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Courage Badly Needed

In recent days ordinary citizens have shown extraordinarycourage. Now is the time for the rest of us to do the same

In recent days ordinary citizens have shown extraordinary courage; the teachers who risked their lives to save their students, the children who helped others before themselves, the parent who so eloquently spoke about his daughter and asked us to not let this incident define us as a people, the responders who in spite of horrific circumstances continued to do their jobs.  These people stepped forward.

Now is the time for the rest of us to do the same. 

If you support a total ban on gun ownership, then step forward and find common ground with gun owners where meaningful progress can be made. Step forward, without judgment, but try for understanding of how they feel. Step forward.

If you believe that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership including military type weapons, then step forward and try to understand those against such weapons. Step forward and find common ground. Step forward.

Elected officials? In some cases your job will be in jeopardy if you try to find common ground with those that hold views opposite from those of your voters that elected you.  The powerful NRA can and will ruin careers. Step forward anyway.

Longtime friends might shun those that step forward. Step forward anyway.

We need meaningful dialogue, not spurious arguments, tired slogans, and name calling. There will be common ground, but it will take courage to find it.

Find that courage. Step forward.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paula Nordby December 17, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Well said, John.
John Anderson December 19, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Thanks for posting this, John. We actually have a lot more common ground than most people think. The chart in the picture (from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/) shows that nearly everyone favors strict background checks, a majority favor banning assault rifles and high capacity clips, nearly 80% favor gun registration, and only about 10% favor a total ban on guns. This data is from before the Newtown tragedy.
Doreen Anderson December 21, 2012 at 05:29 AM
John L, thanks for this. I personally think in response to these horrific events we do need action regarding guns in our society. What precisely that should be, or what we as a people can agree on, requires the meaningful dialogue that you ask for. I do not use guns, but I have friends and family who do. They are responsible gun-owners and I am respectful of their interest in hunting. Some of them are respectful of (and some even share) my concern about the ready availability of weapons like the AR-15 and high-capacity magazines. We are far apart in much of our thinking, but I try to believe that as thoughtful, caring people, we can reach out to each other and find that common ground and work from there. We do all have the common ground of feeling the pain and horror of Newtown, whatever else we think. I appreciate your call for meaningful dialogue and hope we get it. I do wonder if it can happen online, not seeing much of it in blogs posted here or elsewhere. Maybe we (individuals and groups) would do better meeting and talking face-to-face. Maybe people who disagree but want solutions would be more productive in a given time-frame, rather than the open-endedness of a blog. And without the "distance" provided online, surely there would be fewer personal attacks. The lack of civility does discourage people from engaging. (I guess that's why I haven't participated in other postings on this issue, and why I appreciate what you are saying.)
Bryan December 22, 2012 at 07:48 PM
There are a lot of people who support the NRA so let's not forget that they represent the views of a lot people. That is where their power comes from - from the people.
Eugene Gannon December 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM
I just started a gun violence petition on the White House petitions site, We the People. Will you sign it? http://wh.gov/Q2v3
Bryan December 23, 2012 at 07:11 PM
No.
Tom Jamieson December 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM
There is always common ground at the thin edge of the wedge. It is the fat end that divides us.
dexterjibs December 24, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Yea, i won't sign it either. Gun, ammunition and gun magazine sales are going thru the roof thanks to the treats of Obama and the left.
dexterjibs December 24, 2012 at 04:17 AM
My bad "threats"-ha ha ha. Obama probably does think he is throwing "treats" to the left of the country by threatening gun control.

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