Editorial: Meaningful debate on gun control too much to expect

One thing we cannot depend on in the aftermath of Sunday’s horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas is meaningful, respectful dialog on gun control in America.

There will be posturing. Democrats predictably will cite statistics showing America having more public mass shootings than any other country in the world. Republicans will cite the absolute truths guaranteed by our nation’s 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

And from there, it will get ugly.

That’s what you can depend on.

‘Fighting over the issues on which we disagree is more important than finding solutions to the problems over which we are so quick to argue’

America has lost the art of civil discourse. We have forgotten what it means to agreeably disagree. Forget about compromise, fighting over the issues on which we disagree is more important than finding solutions to the problems over which we are so quick to argue.

This is not a problem unique to the halls of Congress. Statesmanship became a lost skill in Washington years ago.

No, this is a problem that trickles all the way down, or perhaps up, to or from you and me. Too many of us are guilty of drawing lines in the sand and making enemies of anyone who crosses that divider between our own personal view of right and wrong. Too many of us refuse to listen to those whose opinions differ from ours on political and social issues. Further, too many of us typically tend to respond to those who view things through a different set of lenses by insulting them. Nowhere is this more prevalent, and ugly, than in the cyber world of social media.

Sure, gun control is the obvious issue of the day, and one that certainly deserves thoughtful dialogue. But too many of us are so quick-tempered and singularly opinionated any more that even the next Tweet from Donald Trump is reason for a firestorm of ugly exchanges on Facebook.

Whether it’s gun control or any of the other myriad issues that need resolution in our country, we can forget about noble statesmanship and compromise in Washington, D.C.

But before you go on a rant about the quality of leadership that exists in our country today, stop and take a look in the mirror.

The enemy clearly is us.

Comments

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 year, 1 month ago

Dan, you are usually right, and spot on here. Thanks for having the courage to post this bitter truth. We should all strive to do and be better. Unfortunately I think we are going through a very dramatic transition period in human history, one that may stretch the very bounds and limits of human experience and knowledge, we may not make it out of or through this next climatic-geologic age, as a species anyways. We have left the shores of charted waters behind us, our past reference points are becoming irrelevant. Adapting and adjusting to this new reality will the be source of a lot of conflict (hope I'm wrong about that). Our extinction would not even cause a blip on the universal radar. The world will continue on with or without us but it does not need us to continue.

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 year, 1 month ago

But as far as gun control goes, I used to be on the far right of this issue, but seeing how the right reacted to Obama's presidency helped me see just how delusional and insane some of these people are. Now I'm convinced that no civilian needs assault rifles and 30 round mags for self-defense, hunting, or target practice. 3-5 rounds should be all anyone needs for the above mentioned activities. There needs to be a clear line drawn between weapons available to amateurs (citizens) and professionals (military /police). And I'm sure many will argue to outlaw certain assault rifles too, good. It's time to care more about your fellow citizens than your guns and ammo. As far as the Spartan's and "Come and take them" I highly doubt the Spartans would consider guns to be honorable weapons. But that's just the opinion of someone who graduated Summa Cum Laude in History and Anthropology, much of it ancient history, if you put any stock in our universities.

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Pfalbo 1 year, 1 month ago

(A funny line regarding Education: If I were impressed with degrees, I'd buy a thermometer.)

The original wording of the Constitution's 2nd Amendment provides a potentially acceptable solution to today's gun issue.

The amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Why not interpret and act upon these words literally instead of sniggling about definition nuances of the words "militia," or, "well regulated"? Doing so would interrupt both the right-wing's and left-wing's historical-- and sometimes hysterical-- 2nd Amendment interpretations.

What if official state level militias were legislated and formed? Then, at last and at least, the 2nd Amendment's oft-quoted, much litigated and incessantly argued phrasing could be followed exactly.

And we all want the Constitution to be enforced as written, right?

Since the militia would be a civilian force of on-call citizens, registry of individual's and their privately owned fire arms would be a matter conforming to the 'well regulated" directive of the Constitution.

Why not?

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes, a thermometer would have been much cheaper. LOL!

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IzzatSo 1 year, 1 month ago

What a great idea ! Become a card-carrying, registered, well-regulated, state militia member and you can have your guns. You will be officially on call for state emergencies. Not a member of the official state militia? Sorry, the second amendment no longer applies to you (never did). Relinquish your guns. Hungry for venison? Hire a state militia member to shoot a deer for you.

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Pfalbo 1 year, 1 month ago

Given life in these United States, apparently, only one "absolute truth" is written in the Constitution: The Right to bear arms.

Mass murder after mass murder, the 2nd Amendment is proven to be more important than any individual's right to life.

Imagine, another's ability to shoot you trumps your right to life.

Odd that our Founding Fathers-- those "brilliant" men who could so clearly see into the nation's future-- did not think to include "Life" as a Constitutional Right.

To our detriment they didn't include the "inalienable rights... endowed by their Creator," cited in the Declaration of Independence, into the Constitution: Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Other "absolute truths," originally written into the Constitution such as Freedom of Speech, people's Right of Assembly, Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to a speedy trial and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment have been procedurally modified to meet the needs of government to more closely reflect the times.

But, only one Constitutional amendment is sacrosanct: Gun Rights.

How this fulfills the Constitution's mandate to "establish Justice... insure domestic Tranquility... promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves..." is mystery.

Any, "meaningful, respectful dialog?"

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IzzatSo 1 year, 1 month ago

Who is the most powerful man in US government? Wayne LaPierre (and his money).

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 year, 1 month ago

"But, only one Constitutional amendment is sacrosanct: Gun Rights." It's the right bear arms, not guns. Perhaps this is a loophole the courts can use? And protecting our right to life IS the primary function of government. Some Founders thought a Bill of Rights unnecessary in a free country, kind of like mentioning the obvious. Good thing they didn't get their way or we wouldn't have any rights by now. Anyways, good points P.

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lostone1413 1 year, 1 month ago

I vote that you be the first one in Arizona to go around and collect the guns lol

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 year, 1 month ago

Unfortunately in this country fetuses have more rights than those who have already been born. I guess we have a right to life until we pop out the womb, then we're screwed (and not in a good pleasurable way). And if you think defending your rights against a fellow citizen is difficult, try defending yourself when it is GOVERNMENT that has violated your rights. When you try to get justice they just roll their eyes and laugh at you. Sometimes they send a military helicopter to hover over your house, trying to intimidate you into silence. I'm descended from the people who repelled and brought down the Roman Empire, it is not in my DNA to be intimidated. So when they tell me I owe them obedience, I just roll my eyes and laugh at them. But if they respect my rights I will respect their authority. Hail the fetuses!

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