Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gun Control: compassion, common sense and compromise

Thank you, Chuck, for posting this on Facebook and allowing me to use it here.  Your words of wisdom are appreciated.
by Charles Leggett
Compassion, common sense and compromise are the qualities we use and call upon every day as we carry out our routine endeavors. Faced with a national imperative to address a problem that seemingly has no limits to the grief, despair and destruction it causes, we must employ those qualities well beyond our normal limits. Americans know when something needs to be fixed. A Universal system for background checks and registration is a common sense move. Limiting or banning assault weapons is a common sense move. Closing the gun show loopholes is a common sense move. NO right of mine has been infringed if any of these steps become the law, BUT, my family might be a bit safer for them.

I am a gun owner. I am a former NRA member. I dropped my membership when the NRA stopped being a fully responsible partner in our society and unwisely tethered to the rhetoric of their most extreme element. As a gun owner I know I do not need an assault weapon to defend my family or to hunt with. When I aim at something, I seldom need more than one round to hit it. I do not plan on or foresee the need to go to war with my country or the enemies of my country. For those who say - these things have been tried before and didn't work and we don't need to try again - I say - tell that to our men and women who are serving in war zones - They might try and they might fail - but they don't stop trying - they keep at it until successful.

National polls seem to agree that a majority of gun owners (including NRA members) believe that steps should be taken to ban assault weapons and employ a universal background check and registration system. That lends me some hope even as I see that most of the do-nothings in congress would vote against each common sense step. In order to curb gun violence the people that were tracked in the national polls will have to convert their survey responses into action. It will require a congress willing to act above and beyond their respective best interests to get re-elected. It will require a national organization like the NRA to speak and act responsibly and be a willing partner in a common sense compromise. It will require our entire country to look past the issue of guns and see the other contributing aspects of the problem.
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