing to own a gun. You may want to consult gun owners in what you may actually do in an emergency.


How to respond to hostile questions must be viewed as an opportunity to educate thousands, not win an argument with one single Troll.

The tough questions are where the experts shine on talk radio. Welcome those questions.

For more insights on media coaching, see my archived LinkedIn page here.


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Apr 14

Guns as a health problem? What about the 2.5 million traumas doctors will never see?

Again, we return to the insistence that guns are a health problem. If you are looking for a mechanism to reduce violence – including by knives, fists, bats, groups and more – one mechanism already exists, and gun control is vociferously against it.

When it comes to seeing guns as a health problem, then, one is exceeding boundaries, as some gun owner physicians have pointed out. A physician may see traumas which vex them, but have positively no understanding of how many lives an armed citizen saves every year. Notice that I do not refer to saves by ‘guns‘, but by armed citizens.

The parts that make the armed citizen worthy of wider acceptance in our society is that every citizen is possessed of all legal authority to stop a violent crime in progress. I have put it this way: when the armed citizen is on scene [ as in being the target of violence ], the law is on scene also. This is because authority of police rises up from the people as does a great deal of public service authority, and gun owners as armed retain that authority by dint of substantive law, codified law, case law, public interest and public policy, and what lawyers call TARP; the average reasonable person doctrine. This is why ‘guns’ are demonized in disarming the populace; one cannot find it so easy to disarm people – and reasonableness or public interest – with so much of a preponderance on the side of the armed citizen. One practice is to demonize guns and to cover up the actual latitude an average citizen has in how a defensive gun use is quite lawful – and reasonably so.

Where the citizen is free, willing and able to refuse to be a victim of violence, there is more due process, more citizen authority, more public policy, more public interest and more law than in the more than 20,000 gun laws in the country.

The genius of the armed citizen is that the law is present when needed and the gun control is absent when it is needed most.

Mistaken notions and smear combine to undermine resolve of non-gun owner citizens who might like to learn more. Speaking charitably, characterizing ‘guns’ as a health problem is one example of deception that operates from a cloistered position which seems to make sense only to them; it doesn’t make sense at all, however, when the real mission – public safety, hardly a single issue question – becomes the first casualty of that perspective.

Under color of personal torment at seeing unending gun shot wounds, anti-gun medical professionals betray their limited viewpoint and seem unwilling to learn more. Let’s go to school.

Emergency Departments also see knife wounds, beatings, rapes, robberies, and stress connected to home invasions, carjackings, drug use, accidents and so much more. Why single out guns when about 80% of unwanted – preventable –  trauma is left unaddressed? Medicine knows very well that many diseases and other conditions are preventable. Violence is preventable, friends. If we are viewing anything here as a health problem, it is a) criminal violence and b) like most distribution questions, preventable violence.

Crimes of violence, burglaries, rapes, robberies, beatings and other traumas can get as high as 5 million each year. This is what the E.D. sees all the time, yet objects to only GSW traumas. What if there were a mechanism to curtail all of these, not only GSW? What if violence were viewed as among the preventable challenges found in Medicine?

It’s time to look at this issue of violent acts as preventable.

Experts from Gary Kleck et al to Professor John Lott have published for the world that armed citizens de-escalate a violent act about 2.5 million times every year. In view of about 5 million violent crimes every year at present, armed citizens keep another 2.5 million from becoming a total of 7.5 million annually. This is a prevention of about 2.5 million, and it is significant to the household who sees the problem as baffling and intractable. It’s not as stubborn as it sounds.

Gun ownership is part of the societal prophylaxis – part of the preventative – against violence trauma. The armed citizen is the solution.

Why would anyone who is sick of seeing trauma object to this remedy? Because it isn’t the trauma they are objecting to, is it?

The numbers are pretty much accepted largely because citizens see more violence than police do. Figures are compiled by the FBI turned in to them by police nationwide. Who do you think makes the requests for police aid? Citizens do. Furthermore, there are tons of unreported instances which citizens see and police do not. Law enforcement depends very heavily on citizen cooperation and reporting in Neighborhood Watch, CERT Programs and Amber Alerts to name a few. Reporting is essential to law enforcement’s mission. As the first contact of violent crime, our citizens have the mission of our own personal safety in the absence of police. Defensive Gun Use is part of the story of how the patient plays a role in their own health care this way . . if you’re willing to acknowledge that violence is a health problem and not guns.

