Here’s what I want to do right now in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre: I want to scream my beliefs about guns to everyone whose views contradict my own. I want to drown out voices that disagree with me. If
I were a policymaker, I would want to use every unfair advantage in my power to bully others and run roughshod through the legislative process to get my way because, darn it, I’m right. And the others are wrong.
But I’m not going to do those things, even though I really want to. Why? Because this is what we always do with the gun issue. We scream at each other. We drown each other out. We bully. And still, we get nowhere.
This issue tests my resolve like no other to be a voice of moderation and a champion of finding common ground, but moderation and common ground are crucial. We cannot move forward without them. Yet we continue to shout, with the same outcome. Children dying in schools. People dying in grocery stores. Worshippers dying in churches.
There is a better way to work through this issue. But we must be willing to trust that others want to resolve it as much as we do. Until we come together with the goal to understand each other, and more importantly, listen, we will have no solution. Until we finally concede that “our side” doesn’t hold the only right answers, we will have no solution.
Even in my frustration, I have faith in us. I have faith that finding common ground will solve this issue. I have faith that we can put aside our desires to scream, drown out, and bully, and then listen to each other.
So instead of shouting, I invite all of us to do the harder thing and respectfully engage–and truly listen–so we can finally find a lasting solution to this horrific problem. And I hope we do it soon, because without moderation and common ground, there will definitely be a next time.