In the coming weeks and months, there will no doubt be an escalation of the “great gun debate.” The latest horrific tragedy has indeed sparked a renewed concern about public safety. In all fairness, the concern is warranted. Children became targets and that's not going to stand. What was once a semi-seasonal discussion following the latest act of rampage violence has become more emotionally charged than ever. It's with that knowledge that I'd like to share some helpful debate tools for you all to use when you go forth into the interwebs or argue with your neighbor. I'll preface this checklist by saying that I am a semi-professional counselor and hold a degree in psychology. I'm also full of surprises, yes. I've debated plenty of people here, on other forums and dolled out my fair share of well-thought-out advice. So, I'd like to give you guys some. It may be helpful or maybe you'll just ignore it all and think “what a pretentious *** cattledog is” That's fine too. In any case, I do firmly believe that how a subject is discussed makes all the difference in making a point. So, here's how to do it right. Rule: 1) Keep it logical. Nothing is more disarming than straight logic. Not just facts either but real 1+1+1=3 type logic. Step by step with NO wiggle room. That means.... 2) No emotional opinions. Whoever your debating, about whatever, doesn't care what you think or “feel.” This seems counter-intuitive given the nature of the latest tragedy but it's more important now than ever. This is especially true if the side your debating is emotionally charged. Emotions feed on themselves and that can lead to a polarization of ideas. That's a bad thing. This means no propaganda either: “no second amendment, no first” “guns don't kill people... etc. Those are concepts to build a case, not to be used by themselves as an argument. 3) No trolling, name calling, berating or otherwise being a jackass. If your debate opponent wishes to sink to that level, let them. Your exchange will be seen and judged by others. Before you say “ I don't care what they think” Yes, you do. Unless you're just arguing to waste time, the object is to make your point understood, not just known. So, don't let you're view get discounted because you were immature. 4) Your facts are from neutral sources and current. The two biggest idiots online right now is the guy citing reference to the NRA's website arguing with the guy citing from the Brady campain.....pointless. FBI stats from their url are the best. In fact all url's cited should have a .gov or an otherwise neutral url. If you don't have the creativity to debate from raw numbers, you shouldn't be part of the discussion. 5) Leave the spokesmen out of it. They shouldn't be shaping your opinion anyway, much less driving your own talking points. It used to be that a spokesman’s job was to convert the masses to the cause. Now most of them just lazily preach to the choir. I love Ted Nugent, but the last thing I'll do in a gun control debate is cite or repeat anything he's said..... Ever. It would be like someone showing me a Bloomberg video. I'll just start preparing my response before the videos finished, if watch it in the first place. 6) Post in the lions den. There have been a few liberal views tossed around here and while some of the arguments have been ill-conceived, I do give them credit for stepping outside their comfort zone. I'm not talking about trolls. I'm talking about real people with real ideas that really want to understand and be understood. There's a big difference. Go forth and post your views where they count. I've seen more than a few threads saying “vote on this poll here!” only to find that its on a clearly Pro-firearm website. Pointless. Take a chance and contribute to the discussion on their terms. Use the tips Ive laid out and you'll be surprised how little response you get. Pro-tip: That usually happens when you've made your point and they have no way to argue it. Words to avoid: Gun rights side. NRA 2nd amendment Freedom Liberty Socialism Communism Anti-gun Words to avoid: Gun control side. NRA Assault Clip Obama Ban Restrict Pro-gun gun violence note: Its “words” to avoid not concepts. If your argument has the identical talking points and wording of the media and every other voice on the net, it won't be noticed. Worse, it won't be understood. Be original. That gets noticed. Now go get 'em.