Open dialogue on guns is goodPublished 10:15am Monday, April 22, 2013
Students along with adults got together on a Tuesday evening earlier this month at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center to watch the documentary “Living for 32.” The story detailed the experience of one of the few students to survive the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. As the conversation on background checks for those purchasing guns continues to this day and our government has yet to pass any far-stretching legislation on this topic, it was poignant to see how one man who survived a tragedy made it his mission to show how easy it was to purchase guns in the United States without any type of identification and not a hint of a background check.
A 50-minute discussion followed and had an array of different opinions. The Choose Civility group hopes to encourage the peaceful discussion of topics and exchange of ideas. Allowing for people to share their perspectives and discuss opinions without the fear of people with opposing views either unable or unwilling to listen. It truly is a part of creating a kinder, more compassionate community when people can carry on a civil conversation without fear of retribution and just not being listened to. In Freeborn County we have experienced situations where groups of people get together to discuss a topic where the discussion has turned into inflammatory comments and a disregard for each other.
Tuesday’s conversation was refreshing in that a group could share their opinions about guns and gun control in America in an open dialogue. People could state when it was their turn to talk that they did not agree with a particular comment without judgment from the group. Choose Civility would like to encourage those in our community to continue having conversations in this vein, remembering that no one is right or wrong, people will have their own beliefs, and it is our jobs as members of the human race to listen.