Why there's no common ground on gun debate

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

As a gun rights advocate, I’m often accused of being stubborn. I refuse to give any ground or entertain any position that favors gun control. I, personally, might prefer to see laws enforced until they’re declared unconstitutional, but there’s literally no gun law I can remotely favor.

And this makes me a bad person.

However, in a story about the growing divide in Uvalde, TX, I came across this comment:

Speaking at a protest near the Texas Capitol on 27 August, Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old nephew and adopted son Uzaiyah was one of the 21 victims, left no room for equivocation. He was there with hundreds to demand that the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, call a special legislative session to raise the age to buy assault-style weapons from 18 – the age of the Robb elementary mass murderer – to 21.

“Fight with us,” he said. “Because you don’t want to be fighting from this side with a hole in your heart.”

There is no middle ground left in Uvalde. The shared cause of raising the age for buying assault rifles clarifies the two sides of the fight: those who demand change and those who oppose it. While Abbott himself had told Cross he didn’t see guns as the real culprit in Uvalde, to simply accept inaction wasn’t an option. Giving up was inconceivable to families who would have given anything to prevent their children from dying. The families saw no good excuse for those unwilling to join their cause.

“If you’re not trying,” Cross said, “you’re complicit.”

And that is why there will never be any middle ground in the gun debate.

This line of “argument” pisses me off and it always has. Why? Because I’ve been there. Not to the extent Cross has, but I’ve lost someone to a mass shooting, someone I cared about, and I’ve talked about how this line of argument infuriates me.

Then there’s our own Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter at Parkland. I haven’t talked to him about it, but I’m pretty sure it makes him furious as well.

See, this line of argument stems can only make sense if you believe that everyone agrees that gun control works, they only oppose you for some other reason. As a result, your opposition to gun control can only be motivated by factors in spite of this self-evident truth.

They cannot grasp that we simply know. It. Won’t. Work.

Then again, it’s not like they’re willing to sit down and listen when it comes to guns. They’re often too busy preaching.

For example, take Uvalde. For all the talk of some deep divide in the community, with anti-gun voices supposedly being on the side of the angels, Beto O’Rourke lost Uvalde County. It seems there’s a strong possibility that many in the community, perhaps even a majority, recognize that it wasn’t the tool used that resulted in that atrocity, but the tool using it.

Do not come at me or people like me and pretend we’re somehow responsible for the actions of others when you have made it clear you’ll accept nothing but capitulation from us. Do not pretend you’re looking for solutions when the only thing you’re wanting is something that doesn’t yield the results you think.

Frankly, don’t be surprised when we’re not willing to listen to you when all you do is screech and blame us for things we’re not responsible for.