Steve Chapman, in his recent column “Blame gun violence on culture, not laws,” raises excellent points. He concludes, with some data to support him, that cultural differences make all the difference in use of guns and violence. “Where citizens are sober and peaceable, they rarely kill each other — with guns or anything else.” This refers not to racial/ethnic cultural differences (which certainly exist), but a culture of how you settle disputes.
I would like to know if there is any legislation or policy supported by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun lobbies supporting non-violent settlement of disputes. Their policies support only the arming of more and more citizens — implicit support for settling disputes with guns, in schools, in neighborhoods, in any public place.
As Chapman says, getting rid of 300 million guns is a fantasy. But supporting non-violent, non-bullying ways of dispute resolution would move us in the right direction.
Maybe it wouldn’t sell guns (the NRA’s mission) — but it sure would reveal whether or not the NRA has a compassionate side.
Robert N. Harris Jr.