Another day, another shooting.
The reality that it’s become so normal is more repulsive than the act itself.
This most recent one in San Bernardino hits close to home – about 45 minutes away from home.
So we go on with our routine. We’re in shock. Then we’re in sadness. Then we’re in anger.
Half the people will fight for gun control. The other half will fight to arm people. People will blame mental health, race, and religion.
We’ll dig our feet into the ground, we’ll argue about sides while politicians offer up thoughts and prayers without action.
Then we’ll slowly turn our attention back to celebrity news until the next group of people get shot.
I’d like to believe we’ll get this problem solved soon, but I don’t think we will.
Because we’re incredibly arrogant and selfish people.
Could You Be Wrong… Possibly Maybe?
No, of course not. You’re the most brilliant person in the world. You’re an expert when it comes to gun violence. Despite your lack of research and experience in the topic, you’re highly qualified because of your strong opinion.
Here’s the thing – we love taking sides and digging deeper into our own convictions, even to our own detriment.
We’re so convinced of our worldview that we see no possibility that we’re wrong or leave any room for compromise.
It results in stalemate and leaves us with inaction.
We prefer to be right rather than do good.
Let’s Have More Intelligent Conversations
The easy conversation is to get into a group of your buddies who agree with you and bash the other side.
The fun conversation is to completely ignore the other side while you shout at them with your megaphone.
The hard but necessary conversation is to have a civil discussion with the other side, both acknowledging the credibility in their views and recognizing the faults in yours.
Debate and compromise create progress; assumptions and childish attacks don’t.
Related Read: The Conversation After Terror Attacks
Here are some tips.
How to Have Not-Stupid Conversations
Don’t blanket the other side with generic assumptions. Gun control advocates are not trying to take away your damn guns, so stop whining. Gun advocates are not trying to create a wild west with everyone shooting each other, so calm down.
Recognize this is a complex situation that has no easy answer. If it did, we would have solved it already. Like sliced bread. We saw the brilliance in that and locked it down.
Consider that the other side actually has a valid argument. Gun control advocates have a point – why do we have the highest rate of gun violence per capita among developed countries? Gun advocates also have a point – guns provide a means of force for the weak and innocent to level the field against aggressors.
At the same time, don’t ignore the criticisms against your view. Be honest and recognize there’s holes in your argument.
Before you spew out random facts you heard from Facebook or your favorite conservative/liberal blog that you consider “news,” fact-check it. Is there actually research or data that you can cite and backup with sources for your “fact,” or is it just fun to say?
Remember that everyone has the same goal – peace and security. No one wants a world where you’re helpless and unable to defend yourself. No one wants a world where people are running around the streets shooting each other.
But we’ve created a world where being right is more important than taking action.
[bctt tweet=”We’ve created a world where being right is more important than taking action.”]
Let’s Do Something
One thing’s for sure – we’ve done nothing, and that hasn’t worked.
I really do hope that our society can look more like a think tank that comes up with ideas and gets things done, and less like a bunch of children on a YouTube comments section.
So let’s debate. Let’s disagree. Let’s compromise. Let’s solve. Let’s hold our leaders accountable. Let’s vote based on plans and action, not along party lines.
Let’s prove that we’re a nation that values life more than our own ego.
Because if we don’t, we’ll continue killing ourselves with no one else to blame.
[bctt tweet=”Let’s prove that we’re a nation that values life more than our own ego.”]