From: Hans Madland
It seems that every time an important issue comes up it is the strident voices of extremists who dominate the discussion. If the issue is climate change, the extremists on one side want to make every single internal combustion engine illegal and on the other side are the people who tell us loudly that climate change is all a big hoax.
Gun violence is a clear example of this divisive debate. Iíve been told by people I respect that the government wants to take away every single gun. They tell me that this is step one in a vast global plan to turn us all into slaves. They truly believe that our government is under the control of this monstrous cabal of liberals who plan to destroy our way of life, to take over our country. They tell me that our president is the diabolical instrument of this ungodly group of conspirators.
On the other hand and at the other end of the spectrum are completely sincere individuals who believe right down to their core that the ďgun nutsĒ are ignoramuses who donít understand that powerful corporations are working behind the scenes to destroy democracy. To these people, every gun represents a threat to freedom. These people wake up in a cold sweat after a night of nightmares in which fascists have effectively turned our country into one vast corporation in which individual rights have been subverted.
So where does that leave the rest of us? I donít know about you, but I would like to see our children be safe in school. I want to feel confident that when I drop them off at the movie theater I will go back two hours later to their excited chatter as they tell me all about the wonders they experienced on the big screen. When we in the sensible center absent ourselves from this public discussion, we leave it to the extremists to define and solve the problem. We know that what they propose is frankly insane. If we are silent, then we should not be terribly surprised if the daily drumbeat of death continues unabated.