This is Not How You Start a 'Honest and Open Discourse' on Guns

Gun Show

Do we need to have a discussion about guns?

We shouldn't, but we do. Too many places have too many wrongheaded ideas about guns, the Second Amendment, many of those ideas enshrined in law. We clearly need to have a discussion.

And an open, honest discussion is always the best way to go about it.

Yet the problem is that we can't have any such thing. We can't because too many people think that such a thing requires us to take their words at face value but that they can belittle our concerns because, hey, we don't really matter, now do we?

A prime example of this comes from an op-ed out of Maine.

We should all be thankful for the lawmakers and concerned citizens who are carefully considering firearm legislation and scrutinizing it for both adequacy of public safety and preservation of law abiding citizens’ right to have firearms. Denying the problem and refusing to look at the facts and support meaningful solutions will only lead us farther down the path of increasing gun violence.

When organizations such as the National Rifle Association propagate the message that all gun laws are bad, or that lawmakers are just looking to strip you of your Second Amendment rights, it’s not just preposterous, but unethical and socially irresponsible.  

This is how someone who writes an op-ed titled, "We must have an honest and open discourse about guns," starts and then expects us to listen?

First, the NRA's "message" that all gun laws are bad is, at worst, an opinion. If you disagree, that's fine. An honest and open discourse would require you to at least acknowledge the position and discuss why you disagree. It isn't belittling the opinion and acting like folks who feel that way are just stupid or something.

As for the second part, it's funny how they keep saying it's preposterous, but I do think the whole "unethical and socially irresponsible" thing is a new quirk. It's also complete and total BS.

Novelist David Burkhead, a friend, has been compiling examples of people saying they would, in fact, take our guns for years now. He just keeps adding to it as he comes across another example. These are all people who do, in fact, want to take our guns. How is that not stripping people of their Second Amendment rights?

The author then goes on to basically dismiss everyone's concern, urging lawmakers to "free themselves from such political pressure" while simultaneously trying to argue that people in Maine actually want gun control. In other words, "ignore that political pressure but not this political pressure."

You're welcome to go and read the whole thing--in fact, I encourage you to do so--just so you see that while it might be titled about having an honest and open discourse, it's really nothing more than an anti-gunner trying to push people to ignore valid concerns by the other side.

Instead of providing any evidence to back up his assertions, he simply makes the assertion and expects you to swallow it whole.

Frankly, it all seems rather authoritarian to me. Then again, this is someone wants desperately to restrict your right to keep and bear arms, explicitly pushes for restrictions to your right to bear arms, and wants the government to be able to strip them from some entirely without due process (though he claims there is without any evidence), yet still argued that anyone asserting he wanted to do any of these things was lying.

This is how gun control advocates act, though. They lie the whole time and then try to gaslight everyone into thinking that we're the liars. 

I'm more than willing to have an open and honest discourse, but only with someone willing to discuss the issue in good faith. When your opening premise is that people like me--and we all know the NRA is just a proxy for all gun rights supporters to these people--are dishonest, I'm going to accurately surmise you don't even know what good faith is.