A Facebook friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning (after the Las Vegas shooting), “Now can we talk about guns?”
Good question, but can we TALK about guns?
I get the sentiment, but no, I don’t think we can. Please note that I’m not saying we shouldn’t. I’m saying that we can’t. Not yet. Not anytime soon.
One, emotions run too high. Not unjustifiably so, but they are obscuring any hope of an effective resolution. People… read that as the people who are the most uncompromisingly vocal on their respective side… aren’t interested in talking and only want their will be done, and they are willing to scream and shout and accuse and demonize anyone who dare share on opposing point of view to do so.
Two, and I’m going to pick on one side here, the gun control side often says things like, “Nobody wants to take guns away from mentally healthy and law-abiding people.” I flat out call bull shit on that. They most certainly do want to take guns away from everyone, they are simply using the illusion of a reasonable argument to further their desired end result. Plus, they also know that current Constitutional law precludes that. But whenever someone says they don’t want to take guns away from good people, I look at them and think, “You liar.”
Three, and now I’m going to pick on the other side, people who strongly support the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms often claim that casualties would greatly lessen if everyone were armed and could take out the shooter. These people, to me, are in a special kind of denial. These people are the epitome of the picture of the ostrich burying its head in the sand.
Now, having said all that, both sides are not necessarily and wholly wrong in the overall debate, but neither is either side wholly correct. Each side can produce individual anecdotes and examples to “prove” their point of view. There have been times where an armed person took down a shooter and saved others, you bet. There have also been other times where it either didn’t make a difference or caused further damage with more shooters shooting indiscriminately at each other. Individual examples in and of themselves don’t prove a thing, they’re just a piece of the puzzle in that they’re just part of a larger discussion.
Please know that I have my own thoughts about what we should do, but to prevent this from being a book I am limiting this particular post to the topic of the debate in getting to a better end result.
So, anyway, can we talk about guns and what to do about mass shootings? We need to. But we have issues that run far deeper than simple access to guns, and as long as the larger problem of emotional hysterics… including shouting down of people who dare to present an unapproved point of view… and resolute partisan posturing, which focuses on overly-simplistic solutions, is the strategy of the day, we won’t be able to.