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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:04 PM

Ahem.

This past Friday, all of our hearts broke when we learned what happened in Newtown, CT.

Practically every DUer with a pulse has responded with passion, whether it be tears, rage, disbelief, or a combination of all three.

Some of us even got a little feistier with each other than usual. And I count myself in that number.

A friend of mine, yewberry, chimed in with a few words in response to one of my more controversial posts of late. These are her words, reposted with her permission:

Look, I know you like your guns. I also know you work hard to get Democrats elected, and you do it in Texas. I's still sorry you lost Ginny, for you as a husband and for us as a community. Take a minute and ask yourself what she would have said to you about this.

The truth is you've been winning all along. You have not been ignored; you run the show. You have not been laughed at; you are now being questioned and yes, demonized, because the result of your insistence of your rights has been the death of 20 children and 6 adults in an elementary school.

DU, over the past few days, has indeed been completely over the top on the subjects of gun rights and gun control. Totally true. That's because we're outraged and desperate. As a person who is not a gun person, my perception is that the NRA and gun-rights advocates are and have been utterly unwilling to accept any compromise. That's where this is coming from. Americans are massacred routinely with guns, and we're sick of being told that there's nothing we, as a country, can do about it. It's in the Constitution, after all, convoluted grammar and all.

It's time for gun-rights advocates to come to the table with more than the cold, dead hands cliche. Will you win again? Yes, you will. But if there is an ounce of decency in the gun-rights advocacy behemoth (and honestly, I'm not sure there is), SOME kind of attempts at compromise must be proposed.

Otherwise, we, the non-gun-toting populace, are going to see you (yes, you) as the reason a 7-year-old got shot six times. In a SECOND.

How could we not be outraged and horrified? Moreover, how could gun-rights advocates not be outraged and horrified? Where are those voices?


These are the sentiments that reached me more than anything else. They pulled me down off my high horse and forced me to think.

We all want answers, we all want some comfort for the families of the victims, and yes, we all want the killing to just fucking STOP. This is beyond contestation.

But if anyone accuses me of saying there's nothing we can do to prevent more killings, they don't know me at all. Yes, I do have a line in the sand; if you try to ban semi-automatics and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, I'll never support that. Ever. And so what? That leaves a lot of room for negotiation on the gun issue.

You might have seen the threads where Cleita and I discussed the idea of a civilian armory. We have somewhat different ideas on how to implement an armory, but the upshot of either approach is this: if Nancy Lanza didn't store her guns at home where she knew her troubled son would have access to them, none of these killings would ever have happened.

We're a nation of individuals. This is usually a good thing. But it can be abused, overblown, perverted. Ronald Reagan's philosophy of "Government is the problem" undoubtedly contributed to that perversion to such an extent that there are many people today who will not trust any community effort with the government backing it - especially if there's a black guy in the White House.

But other nations tend to be more close-knit than we are. France, Norway, Sweden - they're figuring it out. They're maintaining a sense of community. Now it's our turn.

Folks in the gun culture can be a bit ornery, and with good reason. But this particular gun owner realizes that we are at a breaking point. Crime, paranoia, and fear do not figure into the ideals promoted by our Constitution. And if our national culture is to embrace a new closeness, gun owners like me should welcome this.

All of us on DU are driven, passionate, vociferous. And we're also human.

It is our common humanity that drives us to seek "a more perfect Union," even if we have different ideas on how to achieve it.

yewberry reminded me of my own humanity. And for that, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

I'm taking a deep breath, exhaling slowly, and trying to purge all the negativity out of me. I think that would be prudent for all of us to emulate in the days ahead.

It's easy for me to be an individual. It takes work to be part of a community, but the rewards are greater. Try building a rocket to the Moon all by yourself and see if you don't go mad in the process. Working together, we can do great things.

Great things are what this country needs right now. Otherwise, those children and teachers at Sandy Hook died in vain.

And that, my fellow DUers, would be the ultimate blasphemy.

I think I could use a mug full of the milk of human kindness. Anyone care to join this old fool? I could use the company.

