Tuesday, January 15, 2013


When I disagree with someone on an issue, I want to hear them out. I give them an opportunity to change my mind and I do my best to see the issue through their perspective. Perhaps there is something that I’m missing. Maybe the approach that led to my opposing point of view was simplistic, but when guided through the complexities of the matter I’ll realize that I had formed an opinion based on misinformation. I’m certainly not infallible. I’ve been wrong before and will be again. A whole lot of people clearly care a great deal about being permitted to own guns. Whenever the topic of stricter regulations comes up on Capitol Hill, opponents to the notion are literally up in arms. Below are examples of the ways (ranging from witty to frighteningly absurd) they express their displeasure at the mere suggestion that there are too many guns out there that are capable of shooting too many bullets at too rapid a rate. And it is too easy for these weapons and the ammunition to get into the wrong hands, that is, not in the possession of law abiding citizens who wish only to hunt or shoot at targets or protect their homes and businesses, but in the ill intentioned grasp of criminals and psychopaths. NRA propaganda aside (their opinion does not matter to me because I know they profit monetarily from it), I don’t really comprehend why the two sides can’t come together and find common ground. What I do know is that the ground is purposely and willfully not common despite declarations on both sides that we want to protect the good guys from the bad guys. No matter what a particular proposal is about (wider reaching background checks, limitations on degree of firepower, greater watchfulness over purchases made at gun shows or over the internet that currently are about as regulated as the Wild Wild West), the response is some variation of “the 2nd Amendment says we have the right to bear arms so that we can protect ourselves from criminals and the government won’t attempt to fully control our lives”. The truth is that both sides are right. But they’re talking about completely different things, which isn’t at all helpful. Nobody has proposed abolishing the Second Amendment and not allowing any citizens to own guns. Every law abiding American who owns or wishes to own a gun before additional regulations are possibly enacted will be able to obtain a gun afterward. If owning a firearm makes you feel safer, guess what, you’ll be able to feel equally safe after tweaks to laws are made. No plan to turn the United States of America into a police state is currently on the table. So why can’t we have an intelligent conversation about what actually is on the table in order to reach consensus and possibly save a few lives as result? I have earnestly attempted to find the answer to this question. It remains a mystery.

So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy towards people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigration sentiment, or, you know, anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. – Then Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama

By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim… we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

R.I.P. Lost children of Newtown, CT.

The map below (dated 6-10-14) shows the 74 school shootings in the US since Sandy Hook


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