Guns are not a problem; violence of all types is a problem and gun control aggravates the problem of beatings, knifings, rapes, mayhems and robberies. Doctors do not see the cost of second amendment rights; they are seeing the cost of gun control. When they see shootings, they are seeing violent crime. GSW patients in the surgical ICU of any large city hospital were put there largely by violent crime, and violent crime breaks several laws already on the books. The ICU also sees knifings, beatings, etc. etc. Why should GSW be any different when the subject is violence?

Opposition to this concept of citizen involvement and personal safety – you might say citizens playing their role in their own health care – furnishes weak arguments which, on balance, cannot survive the test of critical analysis and vital comparison. Put another way, which is better: more armed citizens with legal authority throughout a community or more violence and hand-wringing because there is no authority at the scene of a crime? Remember that gun owners are trained better than they are given credit for, and they are not the ones committing the violence.

In fact, let’s clear up a few more mistaken notions while we’re at it.

When gun owners speak to non-gun owners about civil rights, heritage and law, many listeners think only of violence. They mistakenly believe that a gun owner denies a burglar due process because they can think only of shooting as the one and only action; actually, holding for police and effecting a detention is the on-scene beginning of the suspect’s due process.

When one hears armed self-defense, they think of vigilante. Vigilante operates outside of due process and law, and it operates without any legal authority. Every citizen already has the authority to act reasonably in self-defense. Self-defense is not vigilante because a target of violence is legally entitled to make choices of lethal force if reasonably apprehensive of grave danger. The armed citizen does not take the law into their own hands – a rather meaningless concept; an average reasonable person is the law in the absence of police.

The third mistaken notion about the armed citizen is that they are vicious. A most common attribution hostile to the armed citizen is that the armed citizen is angry, and eager to shoot as the one and only solution. Smears that people solve their problems in anger abound. The reality is that having the upper hand – lethal force – in a violence encounter is life-saving millions of times every year. For anyone advocating a stop to the violence, it must begin where it is conducted the most, and that is at the moment it is committed so it cannot become a completed act.

This is the 2.5 million prevented acts Medicine will never see.

When a non-gun owner learns about how the second amendment is friendlier to the home and household than gun control will ever be, some become changed for the better. Some become more independent, and they change the community back to self-rule instead of being at the mercy of both thugs and the system.

Gun owners are not violent, since the vast majority of defensive gun uses successfully effected by an armed citizens de-escalate the incident such that a shooting becomes unnecessary. There’s your prevention. The fact that the target is armed with lethal force changes everything in favor of the household. It takes an out-of-control situation and brings it under the control of the target of violence.

As I say often, crime is fought best at the scene of the crime.

And finally, doctors are trained to view medical outcomes as a measure of success. When 2.5 million happier outcomes keep 5 million mayhems from building into a 7.5 million completed acts of violence, I’d say that’s a good outcome along the lines of precisely what Medicine is looking for. Survival. Quality of life.

Identifying ‘guns’ as a health problem averts the eyes and mind away from the health equity’s preventative powers of the armed citizen; gun control oversteps boundaries, forcing people to act to their own detriment. Denying individual personal safety is the equivalent of intentionally delaying medical care. It affects outcomes adversely.

I wish I could make this article worth 30 CME’s [Continuing Medical Education Credits], but you get the point.

If we’re really going to talk about a health equity and a health problem, the solution is public education. Through education of the laity, the ubiquitous armed citizen as the norm can drive the number of 5 million mayhems even further down in reducing the morbidity and mortality of violence for even better societal outcomes.

You can even think of the ubiquitous armed citizen as the community’s immune system. .. if Americans start thinking of violence as a health problem, a preventable health problem.


In 1979, selected medical professionals convinced physicians and attorneys why they should get behind the movement to train millions of laymen in Citizen CPR. The CPR Corollary is the case study of how those initial objections to training millions of average people are identical to today’s objections to the ubiquitous armed citizen. America has already had her national conversation on guns and the armed citizen when she had her national conversation on what to do in the absence of Paramedics.

Download your free copy of the author’s monograph here.

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Aug 21

Should firearms instructors make CPR training part of their curriculum?


Though gun owners are perceived as being single-issue voters, there is a great deal gun owners have in common with mainstream America; shared values perhaps more than any other demographic. With this in mind, should handgun safety instructors offer a Citizen CPR Course as part of their program for a better voter turnout in the mid-term?

