*Steps up on soap box and taps microphone. Screeching sound ensues.*
Sorry about that.... I shall flog the sound guy. >_>
Ladies, Gentlemen - ATS members,
I thank you for coming here tonight to read this post. I hope that the thread title will draw ample numbers of readers to warrant some sort of
positive change in discussions around the subject of gun control, truly a subject that is infected and spurs passion like few other subjects of
politics that I know.
One thing I have noticed on ATS in the last few days is - quite understandably, considering the fact of the fateful day when innocent school children
were massacred by some freak of nature in Connecticut - that quite commonly, when we discuss gun control, we adapt an "Us vs. Them" mindset. Us Gun
Rights Activists (Yes, I am "for" guns, whatever that means) versus Them Gun Control Activists.
It is quite natural, and it is in all probability nothing less than human nature.
But let us remind ourselves why we so passionately discuss this subject with even more passion, even more ferver, after a public shooting, than
otherwise. We do it because innocent people have died, and we do it because we all want to end these senseless mass murders. I have seen some gun
rights activists and some gun control activists both
throw around, obviously extremely offensive, insults like, "You would condone more
shootings like this to happen!" as an argument for their cause. It's kind of disgraceful.
This is the Us vs Them mentality playing in.
This is not a war. This is NOT about "winning".
This is about ending, or at the very least severely limiting public shootings of any and all kinds. Because of this, either we all win, or we all
lose. Only one side CANNOT win. Because we all want the same thing ultimately - to end the public shootings. Again, this means, either both sides win,
or both sides lose.
What we need in the gun control discussions is balance. To come up with a solution in regard to the gun law debate, we need to discuss, and work,
together, not against each other. Gun control activists need to steer away from those who would fanatically enforce an all-out ban on all kinds of
Because we gun rights activists would never agree to it!
And gun rights activists need to be open for discussion in regard to gun control. No, more than that. We don't just need to be open for discussion. We
need to listen, hear
, what the gun control activists are saying. We need to NOT dismiss their arguments off-hand simply
because they are "on the other side". We need not give our guns up. But we need to be there to help with our knowledge on firearms, and our
To help the gun activists in shaping a gun control politic that both sides can be happy with.
One thing I know for sure. The "Us versus Them" mentality that currently exists, does not work. If the two sides insist on staying in two warring
camps like what I have seen so far on ATS, then, just as it currently is, the gun discussion will lead nowhere productive. Instead it will remain in
this very position of stalemate, with no side agreeing with the other, no decisions or laws being passed, and no solutions being found, and insults
being flung across the battlefield in fashion that really ought to be beneath us all.
And the mass killings will continue.
There IS no "us versus them". We're all in the same boat. (Me excluded. I do not live in America, so consider mine an outsider's objective view on the
issue.) It's our kids being killed, from both camps as has obviously been seen - Lanza's mother was a gun rights activist, for one. Therefor, we're
all trying to find a solution that will stop the mass shootings.
Now, we can either condemn these mass murders to continue by being unreasonable and refusing to calmly discuss, negotiate, converse, give and find
common ground, or, we can sit down together, and work, discuss, together - in a polite fashion completely free from insults, jibes and
snarky remarks that serve only to inflame the discussion further
- to find a solution that everybody will be at least remotely satisfied with,
and hopefully will ultimately end, or at least severely limit, the mass shootings.
You can NEVER have your way if you want to get rid of all guns. But you MIGHT just be able to get them to be kept locked away safely when
not used. Be reasonable in what you want, and TRY to see it from the other side's point of view.
But until we work together on finding a solution, we won't find any, and innocent people will continue to die.
Stop being rude to each other.
Stop making fun of each other or each others opinions.
When you're informing someone that they are wrong - be respectful.
When you're saying their source might be biased, say "Hey, dude, I think your source might be biased", not "As if I'd rely on statistics from that
bunch of gun control morons". Who knows? They might even reply, "Oh, you're right, they could be (perceived as) biased. I'll find a better source. My
"Hey, dude. Putting armed guards in schools might not be a good idea."
"You're right. But perhaps there's a middle-ground of some kind? After all, security guards do exist in schools all over the world. What do you
"I think (X)..."
Be nice. Be calm. Be respectful. And work together, not against each other.
Together we can find a way to limit these insane acts of public mass murder. But divided, all we can do is argue like two groups of opposite-extreme
raving fanatics. And thats what we are right now. Fanatics. On both sides. So which one do you want to be part of? The fanatics, or the solution?
There are also two myths or mistruths (Is that a word?) that I personally feel severely hinders this discussion. Myths that both sides need to stop
relying on if we're going to get anywhere with these discussions.
Gun Rights Activist Myth: Guns do not kill people
This is of course semantics. Yes, we know guns don't kill people - the person holding them do - otherwise we would be sending the gun to jail, not the
person holding them. But by and large, the weapon is designed with a few purposes, one of which is defense or offense - that is, in other words,
Anti Gun Activist Myth: Guns are designed with one purpose only, to kill people
This is not true. Of course, hunting animals is also killing, 'tis true, but it is not killing humans. It's, in fact, the act of creating food and
thereby feeding life. Well, kind of. Additionally, guns can be used for recreational shooting - which is a perfectly acceptable hobby - and for
defense against wild animals. And, of course, self-defense. Killing. But let us stop with this talk about guns being designed ONLY to kill people.
Like the other myth, it helps nobody, it only hinders progress in this very important discussion.
(Additional post coming. Please bear with me, and wait with replies. Thank you.)
edit on 21-12-2012 by Gauss because: (no reason
edit on 21-12-2012 by Gauss because: (no reason given)