|Photo credit: David Hartman|
[I wrote this post and sat on it for months. I know it is sensitive, and of the few people who ultimately read it, I know I will offend at least some for completely opposite reasons. But I must start by clarifying that this is written to my friends who are gun control advocates not to criticize your arguments, but to honestly suggest how you might improve them.]
As someone who is on the fence about gun control, when a tragedy like a school shooting happens, I'm very open to hearing the arguments of Gun Control Advocates. Like the rest of the nation, I'm looking for a solution, a way to make it better, to make our country safer, but every time I am frustrated by the reactions my anti-gun friends provide. I don't like guns. I don't have any in my home and I don't feel comfortable around them in others’ homes. I should be very easy to convince but, my friends, you are not making your case very well!
You're actually sending me inching toward the opposing side, holding my nose at their aggressive, vigilante philosophies, but not seeing any other real solutions.
Gun Control Advocates, I don't know if you can hear the way you sound, but you've become the liberal version of Westboro Baptist Church. You stand around and proclaim the killings to be God’s curse on our nation for our sins instead of making converts by describing the way things could be changed. Instead of coming on Facebook or television and saying, “Here is a list of specific legislation and changes we can make that would have prevented this slaughter,” you stand on your soapbox before the dead are even buried and cry, “This is what we get for having gun nuts run the country!”
So instead of just saying, “gun control now,” please tell me:
• Should all firearms be illegal?
• What weapons should remain legal?
• Whom do you think should be allowed to own a weapon?
• Whom should be allowed to sell a weapon
We’ve been told that the Oregon shooter owned his guns legally, so what laws would you have changed to prevent his killing spree?
Maybe you're not being specific because you are afraid of scaring moderates like me away. Maybe you wrongly assume we've already heard it all before. Whatever the reason is, you're not succeeding. While you're busy insulting my apparently crazy, evil, gun-loving parents, they can calmly claim that the shooting would have been prevented by teachers and students carrying handguns.
Maybe that's not a good argument (it seems unrealistically optimistic), but it's easily actionable—take down a few signs and let everyone bring their concealed weapons in their backpacks. You don't think that's the answer? Then tell me what is.
Everyone knows that guns are dangerous—that's why so many feel safer if they're evening the playing field with a weapon of their own. So it's time to tell me how you want to make me safer. Anger and insults haven't worked yet.