Conversations around gun ownership in the United States can be as controversial, they tend to ignite some pretty serious debates. If your objective is to have a respectful dialogue, here is a list of 15 statements you should probably avoid when talking to legal gun owners. 

‘You Must Be Paranoid.’

This one is a sure fire way to really aggravate a fun owner. Just because someone owns a gun does not mean they are paranoid, and waiting for impending doom.

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For most, it is more about personal safety for their loved ones, and some just simply enjoy shooting as a sport. Labeling someone as paranoid for exercising a constitutional right is a bit of a stretch.

‘Why Do You Need A Gun?’

Imagine for a moment that you asked someone, “Why do you need freedom of speech?” Owning a gun in the U.S. is part of their constitutional right, not a “need.”

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People have a variety of reasons why they want to own a firearm, questioning someone’s motives for exercising their constitutional rights is just bad form. 

‘Guns Are The Problem.’

The oversimplified argument that suggests that an inanimate object is the cause of poor human choices and societal issues.

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Gun violence undoubtedly a very serious situation, but dumbing it down to “guns are the problem” overlooks the multifaceted factors like mental health, socio-economic conditions, and more. It isn’t as cut and dry as some would like it to be. 

‘The Second Amendment Is Outdated.’

Making the suggestion that any part of the Constitution is “outdated” raises a lot of concerns about all of the constitutional rights.

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The Second Amendment is in place for many reasons, dismissing it as “outdated” is dismissive of that ongoing conversation.

‘Gun-Free Zones Work.’

Interesting idea, though it overlooks one small detail that public shootings typically occur in gun-free zones.

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The concept fails to acknowledge the fact that those who intend to do harm aren’t going to be deterred by a sign on the door.   

‘You’re Compensating For Something.’

This one is hysterical, the idea that someone is able to overcompensate for personal inadequacies by owning a gun is outrageous.

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It’s a definite low blow, that doesn’t yield any kind of constructive conversation.  

‘Only The Police Should Have Guns.’

Relying solely on the police for safety assumes that an institution is capable of guaranteeing that kind of perfection.

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It also ignores the importance some place on personal freedom and self-defense.

‘You Must Be A Republican.’

Oh this definitely makes sense, Only Republicans appreciate constitutional rights?

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Gun ownership is applicable to all people despite their political views, and assuming something different just perpetuates divisions and stereotypes.

‘Assault Weapon Bans Work.

Defining what constitutes an “assault weapon” proves to be exceptionally difficult, and evidence on the matter is a mixed bag.

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Saying they “work” is a one-size-fits-all statement that ignores the complexities of the issue.

‘It’s Too Easy To Get A Gun.’

Before making such statements, it’s worth taking into consideration the background checks, waiting periods, and federal and state laws that are in place.

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“Easy” implies that the current laws aren’t strict or effective.

‘Only Criminals Have Guns.’

If this were the case, we would have a country chalked full of criminals. There are millions of law-abiding Americans that own a variety of firearms for various reasons.

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Drawing a line between legal gun ownership and criminal activities is not only inaccurate, it is extremely disrespectful. 

‘You Must Be A Gun Nut.’

For some reason, an interest in firearms often gets unfairly characterized as an obsession or paranoia. Owning a gun doesn’t automatically categorize you as a “gun nut.”

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People own guns for hunting, self-defense, and sport, to name a few. 

‘You Shouldn’t Have A Gun If You Have Kids.’

This one makes it seem as though gun owners are inherently irresponsible when it comes to storage and safety. Many people who own guns also have children, and they are extremely cautious about the safety and storage of their firearms.

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In the same way you would childproof your home, they childproof their firearms. 

‘Guns Kill People.’

This is definitely a hot topic in every gun debate. While there is no denying that firearms can and have been used to harm other people, placing the blame only on the object oversimplifies a complex issue.

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Many legal gun owners would argue that much like a car or a knife, a gun is merely a tool. It requires a hume to use it, meaning that guns don’t hurt people, people hurt people.

‘You’re Part Of The Problem.’

The good ol’ blame game! By making the declaration that legal gun owners are “part of the problem,” you are blatantly ignoring the fact that most gun owners are also advocates for responsible gun handling and safety measures.


This type of accusation is a sure fire way to shut down any kind of constructive dialogue.