- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

A new approach to combating gun violence

Guns [1]ICYMI, New York Times contributor, Prof. Gary Gutting of Notre Dame University has a thought-provoking piece [2] that’s worth your time. In it, he suggests that an important key to fighting gun violence involves convincing people they don’t need guns rather than trying to regulate them:

“It’s one thing to be horrified at gun violence. It’s something else to see it as a meaningful threat to your own existence. Our periodic shock at mass shootings and gang wars has little effect on our gun culture because most people don’t see guns as a particular threat to them. This is why opposition to gun violence has lacked the intense personal commitment of those who see guns as essential to their safety — or even their self-identity.

I’m not suggesting that opponents of gun violence abandon political action. We need to make it harder to buy guns (through background checks, waiting periods, etc.) both for those with criminal intentions and for law-abiding citizens who have no real need. But on the most basic level, much of our deadly violence occurs because we so often have guns readily available. Their mere presence makes suicide, domestic violence and accidents more likely. The fewer people with guns at hand, the less gun violence.

It’s easier to get people to see that they don’t want something than that they don’t have a right to it. Focusing on the need rather than the right to own a gun, many may well conclude that for them a gun is more a danger than a protection. Those fewer guns will make for a safer country.”

The added beauty of such an approach is that, in addition to avoiding the necessity of nasty political fights, it makes all of the hostile comments from the noisy minority of gun fetishists (e.g. the ones we usually get here from hostiles on the Pulse) completely irrelevant. Now, there’s a promising idea worth considering!

Read the entire essay by clicking here [2].