Why Our Gun Debate Is Off Target
Believe it or not, what’s missing from the current shout-fest over guns and gun control is the voice of gun owners.
Yes, the National Rifle Association has been screaming its head off since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but the NRA doesn’t speak for the country’s 100 million gun owners. If it did, it wouldn’t have just four million members. Some “gun guys” (as I like to call them) probably support the NRA without joining, but if only 4% are signing up, it’s safe to say a large majority of them want nothing to do with the NRA’s angry extremism.
As for those on the gun-control side, they often go beyond calling for policy changes, about which reasonable people can disagree, and issue broad-brush insults that aren’t acceptable in other contexts. When sportscaster Bob Costas blames “gun culture” for the murder-suicide of an NFL linebacker, gun owners say, “Wait a minute. I’m gun culture. And my guns haven’t hurt anybody.”
A lot of assumptions are made about gun owners, by the NRA and gun-control proponents alike. What nobody ever seems to do, though, is listen to them.
A good discussion of some of the issues that get left on the table when the two sides are more intent on shouting than on actually making things better. Of course, as a Democrat & Lefty who is also a gun owner like the author, I do have my own biases. However I also believe we will all be better off by all of us listening to each other.