I’ve been quiet about the gun control issue because I just don’t really have any good answers. I don’t like to speak out or up until I feel adequately informed about facts and clear about my personal ideas.
Also, I am not a gun owner. I have little experience with or interest in guns. Truth be told, I don’t even really care for Nerf guns. But I am not naive enough to think that I should suggest banishing guns simply because I don’t like them. That would be nonsense.
And that is exactly what I think the conversation should not include….nonsense.
For example, the NRA did not consult their most reasonable members, or me, because they released this ad. We already know that every single president, Democrat or Republican, and his family, as well an other high ranking officials and their families, are fully protected by the Secret Service, all of whom carry some pretty powerful heat. This point is not in line with the issue at hand….unstable people getting a hold of guns that harm innocent people.
And so I feel uncertain because I just want this conversation to be one upon which we start with the common ground, which is something has to be done for the sake of our kids and our own feelings of personal safety. Starting from position of extremes (They want to take away our 2nd amendment rights! and Guns kill! Ban them all!) never seems to work. People get mad, accuse, and react before an exchange ever occurs.
Some might argue that the president is reacting to Sandy Hook and gun owners will be the ones paying for it.
But, these things keep happening because we haven’t learned our lesson. Albert Einstein said it best: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
In order to stop this horrific trend, we must do something differently and because those could have been our kids or grandchildren or students or nieces or nephews or neighbors. We all have an iron in this fire.
So as I see it, nothing our president seems to be seeking seems unreasonable. It doesn’t seem like asking for stricter and more uniform background checks is a bad thing. Responsible gun owners are not going to be affected by the changes since they have nothing to hide. If you do have something to hide or something is amiss, a pause to clear that fog seems just fine to me. From what I know, which I admit isn’t a lot because the laws vary from state to state, is it takes me more time to purchase a fireworks pack or prescription strength Tylenol from Target than it does to purchase a gun in some states. That, to me, does not make sense.
As set our by the second amendment, people have the right to bear arms. I freely admit to never having once considered this. The notion of needing to protect myself or my family with a gun is as foreign to me as the Chinese language. I might be clear about where I personally stand in this conversation, but it is not the same as being naive. With each Columbine and Sandy Hook, we are charged with a responsibility to move beyond our personal agendas to do something not only different but better.
Our kids do not need to live in fear, especially at school.
I guess where I am at now is that I need to learn more. I need to remain thoughtful and open. I need to talk to my legislators because, quite frankly, they need our help. It’s easy to forget, but we do get to set the agenda our elected officials carry out. Now is the perfect time to be reminded of this.
Mostly though, I need to be a part of a solution. I don’t think my conscience could bear to do otherwise.
If nothing else motivates us, our conscience is a good place to start. As defined by Webster, it is”the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action”.
I think that’s why it’s so compelling to all of us now. We feel weighted by our conscience. At the same time, we are baffled by all the prongs and complexities of the issue at hand.
We can’t let that bog us down because it’s clear we all have at least one brick to lay on this long and winding path to a better way even if we aren’t quite sure what that way might be. My advice is simply to pick up the first brick.