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Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

My political thought of the day:

Here in the US, our esteemed senators recently voted down a gun control bill that would have required background checks in situations where it wasn’t required before, like with internet sales or private sales where the person isn’t a gun dealer. Many of my progressive friends talked about it like it was a deep betrayal, or proof the Senate is broken; many of my conservative friends reacted like the Second Amendment had been saved. It was a great day for Americans’ right to arm themselves, according to the stories I heard.

Here’s the thing, though: whatever you think about gun *rights*, it seems undeniable to me that Americans have a gun violence problem. They’re just too readily available. And too many guns available means too many suicides, too many arguments escalating to physical violence, too many small kids finding guns and accidentally shooting their friends. (Good grief, imagine growing up with that knowledge!) Even if gun control isn’t an option, even if background checks wouldn’t work or are too much of an insult to those famous good guys with a gun, we still have a problem of too many people dying from guns.

So what’s the solution? I have my own theories and will probably share them later this week. But in the place of a political comment I’d like to hear other peoples’ thoughts. If gun control and background checks are off the table, is there anything else we can do to stop situations where people die from gunshot wounds? It can be a law, or it can be something else entirely like a social habit. Even if you think gun control is the best option, I’d be interested in your Plan B: if we can’t get the kind of laws or law enforcement you want on this issue, is there any other way to attack it? In either case be specific – what’s the problem leading to all these deaths, and how can we fix it?

If you’re first thinking about this issue I recommend Slate’s gun-death tally, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html . Look at some of the most recent news items (click on any icon on the tally, then click “Source”) and try to find a common thread. What kind of deaths-by-gun are most common? That may be a good place to start.

I do ask you guys be civil, and that you use this as a constructive space rather than as somewhere to kvetch about the failed amendment or anything like that.There are lots of spaces to talk about that. This just isn’t one of them today.

**************************************

Three other things, one sort of related to this, one not:

1. I never got around to doing a FB/pinterest round-up this weekend. Any objection to me just doing a post next weekend covering both weeks? You can always check out my most recent pins yourself

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<p><small>Originally published at <a href="http://www.fidesquaerens.org/blog/?p=1861">Faith Seeking Understanding</a>. You can comment here or <a href="http://www.fidesquaerens.org/blog/?p=1861#comments">there</a>.</small></p><p>My political thought of the day:</p> <p>Here in the US, our esteemed senators recently voted down a gun control bill that would have required background checks in situations where it wasn&#8217;t required before, like with internet sales or private sales where the person isn&#8217;t a gun dealer. Many of my progressive friends talked about it like it was a deep betrayal, or proof the Senate is broken; many of my conservative friends reacted like the Second Amendment had been saved. It was a great day for Americans&#8217; right to arm themselves, according to the stories I heard.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s the thing, though: whatever you think about gun *rights*, it seems undeniable to me that Americans have a gun violence problem. They&#8217;re just too readily available. And too many guns available means too many suicides, too many arguments escalating to physical violence, too many small kids finding guns and accidentally shooting their friends. (Good grief, imagine growing up with that knowledge!) Even if gun control isn&#8217;t an option, even if background checks wouldn&#8217;t work or are too much of an insult to those famous good guys with a gun, we still have a problem of too many people dying from guns.</p> <p>So what&#8217;s the solution? I have my own theories and will probably share them later this week. But in the place of a political comment I&#8217;d like to hear other peoples&#8217; thoughts. If gun control and background checks are off the table, is there anything else we can do to stop situations where people die from gunshot wounds? It can be a law, or it can be something else entirely like a social habit. Even if you think gun control is the best option, I&#8217;d be interested in your Plan B: if we can&#8217;t get the kind of laws or law enforcement you want on this issue, is there any other way to attack it? In either case be specific &#8211; what&#8217;s the problem leading to all these deaths, and how can we fix it?</p> <p>If you&#8217;re first thinking about this issue I recommend Slate&#8217;s gun-death tally, <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html">http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html</a> . Look at some of the most recent news items (click on any icon on the tally, then click &#8220;Source&#8221;) and try to find a common thread. What kind of deaths-by-gun are most common? That may be a good place to start.</p> <p>I do ask you guys be civil, and that you use this as a constructive space rather than as somewhere to kvetch about the failed amendment or anything like that.There are lots of spaces to talk about that. This just isn&#8217;t one of them today.</p> <p>**************************************</p> <p>Three other things, one sort of related to this, one not:</p> <p>1. I never got around to doing a FB/pinterest round-up this weekend. Any objection to me just doing a post next weekend covering both weeks? You can always check out my most recent pins yourself <a href="http://pinterest.com/ml810/pins/&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;2. I&#39;ve been toying with the question of, to what extent (if any) Katniss and Peeta are pacifists, and what lessons we can draw from their approaches to violence and war. The trouble is, I&#39;d need to discuss spoilers from all three Hunger Games books to really answer it. Is anyone out there interested in reading my thoughts on this even if it contains spoilers?&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;3. In my last PTOTD post I included an image. I often include images, which I find through google images and then hotlink to. Maybe I need to rethink doing that; honestly, it seemed like the best approach since this blog doesn&#39;t get enough traffic to weigh down someone&#39;s servers, and this seemed to give the original person (or at least the person I found through Google Images) control of the image if they ever wanted to update it. Maybe I should rethink how I do this. In any case, I&#39;m sorry for hotlinking as the site obviously didn&#39;t want people to. &lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The image I linked to seems to be taken down even from the site I originally linked to, but if you&#39;re interested, it&#39;s also up here: &lt;a href=" http://bitchspot.jadedragononline.com/2012/08/16/academic-study-of-atheists/"="http://bitchspot.jadedragononline.com/2012/08/16/academic-study-of-atheists/&quot;">http://bitchspot.jadedragononline.com/2012/08/16/academic-study-of-atheists/</a></p>

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