I have quite a few friends and family members who are justifiably proud of their principles, their sense of right and wrong. To waiver for even a nanosecond is unthinkable. I respect them immensely. But they are wrong.
Here's why: Once again there has been a mass shooting, a massacre at a school, this time in Oregon. And once again the rhetoric from both the political right and left is in-your-face. The liberal left would just love to outlaw all guns, just declare them illegal and confiscate them all. The Tea Party and the NRA say that will happen when you pry them from their cold dead...well...you know the rest.
And nothing gets done.
The left must understand they can NOT close down gun makers, gun stores, private ownership of guns, etc. If they try the matter will be tied up in the courts for years, decades even. Not gonna happen!
The right must understand that no one is going to knock on their door and rifle through their stuff (pun intended) and seize their guns. If someone tries, there will be blood in the streets.
Nor can they grab up all the ammo. There are already hundreds of millions (billions?) of rounds of ammunition in private hands. If they try it will just give the black market and smugglers another product to profit off of. Not gonna happen!
Both sides need to suck it up, bend their principles a bit, and find common ground. To a pragmatist like me this is just so obvious. They need to sit down and find out exactly what both sides CAN agree on.
Obviously criminals past and present can not...MUST not have guns. When they are found in possession of guns, it's off to the lock-up they go. Look aggressively. Not enough prison space, you say? Then MAKE more prison space.
Obviously the mentally unstable can not...MUST not have guns. Find a way to identify these sadly troubled people. Look aggressively.
Surely both sides can agree on this. Yes, compromise is often dirty, and often leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But at least SOMETHING gets done. And something desperately needs to get done. We all need to quit beating our chests and refusing to bend.
Lets face it: The only difference between good guns and bad guns is who is holding them. Lets stop focusing on the guns, and concentrate on who is holding them.