Monday, July 23, 2012

Guns and Abortion

As you're well aware, there's been a tragedy.  People who felt they were in a safe and fun environment were suddenly mowed down by a well-armed gunman.  Twelve dead.  Dozens injured.  Still no answers.

Immediately after the incident, the gun control debate shifted into high gear.  One side saying the tragedy may have been prevented if guns were harder to acquire.  The other side saying the tragedy may have been prevented if more people in the auditorium were armed.

Maybe you should stay out of the debate, at least most of the time.  Neither you nor your cause will gain from it.  You see, when it comes to guns, people pretty much have their mind made up.  You'll never convince a gun control advocate that an increase in well-armed citizens can bring about safer communities.  You'll never convince a gun rights advocate that making it harder to get guns does anything but make it easier for the criminals to have targets.

I equate the guns right debate to the abortion debate; it's normally not an argument worth having.  The two sides of the guns rights and abortion debates are so polarized that you are unlikely to ever sway someone's opinion.  These issues are also incredibly emotionally charged, so a debate adds a possibility of anger and resentment.

Be cautious how you read my words.  I am not saying you should keep your opinions on highly charged emotional issues to yourself.  Quite the contrary.  You should be be very willing to stand up and say "This is what I believe!"

Before you turn standing up for your beliefs into a pointless argument no one can win, though, pay attention to who you might be arguing with.  Ask yourself if it's worth it to start a heated debate with someone whose opinion you will never change.  Ask yourself if the stress and anger of wondering how the other side could possibly be so blind to your points is worth it.

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