The Tribune’s summary of local opinions on the gun debate showed one consistent emotion: intense fear. Whether it was fear of wanton disregard for innocent life, “a gruesome world,” “armed gangs,” access to assault weapons, being a victim, an unsafe workplace, “crazy” people or doomsday scenarios, everyone is powerfully motivated by fear.
Unfortunately, we are not unified by our desire to create a world safe for all, but are allowing this “fear factor” to divide us as each side sees the other’s view as increasing their own sense of danger. This polarization is further intensified, I believe, by economic and political forces that have their own agendas.
We all know what is needed is calm, reasonable, intelligent people who are willing to value each other’s perspective and who can work together for the common good to assure a safe community. Continued division and hostile fighting about the “gun debate” based on fear will only force a “win/lose” option and lead to more fear and mistrust. The only question I have is: Is it possible to work cooperatively toward solving these kinds of problems anymore in the United States, or has that been lost forever?