The Norman Transcript


May 20, 2013

U.S. must address shootings



Americans cherish their right to travel, yet automobiles are regulated. Cars kill 40,000 or more each year. Hundreds of thousands are injured or maimed. Having to register a car, get a license, maintain insurance and be responsible for the potential harm caused by a car has never damaged the equally important right of Americans to live where they want to live and go where they want to go.

There are, because there must be, similar limits to gun access that can allow freedom and yet help keep innocents alive. The false deontology that any limits to gun rights results in the destruction of the U.S. Constitution is just as baseless as the notion that the right of women to vote would lead to the destruction of the family. 

Proponents of extreme views were equally convinced that freeing slaves or opening the clergy to women (at least in some religions) would be the end of America.  Fortunately, extremists, bound by a false perception that all things live in black or white, are very often wrong.

Mary Fallin is wrong. So is Tom Coburn. So is the NRA and many, many others. Not in all things, but certainly in their positions that compromise must always be defeat. The fact that they stand blindly by open access that kills thousands each year shows not heroism but shallow ignorance. 

Regardless, the real solution is not a rush to ban. It is not a rush to get armed before a pretended ban. The solution is not to increase the instability of an already unstable system.

The real solution is to talk. Discuss. Converse. Think. Listen. Consider. Concede the possibility. Realize that this issue is far more important than the simplistic jingoism and fear mongering put forth on both sides. Agree that other things can be just as important as a gun. And, most importantly, put aside the fear.

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