Over the Memorial Day Weekend, there was a mass shooting you have no doubt heard of in California. Not surprisingly, there was little noise about the shooting. Why? Because that’s what he do here in the good old USA – we shoot each other and as Joe the Plumber so eloquently put it: “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”
Mr. the Plumber expressed his condolences and I would like to think they were genuine. But that’s where he should have ended his statement. Instead, he went beyond and said what I assume many gun advocates truly believe.
While guns are a problem, no doubt, the bigger problem is this mentality of the gun advocates. And it is this very mentality that disallows gun advocates the ability to compromise.
Compromise is key to our society and history. Without compromise, we wouldn’t be here. Compromise is just like mediation and there’s an old saying about mediation: in order for mediation to be effective, both parties should walk away feeling like they lost. Compromise is not getting the other side to cave and agree with what you want – compromise is giving up some of what you want in order to reach an agreement that is better for the whole.
Progressives like myself would like to see the Second Amendment interpreted the way it was intended but we’re not likely to get our way any time soon. So, what am I, and others like me, willing to do? Compromise!
Let’s see if gun advocates can meet me in the middle. The Second Amendment has been interpreted to mean that citizens can own guns. What is not mentioned in the Second Amendment, however, is anything about concealed carry, unconcealed carry or when and where citizens can carry.
So, in the spirit of compromise, can we agree that citizens can own guns for protecting their life and home on their property? If you want to own a gun and take it to the shooting range, go ahead. If you want to own a gun and keep it locked in your nightstand for home protection, go ahead. If you want to carry your gun with you to McDonald’s because you need protection when ordering a Big Mac, that’s not okay. If you want to carry a gun in your glove box because you want to shoot me when I honk at you, that’s not okay.
But I guess in this shoot-first-ask-questions-later-vigilante-justice-I-need-my-gun-to-feel-like-a-man culture, that’s just too extreme. In order to compromise, both sides have to recognize some legitimacy in the opposing viewpoint. I’m willing to recognize guns for home protection is legitimate. But, until gun advocates can recognize legitimacy in the gun control argument that carrying guns absolutely everywhere is unnecessary, we will never have compromise on this issue. And we will continue to see mass shootings every single month. But, I guess that’s the price we pay to be “free.”