Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How do we stop gun violence?

Years ago, when I was new to blogging, these lovely badges were passed around freely. I remember the very day I received this one, and thought, really? Really? We need to pass around badges, ribbons and stickers to tell each other THIS IS HONEST STUFF?

Why write a blog at all if our intention is to deceive and to misrepresent ourselves? Why?
And yet, how often are we truly honest? Honest as in I DON'T CARE TO OFFEND YOU, MY READERS. I RATHER OFFEND YOU THAN DECEIVE YOU. We are, after all, dependent on approval and support in just about anything we do.

Take two people in an early relationship. Don't they act absolutely impeccably toward each other? Don't they say just the right thing, at the right time? And when one slips and declares, I TRULY DISLIKE THIS KIND OF MOVIE, CAN'T WE GO SEE SOMETHING ELSE, the relationship begins to be questioned, enters another stage, the stage that questions everything said and done as IS THIS REALLY, REALLY WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO DO? ARE YOU SURE?

The reality is that as social beings we are constantly trying to hide behind the acceptable norms of behavior our culture recognizes. When we slip out of our comfort zone, when we travel out of our range, when we meet people who were not raised as we were, we begin to walk on eggshells, tiptoeing into conversations carefully, for fear of offending the new relationships. Sometimes, we forget to tiptoe, and rush in and act exactly as we do in the bosom of our privacy, saying and doing things and displaying our honest selves in all its blinding colors.

Yes, religion and politics will be the subjects that will allow us to stumble and fall, or worse.

And yet, how do we truly expand our horizons if we only discuss bland subjects, make only idle chatter to remain good neighbors, to be accepted in the company of that golf group, or the social club where most of our friends entertain or are entertained? How do we learn if we don't walk in each other's shoes? How do we share if we are not honest?

I've shared posts on Facebook that have declared war on some subjects. And I'd like very much to open that conversation in an amicable way, not with standard phrases we have heard repeated over and over again, but in phrases that open back the conversation, phrases such as:



Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria - so difficult for you all ... I'm just so glad I don't live in a country where people carry guns with them wherever they go ... with thoughts - Hilary

the walking man said...

If truth as I know it and relate be offensive to some or all, then so be it. I can only dictate to myself the words I choose to display that understanding. I have an extensive vocabulary to choose from but at times I CHOOSE ineloquent language to make the truth as I know it be heard.

Now that said--Let's say the subject is gun control and keeping the guns out of the hands of the overly stressed, the pathological insane, and them who practice criminality. It will never happen. Not that it matters to anyone but myself I own 4 guns, 3 hand guns and a 12ga pump shotgun. I like shooting them.

Rather than regulate the manufacture and sale of guns the better approach in my mind would be restrictions on the sale of ammunition. Canada (at least in Ontario) sells beer and spirits through the government run LCBO exchange. Ammunition could be sold the same way, only to them licensed for purchase of limited quantities for a specific reason.

If the conversation is directed towards mutual respect among cultures--sorry I doubt that road will lead anywhere for since the beginning of time mankind has divided itself into sects and every sect has to have some other sect to look down upon, oppress or use as currency.

Rian said...

My only comment here is that in this day and age, someone will always be offended. And as far as being able to discuss differences of opinions without violence or lashbacks, I think it's possible among some, but definitely not among all. Some people simply cannot "agree to disagree". So (IMO) pick your battles, but know that some can not be won.

Elephant's Child said...

How true it is. There are some subjects I will simply walk away from, and there are others where, if I CAN change something, I will offend. Reluctantly, but I will.
And violence is one of them.
And no, I don't think we will ever be able to stop gun violence. In any culture. But from this side of the world it appears that you make it very, very easy.

Helen said...

Dear Rosaria,
There is no reason that I can imagine for anyone in America to walk around with an assault rifle! Our Constitution declares we have the right to bear arms. I doubt our founding Fathers envisioned the world as we know it in 2016. We need to amend our Constitution, pass legislation. We need both parties working together to ensure this happens. Whatever it takes.

On the flip side, I wonder if banning the sale of military type assault weapons will keep an angry, mentally unbalanced person from walking into a club, church, school, hospital, theme park, etc. and gun down innocent people. I know for certain we need to find out.

I have a FB friend whose conservative political views differ vastly from mine. I make every attempt to respect her beliefs, however I find it difficult to respond to some of her posts .. and often I say nothing. Am I a coward? Maybe. There are many things we have in common ~ our children, music, poetry, art, animals, theatre. In the end I would like to think we can appreciate what we have in common, I believe she is a good person. I hope she feels likewise.

A thought provoking post, dear friend.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Today the arms allowed are guns of all sorts. But changing the access just speeds up the use of drones. It's a new world.
And in Ontario spirits have been allowed in other stores. Now we question where will legalized weed be sold. Many of the guns come into Canada via rode raffic. Drones will be sld by online shops with no age reqiurement.

Vagabonde said...

I read your post carefully, twice. I do think the reason people here do not like to talk about sensitive subjects is because of the culture. I even read sites in French, telling French people coming to the US to smile and only speak about sports as people here don’t like strong opinions of any type. In France it is OK to make fun of religion or any political party. You can easily talk about political subjects and disagree then stop and have a drink – here it is almost impossible to talk to someone of another party without them hating you for your opinion.

I also think one of the reasons is because the US has been founded on violence – I mean just read about the way Native Americans were treated (the real way, not western movies.) Easy access to guns also brings violence. I remember a couple of Koreans who were lost, not far from here, and stopped at someone’s door to ask direction and the owner came with a gun and shot them dead. Actually this has happened several times in Georgia. If he did not have a gun he may have called the police first. I also saw a site showing an international survey where it was found that the public in the US is very scared – scared of crime, scared of immigrants, scared of gays, scared of Muslims or people looking like Muslims, scared of road rage, scared of so many things, a lot more scared than in many other countries (hate radio and D. Trump successfully play with this fright of everything.) And just as animals do when they are scared – they attack. (As in scared of supposed weapons of mass destruction – then going to war and killing thousands of foreign civilians as “collateral damage.”) Culture changes at a very slow pace – I don’t think it will change here soon.