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Old March 13, 2009, 03:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: February 14, 2006
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Forums for rational discussion/debate on the right to bear arms

Recently there was a thread entitled "Are ANY gun laws legal?" It went on for several days and then was closed by the moderator. I understand why it was closed; I guess the latter part of the discussion got provocative and maybe a little nasty, and so the moderator stopped the thread per the guidelines which are clearly posted. I don't object to that action at all.

However, I was sorry to see the thread come to a close because, by and large, it was a fascinating discussion between informed, articulate and thoughtful people who were struggling with the very complicated issues related to our right to bear arms. I read every posting and enjoyed the thread because of the breadth of thinking and knowledge that were evident. It was frankly surprising to me to see such a variety of thinking on this subject. After all, this forum appeals almost exclusively to us gun owners who are passionate about our fun with guns and our right to own and carry them.

Most discussions that take place on gun rights in public venues are polarized and, almost by definition, without any real thoughtful listening to divergent opinions; they become a series of speeches rather than dialogue, which requires listening to the other person. While lively and often argumentative most of the discussion and debate in the thread was of a higher level.

My point is that the discussion was unusual and valuable because there was responsive communication. Where else can we hear, and even participate in, such discussion? The major organizations and their lobbying efforts - on both sides - focus on pressing their point of view, not listening. Statistics and other information are quoted only in defense of one's position, not in the service of coming to a larger view of a difficult subject.

Perhaps one reason the discussion that took place could happen was because mostly we are of like minds on this forum. We mostly agree. We are gun people. So, perhaps it was possible to have a debate in good faith between people who are mostly in the same camp.

The purpose of this thread is to ask:
1. Is it not useful to encourage these kinds of discussion in a broader forum that includes people who otherwise stereotype us and see us as caricatures?
2. How can we have a more active and thoughtful public dialogue without taking off the pressure to insure our rights?
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Old March 13, 2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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fm, In this forum you will find discusion/debate on the right to bear arms, you have to be the judge of if it's rational or not. orchidhunter
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