I’m sure you’ve already heard the news regarding the school shooting in Connecticut. As of this writing 27 individuals have lost their lives. Advocates of gun rights are pointing out the fact that this mass shooting, like so many before it, occurred in a so-called gun-free zone while advocates of gun control are howling for more stringent gun control legislation. It’s the age old debate for which no common ground exists. But what about those who are normally outside of the gun rights debate?
After the news hit I did the thing many gun rights and gun control advocates are apt to do, I hit up the discussions occurring across the Internet. Advocates of gun rights have a phrase for gun control advocates who start demanding more gun control legislation immediately after a mass shooting: dancing in the blood. This phrase comes from the fact that they appear to be overjoyed to see a tragedy that can be used to advance their cause. I’m sure gun control advocates view those of us in the gun rights movement in the exact same way. Meanwhile individuals outside of the gun rights debate usually see it as both sides dancing in the blood. In their eyes both sides are exploiting a tragedy to advance their political causes.
I want to offer a though I had when pondering this over lunch. Being involved in the gun rights debate I spend a great deal of time writing about and discussing issues related to gun rights, including mass shootings. It’s a normal conversation for me to have. Because of this when a mass shooting like this occurs I merely continue the discussion I was having yesterday. I don’t believe I’m alone in this regard. In fact I would venture to guess that most people involved in the gun rights and gun control movements are the same way.
It’s not a matter of exploiting a tragedy so much as continuing an ongoing conversation. Although both sides appear to be insensitive, cold hearted, and exploitative to people generally outside of the conversation most of us involve in the conversation are, I believe, none of those things.
I realize that this thought is unlikely to change the opinions of individuals not normally involved in this conversation, and they very well may be right about both sides, but I feel it’s worth bringing up. In the end it’s a matter of perspective.