My vote is yes. The messaging which is in part what Americans are waiting to hear from someone on 2016 issues can be organized from the liberty community. When 10 million adults decide to become 10 million gun owners, it’s time to develop a path to reaching the balance of the electorate. This is done best by exhibiting not things about guns, but exactly what the two blocs already have in common and the two reinforcing each other for a larger voting bloc.

The national conversation on guns so far has been useless as each side has found no way to bridge the gulf and move the other side one inch. That should not be the purpose of the conversation;  the solution is not in guns at all, but personal independence. This means forgetting about educating the left and concentrating on the remainder of the electorate who are presently worried about their own concerns.  They see no connection of gun control to the very worries which torment them. In 1979, the master feature of training millions of laymen in CPR was a greater personal independence in order to make a difference in an emergency; how physicians and attorneys were persuaded to bless this new movement is useful today in regaining independence and it is the substance of The CPR Corollary.


You might say that we have already had this conversation on guns when we moved to train millions in Citizen CPR in 1979. In being a part of that movement, I know that the objections to training laymen then are identical to objections today to guns on campus, concealed carry and registration of handguns. The point of the Corollary is to show how and where our responses to those questions in 1979 are to be our responses we give the same questions in 2015 and 2016.

Why should handgun safety instructors make CPR part of their course? Why this topic? What does this have to do with gun rights? Re-frame the question: ask what do guns have to do with personal independence and you might find a lot more Americans are all on the same page; the subject is not guns, but independence. A diminishing personal independence is now a mainstream issue more than ever before, and getting it back is a mainstream concern in 2016.

The purpose of making a CPR course part of a firearms course is an outreach to non-gun owners with an added value announcement. The purpose of the outreach is to stop trying to battle anti-gun people and to reach the balance of the electorate who have their own problems: it creates the contact point chance to show them how solving our problem solves their problems.

The first order of business is to show that gun ownership and CPR training are entirely consistent in the mind of the gun owner; the public should know this and recognize themselves in decency and caring. The shared values of saving a life in the absence of first responders, doing the right thing technically and morally with knowledge, the willingness to get involved with all appropriate authority, and the fact that there is no one else all add up to a person welcomed in any community. It enhances independence.

The CPR Corollary is not about the armed citizen saving lives (not entirely), but how the national conversation on guns has already been conducted in the national conversation on training millions of laymen in Project Citizen CPR in 1979. The interrogatories were the same as today about guns on campus, for instance. And the answers of today (2015) must be the same as they were in 1979.

Voter turnout is always a problem, and 2016 it is vital. Motivating gun owners and non-gun owners to come together has been like herding cats! A path and benefits must be shown. A connectivity between everyone of such shared values is the only bond that can motivate turnout of both for the very same shared issues. A life-saving course added to handgun courses can showcase what has actually been gun owner life-saving attitudes all along. Many gun owners view their CPR training as part of their societal obligations as much as gun ownership.

A rangemaster or instructor could easily make mention in all media opportunities of their CPR training to go with any firearm course announcements they make. There are CPR Instructors in every city who would love to be a part of your organization for an extremely reasonable fee. I know many rangemasters are already pretty booked and handgun courses locked in, and I know that Prepper training includes CPR and First-aid, but there are benefits to be enjoyed upon announcing the half-day CPR training module for all new handgun safety students though your entire curriculum has always been strictly firearms-oriented. The new curriculum is now a little more shared values oriented.

Meanwhile, graduates would be a new quality of good will ambassador. Follow-up press releases can make mention of newly certified graduates without releasing names and faces. You can think of your own ideas. It should become a fixture in the sidebar of every second amendment newsletter and web page list of courses, etc, etc. You can imagine a media presence, an exhibit booth at non-firearms events, and more interviews.

Make mention of the fact that your CPR course is not the short-form, hands-only course, but the full course as taught Healthcare Providers. Every good CPR instructor is able to offer it. It’s the way I taught it, it’s the way it ought to be: thorough.

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May 05

Reaching the non-gun owner electorate in 2014: The cart has been before the horse.

Years ago, I began to see how second amendment content was truthful, accurate and needed, but that something was missing. Among liberty bloggers, we bring this preaching to the choir up from time to time, but little seems to be done. Though many liberty writers do write for the mainstream, second amendment authorities still do not break away from the gravitational pull of our subculture. I propose a few perspectives and solutions.

The sudden increase in gun sales since 2008 I do not attribute to liberty writers as much as to the 2008 election. Furthermore, I do not attribute the increase of gun ownership by some 10 millions to fears that one had best acquire a gun before it’s too late.

