Blogging about gun issues is controversial to put it mildly. It never ceases to amaze me that what I write can bring out so much venom, anger, self righteous correction of my mistaken opinions or facts, and just plain rudeness and offensive behavior. Social media and the Internet in general has allowed for some pretty over the top anonymous behavior that should offend sensibility. Much like some political figures, ordinary people, too, must lead double lives. I imagine some of the gun guys who comment so freely on my blog to be outrageous, uncouth, difficult, angry and impossible people in their daily lives. But most likely they lead ordinary lives and have families who love them. I have even had to ask if their families know how they write on my blog. Would their families like to know the way they write on blogs and articles about gun violence? Surprise happens.
I spend a lot of time on each post, looking up articles and thinking about how I want to write it. I change things, I delete things, I add things. Sometimes I save a post for days or weeks and think about whether I will publish it. Meanwhile, something else comes up and I write about that first and go back to the saved post. Or I travel someplace, as I am currently doing, and don't have as much time to write but still want to post. I express my sincere views based on my own personal experience with gun violence, on knowing so many others who have had experience with a gun death or injury, on my own life and professional experiences, my readings and my conversations with a lot of mostly reasonable people and on actual facts and the truth as I know it. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. There are different ways to view the world. Attacking happens.
The commenters want me to justify or verify more and explain more and admit that I lied or that I am a stupid $%^&; , or that my facts most certainly are wrong because they have better ones, or that the people with whom I associate are liars and gun grabbers. And because I am so personally attacked, I sometimes write back with more aggressive comments. Oh yes, some don't like my clip art or the color scheme of my blog. That is how our political and social views get so polarized and descend into name calling, vindictiveness and personal vendettas. There is no chance of having a reasonable discussion about anything really. Especially when a commenter on my recent blog about guns and divorce said this: "Sarcasm happens.
Lately we have seen several Congress members and Governors getting themselves into a lot of trouble in part because of injudicious use of the Internet or Social Media outlets for questionable activity. In some cases it has ruined their careers. In others they have continued in office in spite of their failings and immorality. Going public is fraught with potential misuse and problems. Human nature is on parade regularly for public officials. They should know better until they don't. There are no excuses, really, for unbecoming behavior of elected leaders. People expect them to be better even though they are just like all of us. Indiscriminate use of the Internet and social media can be hurtful if used the wrong way. What happens on the Internet doesn't always stay on the Internet or, if it does, it is seen and critiqued by those who are not your friends. I read somewhere that you should consider what you write on the Internet as a postcard and not a sealed letter. "Discretion is the better part of valor." Cynicism happens.
So blogging, tweeting, etc. can lead to unexpected consequences. I certainly did not expect to be attacked so vociferously and so offensively by folks who can't seem to read what I write without twisting themselves into pretzels. They must let me know that I am lying, stupid, uninformed, a paid shill for the NRA ( yes, really, someone wrote that one) or the Brady Campaign, gun grabbing, insincere, and words that are offensive to me and therefore not published. Over the time I have been blogging, I have asked more than a few people to stay off of my blog and have stopped publishing comments from some who just find it entertaining to ask me provocative, harassing, stupid and rhetorical questions that don't deserve answers. I can't help thinking that this is done to trap me into saying something that the gun guys will then ( and have) use on their own blogs to attack me and make fun of my writings. I find it interesting then, that some of the very same folks want to know why they aren't published or why I moderate comments. They would like to take over my blog and do with it what they want. They want to intimidate and make very personal attacks. Bewilderment happens.
Hundreds of people view my blog every day and occasionally, one of my readers on the side of gun rights agrees with me. And sometimes I agree with some of them as well. This most often happens when the language is reasonable and reasoned. Many of my readers don't comment because they don't want to be attacked by those who are ready to pounce. But I know they agree with my views and believe that we can actually engage in reasonable behavior to stop the senseless shootings and to come to some common sense regarding gun policy. I found this definition of common sense: " sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts". At the website showing this definition, a question was asked about why you decided to look up the phrase, common sense. Interestingly and sadly, here is one the comments in answer to the question: " I WAS THINKING OF THE "LACK OF IT" ON THE PART OF SOCIALISTS AND DEMO-RATS WHO ARE ONE IN THE SAME, ALSO A PERVERTED SENSE OF THE WORD TRUTH... IN SHORT THEIR WORD ISN''T WORTH A " S _ _ _ ". CASE IN POINT THE SO CALLED MESSIAH. ( YOU ASKED FOR IT). DON"
Rudeness happens. I rest my case.
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.