Monday, June 13, 2016

The Proper Time

I have nothing against accuracy, or even precision, in public discourse. It comes in very handy, and, to be honest, is all too often lacking. But it's one thing to make sure that we're all speaking the same language, or that we're broadly sticking to the facts, and it's another to attempt to derail another person's argument by picking away at the words they they're using.

The central problem that we have in the "debate" over firearms, and access thereto, in the United States, is that the two camps that are the loudest are diametrically opposed to one another. Speaking in generalizations, there is a camp that believes that the role of the State is to limit or deny access to personal weaponry to all but those institutions controlled or sanctioned by the State - the military, law, enforcement and security organizations - and that we will all be safer for it. The opposing camp believes that the role of the State is to protect access to personal weaponry for any citizen that wishes one who has not already been proven a danger - and that we will all be safer for it. Again, generally speaking, each camp believes that the other acts with bad faith, seeking to sacrifice others for its own ends. And for the most part, neither side owns up to the sacrifices that its chosen path entails, preferring to either deny them or blame them for their fates.

In an attempt to make what are often emotional arguments into seemingly objective ones, people fashion selectively-chosen facts into clubs with which to bludgeon their opposition, and seek to silence by demanding a rigid adherence to those facts and figures. Which moves us no closer to anything resembling progress.

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