If I can just share my heart here for a moment… I think the most difficult thing in these moments of tremendous pain and evil is for us as a nation to actually respond. I don’t mean react; no, to actually RESPOND.
A response comes from a core value of actually understanding what is going on. That means we actually have to sit in it… allow the hurt, and the pain, and the mourning to be real. It means we have to LISTEN to what is being said, not only by the people that are hurting because of loss, but by those that are trying to be a voice on both sides of the equation.
For me, it is so frustrating to see the politics behind gun control on both sides revving up to a fervor … both sides digging in for another battle … Are we even aware of what is going on? Do we even care to listen to each other, or are we actually simply interested in our agendas… guns are at fault, guns are not at fault. Safety and control, freedom and rights. If there were no guns… If everybody had a gun…
Like we can predict and control evil…
[I worked in the intelligence space for many years, and one of the constants as analysts attempted to predict the future was this: it is impossible to predict the future… but I digress…]
Now, I understand that there is so much tension because the very mechanism of our government is the “politics” that are supposed to bring the very change, or defend the freedoms we have. But it also brings about so much division, each side rushing to defend it’s own stance and territory … I’ve heard people say, “don’t bring in politics”, but I wonder, how else will there be change for the better? Or are we leaning on politics that is dividing us when we should be ourselves being agents of change that we want to see?
Honest confession: As a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment and the NRA, my initial reaction is to dig in for another fight. Fight through another onslaught of agendas and frustrating conversations that would label me a crazy person for supporting the right to bear arms. I do not blindly stand where I do… It is very hard to stand in support of guns when guns played a large role in another tragic shooting, but I firmly do.
HOWEVER, this is not about that. No, I don’t want to react and put my walls up to simply spew my 2A supportive arguments. No, my walls are down and I’m listening. I’m trying to give people the benefit of the doubt…. that the intention of the politics that I sometimes so loathe is actually because EVERYBODY wants a safer America. I’m willing to listen and hear the pain of those whose lives have been devastated by the freedom I so strongly support. Is the freedom worth it? Will giving up some of my freedom even make a difference? Evil has a way of getting done when evil wants to get done. What is the root issue? Is it really guns … is it heart issues? Mental issues? Terrorism?
What I do know: I’ve been married now for 17 years, and what I’ve learned is that what makes this marriage work is compromise. Both my wife and I have to be willing to compromise in many areas in order for our UNION to survive and thrive. In different areas that affect our lives, we both could dig our heels in for a fight… heck, we both could even be right, but in the end we would be wrong and our UNION would suffer for it. Can we learn a lesson here?
So I’m here, willing to discuss, willing to listen, willing to compromise… is anybody on the other side willing to do the same?