I've never had any objection to an open, honest debate on gun control. That's what makes any free democratic system of government work. The people debate the issues, come to a consensus, vote, and determine public policy through the representatives they choose. The founders had great faith in the ability of free, informed people to govern themselves wisely. So do I. The problem is that the debate is not "honest," and the people are not "informed." The most characteristic tactic of anti-gunners is, simply put, LYING--carefully, deliberately, and with malice aforethought--and their lies are supported, again deliberately, by the mainstream media. Handgun Control, Inc., publishes statistics on the enormous number of children killed by handguns. The public reacts with horror, as well they should--IF those numbers were accurate. If you examine them, though, you find that they define a "child" as anyone under the age of 25; they include, e.g., the deaths of two 20+ year-old drug dealers in a gang shootout; they include the death of a 24-year-old murder suspect shot by a police SHOTGUN (not a handgun); they include the suicide of a 19-year-old after he committed murder; they include the deaths of armed robbers who were shot by store owners defending themselves; and on and on. They publish statistics on the number of "children" killed in handgun "accidents", and claim that this happens daily; but, again, examine those numbers and you will find that they include "children" in their 20s and even "accidents" that are deliberate shootings and suicides. The actual number of children under 10 who are killed in genuine accidents in any given year is less than 15, and that has been true for decades--and those accidents almost invariably involve a loaded handgun left lying around by an irresponsible adult, often a criminal drug dealer or the like. They routinely ignore, or "debunk" without evidence, statistics that show that guns in the hands of legally armed citizens prevent more crimes than are committed by armed criminals. They DO pay attention to reports of civilian self-defense, though; those reports are routinely included in their tallies of "handgun deaths". They deliberately blur the distinctions between semi- and full-automatic weapons and between military and civilian weapons; they repeatedly imply that full-auto "machine guns" are available for casual, unregulated purchase. These people are not ignorant or "confused". Go to their websites and you will see them speak openly about exploiting the ignorance and confusion of the public about guns. This is a well-planned and carefully conducted disinformation campaign worthy of the KGB. And the major media are in their pocket. I have personally seen stories (plural) about semi-automatic weapons on the major broadcast networks that were accompanied by video of NFA-regulated Class III weapons in full-auto fire--and seen those same stories REPEATED, without comment, correction or alteration, AFTER the network had been informed of the inaccurate and deceptive nature of the pieces. The LOCAL media (depending on where you live) will sometimes carry stories of civilians defending themselves and their families with legally-owned weapons--here in Dallas, they appear a couple of times every week--but you will NEVER see such a story make the national news. That is a set policy that appears to be carved in stone. The falsified statistics of HCI and their ilk are slavishly parroted by the networks and big-city papers, while the countering facts and genuine, accurate statistics from the pro-gun side remain invisible. Perhaps the most important key to judging the rightness of a cause is observing whether or not its adherents tell the truth. Simply put, if you have to lie to defend your cause, there must be something wrong with it. And THAT, to me, is by far the most effective and telling argument against the anti-gunners. If their cause is so righteous, why can't they promote it without a consistent pattern of deliberate distortions and outright lies? Note on countering falsehoods and distortions in the media: By all means, write and email the major papers and networks with your objections and corrections--they need to know we're awake and watching out here--but don't expect it to do any good. You will inevitably be dismissed as a benighted redneck. Better to address your LOCAL media. They're much more likely to respond (cf. "A Small Victory" on this board). When you see a biased story on TV, write the network--but write the local station, too. THEY are ultimately responsible for what goes out under their call letters. If the reporting is especially bad, it could be fun to write their competition, too. It might be hard for an editor to resist a story on how a rival station or paper aired or published an egregious falsehood... Don't just confront the lies. Ask why they're necessary.