Let’s find common ground in debate on guns | Letter to the Editor
January 22, 2013 · Updated 2:04 PM
What is at issue for me goes beyond the “gun control debate.” It’s the fact that there is no real dialogue. A recent meeting at the Sportmen’s Club was actually an excellent exception to that rule.
But what I see in public debate tends to show that there is actually no changing anyone’s mind on the subject. There’s so much knee-jerk, rigid defensiveness and ideology on both sides, so much “I’m diggin’ in my heels and not budging,” that as a society, we don’t start by seeking common ground and common, shared values.
The acrimony and intolerance that increasingly characterizes public opinion on social and political issues are ruining our ability as a society to create effective laws, policies or dialogue. I refer equally to “both sides of the aisle,” or in our case, “isle.” This ideological intransigence is reflected in the pathetic incompetence of our elected officials.
It’s no wonder that people across the political spectrum are cynical about the government’s ability to do anything well or useful. But let’s not give up on our ability to create public consensus. It’s especially important to do that with the topics that create the most divisiveness. We all gotta be willing to listen, put ourselves in each other’s shoes and be mentally flexible. I don’t mean flexible in our values, I mean in how we collectively honor them.
— Kevin Joyce