Saturday, October 10, 2015

On Gun Control or Why Can't We Just Fucking Talk?

Dear Readers,

Ugh gun control is such an obnoxiously divisive issue with both sides being so pigheadedly obstinate! Yes there are issues with the enforcement of our current gun laws; yes there is need for stricter background checks for gun sales; yes mental health is an important issue; yes perhaps that means a mental health screening might be a good fuggin' idea as a part of the background check required to purchase guns; yes many shootings have been stopped by armed civilians and yes many have not! The vitriol and bile being spat by both sides at the other is fierce and here I am standing in the middle saying "C'mon people! There is a middle ground! There is another way! We could work together on this!". At least we could if for one gods-cursed minute people would take their heads out of their asses and talk to each other. Not Scream, talk. 

There is a principle in the brand of Druidry I practice called breaking the binary. Most issues are not black and white, right and wrong binaries. Most are at least ternaries (three points of view) or quarternaries (four points of view) and many are an entire spectrum of shades of grey plus every colour of light visible and invisible and throw in every wavelength of sound to boot!  In my experience when you are presented with any two precisely opposing views and told these are your only options you are being manipulated! So whenever you are presented with two seemingly irreconcilable viewpoints stop screaming and look for the third factor the thing that presents a balance between the two and offers an alternative, not just a midpoint.Hell in the case of gun control as with so many other things in the public eye these days, the fact that we're screaming IS the third factor. 

Yes there is an issue with gun violence in our country. Yes there is an issue with big government overreach in our country. However and most importantly there is an inability for two Americans with different viewpoints to have a civil conversation about ANYTHING. To illustrate this I propose an exercise which I try to perform tolerably often; try it sometime! Find someone with whom you disagree about a divisive issue and politely and thoughtfully rebutt an argument they make about that issue. I highly doubt the person with whom you are speaking will be able to make it two or three exchanges without at least getting heated and at worst telling you are a terribly evil person who is spawned by whatever hell they proscribe to (examples of hell: republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, christian, heathen, atheist, etc).Fuck, I practice this exercise regularly but I'll freely admit when people start attacking me personally I get hot under the collar myself (especially if I propose a moderate position and I am told or it is implied that I am being brainwashed by one or the other side). As a country and as a society we need to relearn how to dialogue; relearn how to have a real debate (not preaching to the choir or a screaming match wherein the winner screams loudest and longest past their opponents); in short we need to relearn the art of civil conflict with everything that term implies. As a devotee of a goddess of sovereignty and war I feel particularly called to address this issue. So please if I've said something here or elsewhere that bothers you tell me! But try to do so civilly. In the meantime be well!

Yours, in service to the Morrigan,

Achija Branvin Sionnach