Let Us Reason Together

There's very little that's worse than post-shooting social media. Our national breakdown into competing tribes is a sickening sight to behold. Ugliest of all is the constant accusation, flying both directions, that "People that don't agree with my *policy* ideas hate children and have blood on their hands." It's wicked nonsense, and it has to stop if any progress is to be made.

People misguided on the efficacy or desirability of policy objectives do not "hate children." Nor is there "blood on their hands." Let us have a reasoned conversation. Because this is how much of the debate looks right now:

You want the Federal government to "DO SOMETHING!" That "something" is getting rid of all firearms and making sure nobody evil (or, perhaps, just nobody) ever gets one. It doesn't seem to matter that this same government has lost its 30-year "War on Drugs," and after decades our streets are still filled with deadly narcotics. You think, nevertheless, that this is a practical idea. And if you signal your support of this (unworkable) idea, it means you LOVE children.

I want to arm and train school personnel. From my point of view, providing protection at the local brick-and-mortar level has the decided advantage of actually doing something to keep our kids safe, either as a pure deterrent or (God forbid) actual armed defense. But advocating this (workable) idea, apparently, means that I HATE children.

Take a deep breath, think, and don't assume people's motives. I don't question that gun control advocates love kids; of course they do. Let's have the same charity on the other side. And I plead with you: can't we, at the very least, forge a bipartisan commitment to make sure that no brick-and-mortar school facility is a "soft," defenseless target full of innocents? I daresay the fact that that is what we have done, as a matter of policy, ought to fill us ALL with the shame of blood-guilt. Our "gun free" school policy, no matter how well-intentioned, is a sin of omission. We are failing to live up to the demands of the 6th Commandment.

If you will agree to this modest proposal, perhaps some trust and goodwill can be built when we move on to exploring possible practical solutions to the supply side of the problem.

Brian Mattson