* A follow up to recent conversations about gun control and gun rights:
Today I took the suggestion of someone critical of my comments about reasonable gun control. I grabbed my ass with both hands but, contrary to his prediction, I did not fall on my face. What did crash to the ground were my suggestions for reasonable gun control. I am sincerely impressed with the knowledge and passion that readers at blog.joehuffman.org and snowflakesinhell.com have exhibited. Almost 300 people from these two sites have visited this blog. Many have offered comments and I recommend that anyone interested in “gun rights” and “gun control” read them. One of the responses came from a gentleman named Sean who lives in my area and has invited me to visit a range and learn more about this subject. We spoke on the telephone for about an hour and will continue the conversation when we visit a range in the near future.
In addition to learning more about guns and gun control than I would have imagined I have come to see that it is important in any debate to be more knowledgeable not only about one’s position but also the position of others. Until now most of my information has come from those interested in reducing the level of violence by individuals with guns that harm both innocent bystanders and police officers in my and other communities. It is a most sincere and serious objective by people of good will. As I originally commented, we debate to the extremes and this calcifies our thinking. A good example is my calling for a ban on assault weapons – something I have come to learn I could not even define. Joe Huffman has provided two comprehensive dictionaries about guns that I found educational: gun dictionary and scary words glossary.
I have also concluded that even seemingly subtle differences can get us off track. Gun control advocates often say that guns kill people. Gun rights advocates say that people kill people. I can understand both points of view but also realize that by saying that guns kill people there is an implied stigma that taints responsible gun owners and builds a wall to substantive discourse. It is also important to note that by solely concentrating on the gun in the commission of a crime we lose sight of the criminal. Dealing with causes and acts of crime is certainly a priority for our society.
Another blog that added to my education is sensiblyprogressive.blogspot.com. However, I do take exception to the statement that the restrictions that The Brady Campaign fights for are not for the protection of society but to attrit the number of gun owners until a full ban becomes plausible. I can understand the emotional element of this statement. I can understand the perceived “threat” that gun control advocates pose to gun owners. I do not think it fair to ignore the legitimate concerns that are at the heart of such organizations.
This past week has been very interesting. The most important lesson for me is to question the premises of issues that I support as well as the stances of people and organizations that are “on my side” while continuing to question “the other side.” In a season of miracles there may be a time when, on at least some issues, we can meet in the middle side.
I want to express my appreciation to the many people who shared their knowledge and opinions.