NPR and Gun Control
My wife listens to NPR while in the car. I could take it or leave it.
But one day we got in the car to go somewhere (I don't remember where) and NPR was playing. I would normally turn it off or something, and I started to, but then I noticed what was on, and decided to take a listen.
They were interviewing a gun show owner about gun control. The owner they interviewed was fascinating. He was fascinating because he was being entirely reasonable (imagine that, in our current political culture).
He wasn't trying to say guns would save everyone. He wasn't trying to say that he knew exactly how everything should be handled. And he was empathetic in regard to the other view. He acknowledged what the other side believed, recognized why someone would believe what they did, and gave his reasons for his beliefs.
He didn't get angry. He didn't shout meaningless platitudes. He spoke in a calm, and seemingly loving manner to people he disagreed with.
When it comes to modern political discussion, there is not much actual discussion that goes on. Most of it is simply meme-filled social media posts that do nothing to further the conversation, but simply to anger and distort.
Gun control is not an easy subject. It goes to the heart of many people's identities. And it is a subject driven by fear, on both sides of the conversation.
The pro gun crowd is afraid of losing their guns, and afraid of not being able to protect themselves. The anti-gun crowd is afraid of more attacks by gun-weilding people who could possibly be stopped by more control.
The fact that these views are based on fear means a simple meme isn't going to change a person's mind. It just angers, and fuels the fires of fear.
This problem, and ones like it, won't be solved in a day. It will take time. And it won't be solved by your Facebook posts. I can promise you that.
But what we can do is try to be more understanding. We can be more like this gun show owner on NPR. He wasn't speaking out of fear. He also never said "guns don't kill people," or any other meaningless phrase. He simply stated what he thought, when he was asked, with love and reason.
We can only hope many more will begin to do the same.