This site was created after spending countless hours reading facts and opinions about gun violence following the December 2012 Newtown massacre, including reader comments on Facebook and a variety of news sites.
It seems that gun violence in America is spinning out of control, and that increasing numbers of Americans share this view.
It seems hard to imagine people can be aware of what happened at Newtown and see the photos of the murdered children, so young and innocent, without feeling an overpowering urge to do something.
Many assume that widespread possession of semi-automatic weapons with large ammunition clips is a major contributor to the severity, if not the frequency, of tragic shootings, and should be curtailed by law.
But many others feel strongly that the urge to respond to gun violence with new gun laws is misguided and will lead to violations of sacrosanct Second Amendment rights, if not wholesale efforts to disarm the citizenry.
Finding a Way Forward
Proposals for gun law changes must be tempered with realism. We must seek to understand what is legally and politically feasible and what is most likely to make a meaningful difference, although obviously nothing will be a perfect solution.
It is also important to take a broad view of the problem of gun violence, both its causes and manifestations. The role of guns in suicide, domestic violence, accidental injury and death, gang drug activity, and crimes against persons and property are less headline-grabbing than mass shootings, but far more frequent.
And, as those opposing gun regulation like to point out, efforts to improve public safety through means other than gun regulation should be given due consideration, as well as efforts to change both a violence-obsessed popular culture and a mental health treatment system that leaves much to be desired.
Seeking Common Ground
If we are to move forward, we must seek common ground.
This is not achieved by calling people gun nuts or worse (I confess to having done so on multiple occasions).
It is also not achieved by taking the position that any gun regulation whatsoever is just a step down an inevitable path towards tyranny and confiscation of all guns (a routinely invoked example of the “slippery slope fallacy.”)
There is much emotion and fear on both sides, and that can be counterproductive to seeking a way forward.
Engaging with other commenters on this subject has been at times insightful and informative, but all too often frustrating and even frightening. Too often comments, including my own, have been short, disrespectful, unwilling to consider opposing viewpoints, and unsupported by fact.
There often seems no common ground, just people shouting at each other.
By publishing my own writing on the subject of gun violence, linking to and discussing what I find to be the best such writing by others, and providing links to resources on the subject, I hope to have more impact on the national conversation surrounding guns than I have had by merely exchanging ephemeral views and comments buried deep within Facebook and vast news sites, a process that has often seemed pointless, yet been impossible to resist due to my sense of the subject’s importance.
Seeking Participation Expressing All Viewpoints
Comments and guest post submissions from all perspectives are most welcome, as is assistance in preparing and maintaining this site. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments will be monitored, and they will be published if they are civil, respectful, fact-based, and contribute meaningfully to the goals of this site.