An Australian (anti-gun) VS an American (pro-gun). So during the end of my workout this morning at the gym, I was approached by a "self-proclaimed" gun-nut. (Yes, I know, I'm at the gym and every single part of me wanted to say "Thanks but I'm already packing guns" and pose like Johnny Bravo flexing my biceps/"guns"). But no, I thought as an Australian in the U.S, this is my first personal experience encountering this particular species. I was curious... I had heard so much about them... Here I was, standing in front of one in the flesh! I wanted to learn more about them... I wanted to try to understand and get an insight to the mindset of these crazy people. (In hindsight, I REALLY shouldn't have.) He started off by telling me that he encourages everyone here at the gym to own a gun, and mentions about a gun fair/festival type thing coming up in the area that I should attend. He explains that there will be more guns there than in any place in the Western part of the U.S. He then proceeds to go where he should not have gone... He then mentioned because I was "someone of my stature" (being small) that he felt it necessary that he should tell me that I need a gun to defend myself. He goes on to say that learning martial arts is a great way of learning self-defence but nothing beats a gun and that I should seriously consider getting one. Behind gritted teeth, I begin my response in saying that I agree that martial arts is a great way to learn self-defence, self-discipline and is great for your mental and physical health. I then say that while I appreciate his opinion, I don't feel the need to carry or own a gun because I don't agree with them. I don't feel it is needed or necessary and I feel that the ease of access this country has to guns is terrible and a huge problem. He then proceeds to mention that if a car load of gang-bangers rocked up to my house because they wanted to steal something, that if I owned a gun, they would be scared of me and would be deterred. First off, what kind of argument is that? If a car load of individuals (I won't use gang-bangers because well, it was his choice of word and I wanted nothing relatable to him) that were part of a gang came to my house with intention to steal my stuff or harm me, most likely it's because I'm a horrible person and have done something to get their attention. Especially if they're choosing to do it knowing I'm home. I'm not a shit person (I think I'm quite wonderful actually) so I wouldn't encourage or intend to piss off people that are in that circumstance where they feel warranted to attack me and/or steal things from my house. And if I did have such items that were worth 2 carloads of people to steal, I certainly wouldn't be living in a place where these kinds of people also live because apparently I'd be rich so I'd live in a nicer neighbourhood. And I'd have some sort of amazing security in place to deter such people. And if I had a gun and tried to use it to scare them off, what's to stop the 2 car loads of people from just shooting me dead because they feel threatened because I HAVE A GUN? And if something like that did randomly happen, well I don't know how I'd deal with it personally. I'd call 911 for starters, I'd barricade myself somewhere where it was difficult for them to reach. I'd warn them the police were called and on their way, I'd yell and scream to attract attention. I'd plead with them to leave, or I'd get the heck out of there myself. If I had a gun, there is still only one of me and 2 carloads of them. Gun or no gun, my chances are f**ked regardless but as shown, there are alternatives. But this guy using that as an example is irrelevant. It's like those hypothetical stupid questions like "would you prefer to have 0 arms but be super intelligent or have 4 arms and 4 legs but lower than average intelligence?" They're just stupid. Anyway, that was just the beginning. While I was eager to finish my god damn workout (I hate being interrupted), I kindly again told him I don't agree with owning a gun and that was that. He eventually left but not before getting more pro-gun talk in. I finished off my workout but couldn't shake this annoyance I was feeling. Something was getting under my skin. This individual had pissed me off implying that I needed a gun to protect myself and had used my dwarfism as a reason for it. How dare this piece of shit try to use that against me to justify his delusional outlook. I wasn't done with him. I found him and mentioned that in case he wasn't aware, I'm an Australian living here. My thoughts on the whole gun situation is that the ease of accessibility is a huge problem in this country and that guns themselves are a huge problem. In Australia, when we had our last mass shooting (1996, the Port Arthur massacre), Australia banned guns. You know what hasn't happened since? A mass shooting in Australia. While he didn't have any counter argument for that, he literally ignored what I said and continued preaching how owning a gun can save your live. He went on to mention about how people who carry weapons can fend off potential attackers and when they do, they don't even report the incident to police. He then gave an example about how a police officer outside of a school was attacked from behind by a gang-banger (he seemed to love this word) with a bat. And as the guy went to hit him again with the bat, the cop pulled out his gun and shot the guy. I said "That's great! Because that person was a police officer. They should carry guns. They are here to protect and serve. They've trained, they've undergone checks and safety procedures etc etc. But how does that prove that everyone needs to carry? And regardless, your example is of a POLICE OFFICER who are known to carry guns. And that attacker STILL ATTACKED HIM. Even though the POLICE OFFICER was carrying a gun and known to be carrying a gun." He then told me a story about how he used to be a taxi driver and that he illegally carried a gun on him and prevented a guy from trying to rob him with a knife. And he let the guy go and didn't report him because he was illegally carrying a gun and it was against company policy. My reply to that was "So you let the person get away to potentially go harm someone else, you didn't report the incident to the police and you were also illegally carrying. So what you're saying is that you're breaking the law, and then thinking you're above the law and selfishly not acting like a good human being and reporting the incident so the culprit could be arrested instead of potentially going off to harm someone else. You're a shining example of a human being aren't you!" He says that "potential attackers won't attack you if you're carrying a gun". I said, "That's not necessarily true. They'll just try be more careful. Like your example with the police officer above. He was still attacked. Plus that won't stop them from attacking someone else instead. Maybe they'll move away from you if they fail and try to attack someone else who may not be carrying. Or they'll be more sneaky in their approach to get you or another person unaware. Or they'll just shoot you from a distance and be done with you because they don't want to alert you and potentially be shot instead." He then went on to mention that the shooting at Thousand Oaks yesterday would've been prevented if someone else in that bar was carrying a gun. I had to really keep calm here because his insensitivity was atrocious. I said "Or it could've just turned into an even bigger shoot out with more innocent bystanders being shot. Or the guy who shot everyone would've gone somewhere else instead where he knew people weren't carrying guns and do the same thing because he clearly wasn't right in the head and planned to kill people anyway. The ease of access to guns is the problem here." He then went on to mention some books that had been written about studies on gun ownership and how great they are to protect individuals blah blah. One was on how 600,000 cases of assault had been prevented in one year in one state due to the potential victim having a gun and deterring their would-be attacker. But if these people don't report these incidents happening, how did they know it was 600,000 people? If these people aren't reporting these incidents, then where did that number come from? Granted, I'll have to look up that book he mentioned in order to verify how these numbers were reached, but based on how he was telling it, he seemed extremely biased towards guns are the answer (if you hadn't figured that part out already), which is what every comment that came out of his mouth was in relation to. Now I barely understand a thing about politics in the US but I know enough about Trump to know that it's in a sad state of affairs. He then mentioned something about the Democrats and how it's their fault these things are happening and why guns are being perceived in such a bad way and it was then I realised "Oh great, he's Republican and a Trump lover....should I tell him how I feel about Trump? Or do I want to actually do something productive with my day today?" I chose the latter. I said that I didn't know enough about politics to weigh in on that but I feel like he was one sided once again. At this point, my missus came in and mentioned she had an appointment to get to (she didn't) and we left. So after my personal encounter with this species, I have come to the conclusion that there is no helping them. There is no way to reason with them. Logic is a word lost to them. Common sense is a term that seems like a mythical fantasy being. You cannot reason with stupid. Well, at least now I know firsthand. As much as I plan to keep away from such individuals in the future, I certainly won't stand down when someone assumes to label me as someone who can't defend themselves because of their stature. He's lucky I chose the "civil, let's discuss this like human beings" route.