Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

I've changed my mind

After careful thought and reflection about the direction my blog has taken since I asked questions and got answers from the "gun guys", I have changed the purpose of my blog. As stated in my last post, I have found that most of the comments were just not getting the two sides of this volatile issue to a place where a thoughtful discussion could take place. Though the title of my blog indicates that I would like to have a discussion, I am not sure that is possible. As I was driving to church yesterday, I caught a portion of an interview on National Public Radio with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. The interviewer was Krista Tippett of "Speaking of Faith" ( a weekly radio show sponsored by American Public Media.) I was struck by a comment Kristof made that spoke to me about my own writing. It went something like this: Kristof found that when he wrote expecting that others would change their minds as a result of his ideas, it didn't happen the way he envisioned. The people who agreed with him still agreed with him and the people who didn't agree didn't change their positions. So he decided that what his purpose in writing should be is to try to get his ideas heard by the people who can do something about them and make them a part of the national agenda.( apologies to Kristof if I missed his point). The title of this interview was "Journalism and Compassion". Having read many columns written by Mr. Kristof, I know that he advocates for compassionate positions about issues that are sometimes not at the top of the nation's radar and by commenting on them, he brings them to the top.

I have no illusions that my own writing is anywhere near the quality of Kristof's. He has been observing international events and traveling the world to witness conditions in other countries for many years. He has put himself in harm's way sometimes to do this and has spotlighted terrible conditions of humanity in third world countries. His writing is poetic and persuasive. I am a novice and an advocate for prevention of gun injuries and deaths. But after spending the last few weeks reading and responding to the many comments written on my blog, I realized that, rather than coming closer to an understanding, we have become further apart.

So, taking Kristof's words to heart, my intention for my blog will not be a discussion but rather a way to keep the issue front and center and to urge those who can do something about gun injuries and deaths to put this issue more towards the top of the agenda. I was accused of having an agenda by one of the commenters. Yes, I have an agenda. That is really no secret is it? I imagine that just about everyone who blogs or writes columns or comments on current events in the national media has an agenda. Otherwise, why would we be doing this? I am not doing this as an exercise in futility to convince those who are just as ingrained in their positions as I am in mine. I am doing this to urge those who are willing to consider my ideas to join with me to make some changes to our gun laws in order to stop the shootings in our country. I am not doing this to debate all kinds of side issues like abortion, theology, drunk driving, drownings, etc. as my "friends" on the other side have tried to get me to do. Though I bring these up sometimes as examples for comparison or as related to gun violence, I do not intend to have lengthy debate about these issues with those who vehemently disagree with me and want to sidetrack my efforts to do something positive in the memory of the many victims of gun injuries and deaths.

I felt so immediately better after hearing the words of Nicholas Kristof. I admire him greatly for his courage and convictions.  And it was so appropriate that I heard his words  while I was puzzling over the direction of my blog. This does not mean that constructive comments won't be published. But my purpose will not be to persuade those of you who have so vociferously opposed my ideas. My purpose will be to inform as many people as possible about my views and to educate where I can. In so doing, I am hoping that others will join with me to make the issue of preventing gun injuries and death one of their top priorities and to advocate with me to move the issue to the agenda of those who can make a difference. My voice will stay strong and loud. Help me make a noisy appeal for common sense.

10 comments:

  1. Good. I'm glad you're more honest about your bankrupt values system. You view somebody who was shot to death more relevant than others who died violently by other means. You admit you have no heart. Please continue down this road to irrelevance!
    http://www.weerdworld.com/category/gun-death/

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  2. This is the last time I will publish any of this man's posts. I post this one as a prime example of why I have changed my mind. Who can deal rationally with anyone like this? His comments are rude, irrelevant and just plain nonsense. Please- whoever you are- do me the favor of discontinuing any comments. They will not be published but I am saving many of them as examples of how extreme some of the commenters to this blog are.

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  3. This is precisely why I blog on the topic: keep the issue out there and hope to connect with others who believe as I do. I know there are others who feel strongly that gun control is necessary.

    It is coming.

    Change is hard, but some people need to get with the programme.

    The people who originally chanted Μολὼν λαβέ were anihilated by what they hoped to stop. I hope the outcome will be same this time.

    Laci

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  4. Change is coming, but probably not the change you're looking for.

    Violent crime has been declining and the primary reason, IMHO, is the significat INCREASE in the gun ownership and the increase in concealed carry licenses that have been issued.

    More guns = less crime.

    If you were really concerned about reducing violence (not "gun" violence) you would be advocating for increased gun ownership and encouraging people to learn to defend themselves.

    September 27, 2010 1:23 PM

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  5. That's just not going to happen but thanks for the advise.

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  6. Laci...the people who chanted Μολὼν λαβέ were 100% successful, the Persian Army was stopped, and all the city-states of Greece remained free. They just stood behind their convictions to the death.

    Japete, I too heard this interview. My thought upon hearing it was 'Good for you Mr. Kristoff...however, you must change your title from Journalist to Activist'

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  7. Laci...The people who originally chanted Μολὼν λαβέ were 100% successful. Their goal was to stop the Persian Army from reaching Sparta and the rest of the Greek City-States. They were just willing to die for their cause.

    Japete, I too heard the interview with Mr Kristof, but upon hearing it I thought 'hey, that's great, but you need to change your title from journalist to activist'

    I suggest you think about that as well. You have clearly admitted you aren't on here to have a 'common sense' discussion, but to bring forth the most emotionally charged incidents playing on people's emotions rather than logic and fact to bring about legislative change

    Andrew

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  8. First of all, the Greeks lost at Thermopylae so were not 100% successful as you suggested. Second of all, apparently you missed that this is my blog and I can do what I want with it. Did you read this post? I've changed my mind. You must not believe it.

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  9. Oh, I totally believe that you changed your mind and changed the rules and are constantly moving the goalposts.

    "First of all, the Greeks lost at Thermopylae so were not 100% successful as you suggested. "

    Not true. Success is defined as accomplishing your goals. The Spartans didn't have the goal of living to be old men, but the goal to give the rest of Greece time to prepare for the Persian Invasion. They were 100% successful in that.

    Andrew

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  10. Give it a rest. I know my Greek history.

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