16 replies, 1015 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ahem. (Original post)
derby378 Dec 2012 OP
Jeff In Milwaukee Dec 2012 #1
derby378 Dec 2012 #5
morningfog Dec 2012 #2
derby378 Dec 2012 #6
morningfog Dec 2012 #7
derby378 Dec 2012 #9
Robb Dec 2012 #3
Barack_America Dec 2012 #4
sadbear Dec 2012 #8
derby378 Dec 2012 #12
-..__... Dec 2012 #10
libdem4life Dec 2012 #11
JohnnyLib2 Dec 2012 #13
derby378 Dec 2012 #14
derby378 Dec 2012 #15
rrneck Dec 2012 #16

Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:07 PM

1. What we need is a conversation about guns, not a shouting match (nt)

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:16 PM

5. That would be nice

A civil conversation, for once. Maybe even over cups of coffee or hot chocolate, or maybe while splitting some crackers and cheese. Heck, food doesn't have to be involved at all. We just need to talk it out.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:12 PM

2. I stopped reading at your line in the sand. This is a Meta (or gungeon) post anyway.

I then re-read and finished reading. I still don't agree with you and don't see it as irreconcilable, but appreciate the tone.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:18 PM

6. Sorry you feel that way - some of your friends seem to disagree

Try reading all the way through next time, and I'll give your posts the same consideration.

See? I can be nice sometimes. And my wife was one of the strongest gun-control advocates ever to join DU. If she could put up with me, that's got to count for something.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:18 PM

7. I edited as you were responding.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:23 PM

9. It's all good

The one thing I'm hearing from a lot of DUers nowadays is "nothing is impossible." Stranger things have happened. Like a double bill of Neil Young and Sonic Youth. It shouldn't have worked, but it did anyway.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:13 PM

3. Good post.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:14 PM

4. Great post.

Even though we don't quite see eye-to-eye on the issue.

There's a solution to be found, but we'll have to accept that it won't be "ideal" for any of us. Still, we have to try.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:20 PM

8. She mentioned something about decency and compromise.

I still see absolutely ZERO compromise. And I agree with her about the decency part.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:27 PM

12. Well...

I'm willing to support background checks at every gun show purchase, even if that eliminates private sellers from the shows. And try to find the threads where Cleita and I discuss armories.

It may not sound like a whole lot to you right now, but at least it's a start.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:25 PM

10. Bravo...

 

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:27 PM

11. I'm the polar opposite of the OP and I've come to the same conclusion. We may not come to immediate

agreement, but our mutual grief has to supersede some powerful pre-conceived notions.

When lines in the sand create graves from the elementary school ... screw it. Lord help us, Yes We Can. Crazies live in our midst...maybe not many, but enough. And we don't have the time, the finances or the prescient ability to "smoke 'em out".

There are 52 new and recent cold, dead hands...and they are either in the Medical Examiner's morgue, the local funeral home morgue, or in little and big coffins rotting in the ground. Many have gone before them with perhaps less publicity, but no less loss. and for equally stupid reasons.

This is the Showdown. Put the cards on the table. Let's make a deal.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:35 PM

13. This sounds more like my prudent, hunting gun-owning relatives in the western states do.


And I'm glad to read it on DU. Thanks.

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Response to JohnnyLib2 (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:47 PM

14. Thanks - I'm trying

We're gonna get through this whole mess together, one way or another.

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:12 PM

15. And, if nothing else...

...there's this video of me getting tortured with hot sauce:

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Response to derby378 (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:20 PM

16. Good post.

I wasn't there. I heard about the tragedy in the papers like everybody else. But you know, I can hear the screams in my head. I can see the faces. I can hear the report of the rifle. Yes, it leaves me sad and shaken. But it also makes me angry. I am angry at those who would use this tragedy for their own aggrandizement. I hate solutions designed to support ideology more than humanity. I despise ego masquerading as compassion.

If we want to make a dent in this horror, we all need to give up something. All of us. This is just an internet message board and in the larger scheme of things it means nothing. But it's an interesting petri dish of personalities that gives us a chance to observe the ideas of others, and observe our own ideas in turn.

DU has turned into the gungeon writ large. Again. And all the same arguments get trotted out and batted around as if they were something new. They aren't. We won't consume our way out of this mess any more than the other messes we are in. We will have to have the courage to look in our hearts and see which of our beliefs are only self serving panaceas. We will have to have the courage to use our heads to put what we learn in to action.

If this seems not a little melodramatic, blame the Glenfidditch.

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