Ban guns. Stop criminals. As far as I can tell, those are the two polar extremes of the gun control debate.
Both sides have the common ground of wanting to stop acts of rampant violence.
The “ban gun” side seems only fixated on violence with guns, whereas the “stop criminal” side would like to see ALL violent crime addressed.
Even though I am decidedly pro-gun, I can empathize to the anti-gun position. A vital part of the solution to gun violence is to ban the wrong kinds of people from accessing guns, everyone on both sides acknowledges that.
I disagree with the anti-position in that it is an intellectual cop-out to assume EVERYONE should be banned from accessing guns.
Moreover, the fault of the pro-gun argument is that our side’s solution of preventing criminals and the mentally ill from accessing them is too complex, touching on sensitive issues that require nuance and intellect to elaborate on, let alone, to craft public policy for.
Where both sides are wrong is that they both assume a complete fallacy: moral superiority of their side and moral inferiority of the other.
Taking a stance on gun control has become a dog-whistle virtue signalling exercise to the respective side of the debate.
Politicians especially have incentive to partake in the charade – as taking one position or the other has financial incentive for them to do so.
Canadian gun owners will fill the coffers of the Conservative Party of Canada for saying they support gun rights.
Globalist anti-gun coalitions will do the same for the Liberal Party of Canada for saying they will ban handguns.
In short, the ruling class of Canada profits mightily by grandstanding on a position of gun violence, when in actuality, neither side could care either way.
They just want the money that comes from taking a position.
This to me is sick and what I know is symptomatic of all forms of real violence in our society:
Unshakable resolve that our side is right and good and the other side is wrong and evil and the incentive to publicly proselytize on a position.
This perverse culture of moral grandstanding fractures our civilization and destroys opportunities for constructive dialogue where reasonable compromise might be reached.
Just watch Question Period in the House of Commons if you want a clear illustration of this principle.
Social media is also an excellent illustration of this.
How many of us are “fishing for likes” when we make public our views one way or the other and how many of us feel emotionally, personally slighted when we hear the opposing view?
The fractures prevalent at the top trickle down to the bottom, to the level of the individual.
The bedrock of society.
When the individuals at the fringe become sequestered and isolated to the level of the lone individual against a world where everyone else is wrong they can form a personal justification to rent a UHaul and mow down a sidewalk full of pedestrians.
They rally to the call of homicidal extremist organizations calling for the martyrdom in the name of destruction of our civilization, procure a handgun illegally and start shooting.
In the mind of the murderous isolated individual they are simply playing out the cultural ethos that: “I’m right, you’re wrong and I should have nothing to do with you.”
Each and everyone one of us has fuelled this madness by constantly assuming we hold the moral high ground.
Each and everyone of us has to stop if we are to have any hope the situation can change.
To continue to assume we’re on the right side and everyone else is our enemy is to promulgate the culture of division that is bringing our civilization to its knees. The culture that drives men to madness and murder.
What is needed is a call to repentance.
Individual realizations and acceptance of the fact that we are not always right. In fact, few if any of us have any credibility whatsoever to address the truly complex problems of our world.
(I myself fall into the lacking credibility category).
That is the cure to the disease of narcissistic nihilism that is tearing Western civilization apart. To the disease that provokes thoughts of murder and carnage in the minds of disillusioned and marginalized men.
Only when we are each individually honest with ourselves about the dismal state of our own personal being instead of masking it behind grand standing, collectivist, virtual signalling can any of us even begin to comprehend the systemic problems that sow chaos in our own lives.
Only when we’ve each sorted out the chaos in our own lives can any of us actually have any hope of addressing the more complex problems of our society – problems such as gun violence.
Who knows, maybe if more of us (myself included) were more humble and honest with ourselves about our personal dysfunctions, we could create a culture that didn’t drive others into dysfunctions of their own.
May we all decide wisely.