Instead, I attribute the groundswell of gun ownership to a public perception of change in law, attitudes of officials (more clearly divided as friend or foe), and apprehensions of a system who will not help. Yes, the liberty writers furnished the facts, but the 2008 election – and noticeable attitudes of hostility against our way of life – were the catalyst. There is a great deal to learn from that and to apply it is our plan.

Looking at a mid-term election this Fall, I’m eager to see motivation of the electorate, of Congress, and of state legislators on the deeper respect for the armed citizen as a method of reducing spending. In short, if constituents affirm armed citizens in concentration and latitude, you can get a better handle on spending.

The reason I post this analysis is this: many authors and news analysts are missing the mark in their liberty content by concentrating on truthful facts but ignoring associating or explaining meaning and relevance for their readers of those facts.

As an example, I see fabulous content in discussion and education, but a lack of how it is relevant to our national problems. The content focuses on heritage, civil rights, self-defense, propriety and reason, integrity, education, oath of office, some tech-talk and current law. What is missing is what second amendment values has to do with what galls Americans most as one free people and how gun control is key to the galling torment.

The nature of the problem is that many writers expect the relevance of gun ownership to be self-evident, but it is not; this has always been an extremely common presumption among most writers for generations. It’s obvious to liberty purists, sure, but not to those who can see only their own household problems and do not yet not see what the second amendment really has to do with them, much less solving those problems; to these readers – still tens of millions of them remaining – gun control has nothing to do with their problems. … and we look like single-issue voters!

This is because readers have various values, and their world view — and how they interpret content – is processed against a backdrop of their world view values. If everyone reading is a gun owner, your content will not only speak about gun rights but be written for such consumers.

This is why, to millions, gun rights advocates seem to be single-minded.  What is missing in liberty content is how to connect the dots of gun control to their harassment on nearly every subject of importance to the average home not as a single issue, but as a key to getting America back to what nearly everyone wants most: their independence.

The secret to education and even motivating the laity is found in the increase in 2008, and it has nothing to do with getting-a-gun-while-you-still-can thinking. How I know this is here: whether you have bought one handgun or a dozen, if they come for the guns, they’ll get them all, no matter how many you got while you could. Something else was motivating those millions, and I point to it in The CPR Corollary. Let’s go over some of that here.

In this, there is a second concept to be applied in liberty content of the blogosphere: addressing issues of concern to the fence-sitting electorate to show how smart it is to be an armed citizen over the concerns no one to date has addressed on a large scale. Not even conservatives stumping for office.

The sea change for us is to stop writing for each other as consumers of the product and to write for the remainder of the electorate who is not a consumer of our content and who must get behind the armed citizen as the norm instead of remaining agreeable, but uninvolved. Some of these people tolerate second amendment; they need to affirm it and have a very good reason why. Some of the best books on the subject of gun rights still leave out how germane the subject is to the average household: regaining their personal independence from servants.

10 million citizens became so uncomfortable with socio-political trends that they elected to be armed as a means of avoiding trouble from both thuggery and a very uncooperative, indifferent system. Being armed means not being at the mercy of either by avoiding trouble. This is why it did not come before 2008 in spite of all the liberty content posted.

There are still tens of millions more who are waiting — yes, waiting — to hear how they get out from under harrassments they are sure is not even related to second amendment rights. The key to mustering this bloc is in addressing their assumptions and worry about owning a gun at all. One can disabuse them of lies as bloggers do every day, but until their concerns and misgivings are addressed in terms of how gun control hurts them all over, facts alone will not move them. Facts will have no meaning for them.

What is missing is what this has to do with what galls everyday Americans most as one people and how addressing gun control is key to understanding the galling torment.

The liberty writers need to do three things and fast: change your content from gun ownership to how this improves personal independence which can reverse spending for openers; second, change your readership and your audience to the non-gun owner electorate; third, do a lot more mainstream media outside the liberty community audience. For instance, instead of being sought out as an authority to comment on a recent tragedy, market yourself as an authority on personal independence entirely replacing the term personal responsibility and always including writing why.

In the mid-term 2014, we can show that one does not persuade the electorate or Congress at gunpoint, but at counterpoint expressed in terms of relevance to the home. We fight abuses of due process by applying proper due process, education of relevance of the armed citizen to impeach such abuses, and specific calls to action for the non-gun owner electorate to play a part in reversing the very programs which the non-gunowner themselves personally resent as much as anyone. Everyone in America can name some program they resent as being worthless and costly to them, adverse to their homes, not to mention tolerated against their better judgment. Showing how gun control led the way to that is vital, and it is not being done. And in the mainstream, it can really get up steam.

