Part of the problem is we are too passionate. We don't listen to each other. We don't present real facts. And until we have a calm, reasonable conversation, gun violence will not end.

Part of the Problem with Gun Control

Part of the problem is we are too passionate. We don't listen to each other. We don't present real facts. And until we have a calm, reasonable conversation, gun violence will not end.

By Richard Black of The Unfit Father 

I’m tired. I’m tired of people getting shot up in public places. I’m tired of mass shootings. I’m tired of the fact that more innocent lives will be taken while both sides bicker and posture. I’m tired of these tragedies being used as a platform to serve special interests and as an opportunity to garner political capital.

I’m tired of hearing my friends from the right yammer on about how the solution to gun violence in this country is to enforce existing laws and encourage more people to carry firearms. I’m tired of my friends from the left claiming that the solution to ending gun violence is to ban all firearms.

Neither stance is, in my opinion, rational, and that’s understandable. Gun control isn’t a rational issue.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should note that I generally agree with “The Left” when it comes to gun control. In addition to enforcing the existing gun laws, I believe that we need to draft legislation to ensure that firearms are kept out of the hands of those who are incapable of using them appropriately. I believe that if someone is caught with an unlicensed firearm, then it should be assumed that their intent to use the weapon is tantamount to a felony. For those found with improperly secured firearms, I believe that those weapons should simply be forfeit.

Then again, I may be part of the problem.

Banning firearms in their entirety is unfeasible and a stance with which I don’t agree. It’s not pragmatic and penalizes the many responsible gun owners who secure and train and clean their weapons on a regular basis. Gun ownership is also, whether right or wrong, deeply embedded within a large segment of our national consciousness. The fact is that there will always be guns in the United States. The question is whether they will be legal and monitored or purchased illegally and remain minimally regulated. That, in a nutshell, is the issue we face.

Instead of trying to understand the other side’s perspective in the past, I became adversarial. I noted that the U.S. has one of, if not the highest, rates of mass shootings in the “developed” world. I noted that we own more firearms per capita than any first-world country yet still have one of the highest rates of gun-related violence. I quote and respond and am quoted and responded to as well, and then down the rabbit hole we go.

Another approach is clearly necessary.

I feel comfortable writing that most people on either side of the issue believe that the loss of life that’s occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Newtown, Orlando and many other cities is a tragedy. I believe that everyone, regardless of political affiliation, hopes to halt these atrocities. I have difficulty believing that the answer to the issue is less regulation.

Then again, maybe my reticence as a “liberal” to even consider less regulation is part of the problem.

I like to think that I understand where “The Right” is coming from. I own firearms myself. I secure them, clean them and practice with them as often as I’m able. I consider myself to be a responsible gun owner and take no issue with others who do the same. To a certain extent, I even understand the fear my friends on “The Right” have regarding registration and limits on their Constitutional rights. Laws, despite the best of intentions, can and have been usurped throughout history.

The issue is complex. There’s political hay to be made from both sides and single agenda, special interest groups to which law makers and representative must cater. Gun control is an emotional issue and perhaps that’s the problem. In order to even begin to consider a solution, we all need to be willing to come to the table with hard, verifiable and honest facts instead of opinions, fear mongering and statistics massaged for political gain.

Until then, we can debate and posture all we want, and in the meantime, more men and women and children and husbands and wives and daughters and sons will continue to be the victims of another mass shooting, and another, and another.

This post was originally published on The Unfit Father