Before you click away from this story or shutdown the Podcast, listen to this: we’re not today going to take any position on gun control. We’re not going to blast those on the Left for wanting to confiscate guns. We’re not going to demean Democrats or anyone else for feeling the way they think about anything — including gun control. What we ARE going to do is something novel: we’re going to watch and listen to a Virginia Representative and former Green Beret who “discusses” — not “argues” — realistic opportunities for us to stop mass shootings and protect Americans from them.
Watch or listen to this. We’ll gather after this short exhortation by this American Patriot and conclude or two:
None of what he had to say had anything to do with the pros and cons of gun control. What he addressed exclusively was the attitudes of American legislators on both the federal and state levels regarding gun control. And it’s unusual for us to see and hear ANY legislator speak objectively and non-emotionally about this critical topic. In the wake of several mass shootings, Americans typically turn away from any objectivity and respond totally from personal emotions. And until we can find ways to objectively and factually discuss meaningful and possible solutions that WILL work, no answers will ever be implemented. There most certainly will be pieces of legislation that grow from emotional lawmakers in the wake of new and unfathomable gun killings. But seldom do any of us make rational decisions that originate in instances of horror, death, and destruction. Gun violence is undoubtedly such an example.
Grass Too Long
Somewhere back in history, some wife realized there was long grass around their home. It looked messy, and critters hid out deep in the grass. There were bugs everywhere. The kids couldn’t comfortably go outside and play because the grass was just too long. What to do?
The grass had to be shorter. So how does one shorten the grass? There were no biological labs that could experiment on cross-breeding grass to find a way to shorten the grass. Somehow someone was going to have to cut the grass.
The combustion engine had not yet been created. Neither had electric motors or string cutters. Someone thought of a way to fashion a long, skinny metal blade on the end of a pole. That pole could be slung across the grass, and the grass could be cut. It worked! But it sure took a long time. And even though it was shorter, the grass was still pretty messy.
Her brother-in-law Bubba had an idea: a machine that automatically could sling a similar blade to cut the grass. It required the use of a recently discovered liquid tha burned when ignited and exploded in the right situations. He crafted a metal box with a small tank in which he could put some of that liquid, seal that tank so no air could get into it, and he could make a few drops of that liquid explode, forcing that blade to turn. He had invented a lawnmower!
After years of refining and revising that machine, Bubba discovered many others wanted to cut their grass. His machine made it much more accessible, much quicker, and the demand for the device was unimaginable. Everyone wanted a grass cutter machine.
Bubba, one day while sitting out back, started thinking about how that entire process had come together. It began with something simple: there was grass everywhere. While the grass was good for certain things — it fed the farm animals, made great stuffing for pillows and mattresses, and even made horse stalls smell better — it only was useful in certain situations. He had to find a way to allow the grass to do all the right things it did but stop it from getting out of hand. He conquered the issue by inventing that machine.
There are hundreds of millions of guns in the Word. There are many good things those guns do. But guns cause problems in spite of the good they do. Just like grass growing everywhere that gets long and unsightly, guns too can create some not-so-good situations.
Bubba never thought about ridding the world of grass. He just wanted a way to control the grass without infringing upon all those situations in which the grass played significant roles.
Guns in the World have put us in a similar situation.
What can we do? What do we do? There are many possibilities — many opportunities — to quell gun violence. But the Representative nailed what keeps us from reaching any consensus on fixing the gun violence problem in America: answers NEVER result from nasty attacks from any side of any issue which always demean someone or some group on a personal level. Real solutions result only from the meaningful and respectful discourse between Americans. Practical solutions can result only from respectful discussions among those — ALL those — who have ideas they wish to share with others to effect a solution.
That type of discourse in the wake of mass shootings has been non-existent. Emotions seem to always take over conversations exploring possible ways to stop the violence. Americans must first face the same dilemma Bubba and his wife faced about handling the long grass. No one had come up with the right solution for controlling that grass.
Guns certainly are not grass. And there is no machine that alone can solve American gun violence. I’m no expert, but I’m fairly certain there is no single and no simple solution to end gun violence. That fact does not mean Americans are stupid. What it means is the creative Americans who have invented everything from a lightbulb to a Space Station have not crafted “a” or “several” answers sufficient to end gun violence. Until that happens, we must keep looking.
But you know what? We may have already seen a solution and just missed it. In the outrageous back and forth in the political sphere of solutions based almost solely on political ideology, there could very well be a solution buried on the pile of ideas thrown out that simple were discarded because of distrust of who offered them.
We maybe cannot fix the problem, but I’m confident we can make the problem better. Conversation is necessary to have any chance of getting to the end of this. Conversations are rare in today’s politics.
So why don’t we take the conversation totally out of politics? Isn’t doing so a novel idea? Why not let law enforcement specialists, medical doctors, theologians, and businessmen begin roundtable conversations to embark on a journey to end gun violence. It’s much more likely without any politicians in those meetings, the odds are much better than “a” or “several” solutions can be identified, discussed, and recommendations made that if and when implemented would if not totally at least partially eradicate gun violence.
Gee, isn’t having adult conversations minus insults and political perspectives something we ought to try: just once? It pains me to say this, but in our 250-year-old nation, those conversations, under those circumstances, have never happened before. That speaks poorly of not only American leadership but of Americans who have the power to force those to happen.