Many have been educating the lay public on second amendment issues of history and purpose, but have put the cart before the horse in organizing their content for persuasion. What’s needed now is to reverse these two and show relevance first, facts second. This is done by addressing the issues of concern held by tens of millions who have hesitated so far to support second amendment values because – for lay thinking – the importance of being armed is not yet self-evident. Posting facts, figures and heritage does not make relevance self-evident. The remaining tens of millions are waiting to learn what it really is about guns just as certainly as voters are waiting to hear a candidate on the stump who gets it.

Changing content to relevance to the home, changing readership and listeners in specifically going much more mainstream should help create more of a national will which will be supported by Congress as much as the electorate supports it.

It’s not more gun owners that we need, it’s more of a wider acceptance of the armed citizen as the norm that we need, because we need to regain our values system and personal independence, and that requires a national will. To reach these people, think of your content as two-sided: on one side, you present FACTS; on the other side, your show RELEVANCE to the home. Almost every posting you put up must contain both.


The metaphor of Sidewalk CPR and being armed is obvious to anyone, but so what? The CPR Corollary goes much further than the obvious and addresses how the initial opposition to training millions in CPR is identical to the opposition to the armed citizen in the millions today. Read how this is useful if you’re a liberty advocate. Download your free copy here.


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Apr 14

The power of the person. Escape from powerlessness.

Gun owners have an ideal method of educating non-gun owners in gun ownership. One of the most pressing and powerful questions is what it is about guns. The answer – gun owners know intuitively – is taking your prospect to the shooting range. But there is something found at the range that is very, very understated, and which must be emphasized artfully. And soon.

Because what it is about guns isn’t even about guns. It is about the power of the person. This is an expanded excerpt from my monograph The CPR Corollary  [page 39].

If I had to summarize the case for a nationwide concealed carry issue, I would choose this concept. This will not work on statists and leftists because they have positively no interest in personal independence, even for themselves and their children. But it does work in the minds and hearts of those who are genuinely interested in regaining theirs.

When we talk about the power of the person, many listeners think immediately of abstracts such as letter writing, protest, political involvement, the Vote, walking districts, and other actions which exercise the first amendment. The power of the person in a nation of self-rule comes much more in the second amendment, and non-violently so.

The power of the person can be discovered and experienced on the shooting range when one is firing a handgun for the very first time and under supervision. The first thing a student notices is the recoil of the weapon when fired, the noise, the smoke, and the awareness that the thing went off when it was supposed to, among other experiences at once.

But shortly thereafter – perhaps in a moment or several hours later – there comes a realization. That realization involves the awareness that the gun is not as described by anti-gun activists and that one is much more in control of the thing than gun control had said. It is a moment of self-discovery as much as anything else. It seems to blow a great many false statistics to pieces by experiencing the concept for yourself.

This realization is the concept of a lethal force in your control which can give you control of a life-threatening situation when there was none before. It soon dawns on the student: a) one need not be at the mercy of seemingly irresistible forces, and; b) they’ve been lied to by the anti-violence crowd about weapons, values, figures, law and most of all issues. One need not be at the mercy of violent crime nor the political forces which fool the people into doing nothing to resist violence, thereby effecting political and societal change which goes against our better judgment.

Many come to realize that conditions of violence now seem to have no power over them as before. Not an instant solution, but certainly an open door to a whole new values system and knowledge base upon which one is now freer to make better choices. Put another way, personal independence from the pressures of those hostile to independence itself; being more skeptical of anti-violence programs and gun control. The power of the person is an injection of critical thinking. It soon becomes clear how we have been played for our cooperation and – like a breath of fresh air – becomes an escape from a sense of powerlessness.

Sure, it takes a little work, and you’ll spend a few thousand, but so many citizens today are willing to learn, practice and improve if it means improving personal safety, personal dignity and personal power in seemingly powerless conditions. This is where gun owners are good will ambassadors for Independence, and this kind of independence and critical thinking means better self-rule.

The product of a healthier self-rule is safer streets and safer futures. It begins at the range in one teaching another for discovery of the power of the person – character, education, response over reaction, good judgment, skill and self-restraint, personal independence, and the escape from a sense of powerlessness – all free to grow within them.

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