I had expected some blowback to my letter regarding gun safety regulations, especially in a conservative town like Payson, but unlike some of the responders, I do not consider them misguided or lacking in intelligence. I believe them to be honestly dedicated to their beliefs and I can see the validity of some of the pros and cons that they bring up.
And actually, my letter was not directed to them or to the opposite side of the argument that would greatly limit gun rights. Neither end of the spectrum on gun issues will be swayed, no matter the arguments raised or the evidence presented. And, if it is left up to them, no changes will be made. It will be left to those who are open to the possibility of compromise to actually move toward addressing the problem.
In recent years there has been a disturbing shift in our culture and our politics away from a reasonable discussion and toward an all “right or wrong” mentality. In politics this has resulted in a Congress that cannot govern because a radical minority stands opposed to anything that is suggested by the majority, even if they had once been in favor of the very same thing.
Our Founding Fathers recognized and appreciated that there would be greatly divergent opinions and beliefs within our union. They very carefully forged the political process and laws to recognize these differences. They decided that rule by the majority was the most reasonable way to govern. And this means that there will always be a portion of the population that will be dissatisfied with any decision. Democracy, although arguably the best form of governing, can still be messy and does not make everyone happy.
Therefore, I encourage those who are not ruled by an unshakable belief either one way or the other to become more active in researching and supporting the policies that will bring about the best result for the most people. It is often left to only those who are passionately tied to a personal belief to speak out. I think it is time for the rest of us to take a stand for compromise and action.
There is no single solution to gun violence and there will always be someone that will disagree with any action that is taken, but does that justify doing nothing?