As a strong conservative, I know the narrative my fellow Republicans stand on when it comes to the controversial topic of gun control. The discussion ranges from “hands off our guns” (those on the far right) to “complete government control of guns” (those on the far left).
The argument has become who is right and who is wrong.
After every gun-related killing that becomes a major talking point with the national media, Republicans and Democrats dig deeper into their trenches instead of actively pursuing a resolution. Two differentiating sides of the argument continually sparring over what the real issue is and how to fix it.
A marksman sights in on a target, February 14, 2015. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)
We refuse to listen to each other. Is anyone really surprised that we aren’t making any progress?
I’m sick of some Republicans automatically running to the topic of mental health.
I’m sick of some Democrats automatically running to the topic of the NRA.
I’m sick of some Republicans denouncing any mere suggestion of gun regulation.
I’m sick of some Democrats denouncing the importance of the Second Amendment.
I’m sick of some Republicans denying there is a gun problem in our country.
I’m sick of some Democrats denying that there are still issues with gun-free zones around our country.
These are continuous arguments that are happening - everywhere from the Senate to social media. We are running in circles and arguing, yet accomplishing nothing.
The Colorado shooting was done by a nutjob; the San Bernardino shooting seems to have been committed by a radicalized couple. There is no overwhelming consistency when it comes to these murders in the U.S. - hatred, terrorism, mental illness, etc. - yet they continue happening.
What is consistent, however, is that we will all bark back and forth after each incident.
So why can’t we listen and understand that bits and pieces on both sides of the argument are correct? Somewhere, beneath all of the insanity, are elements of truth.
We do have a mental health problem; but we also have a gun problem.
We need to discuss types of regulations; but also understand that isn’t the absolute answer.
We should have the right to bear arms; but we should be cognitive of who is receiving them.
There is no denying that we have come to a pivotal point in our country’s history, and we must have tough discussions on where we go from here. When mass shootings are becoming everyday occurrences, can’t we all agree something has to be done?
As murders continue to happen, we continue arguing with one another. How many spouses, children and loved ones have to die before we put aside our differences and listen to one another in an effort to find an outcome that benefits the American people?
Instead of this being a topic focused on the safety of the American people, it has been turned into the usual political talking points by both parties.
That change begins with us. Instead of simply arguing with those who have opposing thoughts, perhaps we should begin listening to one another. History shows us that when we are threatened and our backs are against the wall, the American people can come together to do amazing things.
For the first time in a long time, we need to set aside our political differences and find an answer.
This type of approach is likely to garner outspoken rebuttals from members of both parties. The fact that the answer to our country’s latest problem lies within the ideologies of both parties is not likely not to be accepted by Republicans or Democrats.
Perhaps that is exactly the reason it could work.
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