A few weeks ago I was invited to a discussion group on the UIW campus put on by Moms Demand Action. I couldn’t quite remember where I’d met them, but when I saw “gun sense” on their signs it cleared-up; my campaign manager and I met them at a gun-control rally downtown a couple weeks after Uvalde. They did seem sensible, and sincere, as they were simply promoting responsibility.

This discussion was further clarifying.

I don’t think they were expecting the questions I asked about judges, bonds, repeat offenders (particularly domestic violence), etc. Background checks came up, as did red-flags, age-limits, etc. A few folks talked about the training their kids received in the military, and that the same should be required of civilians. Sutherland Springs came up.

“Who determines that training,” I asked.
“The government, probably,” one lady responded, addressing me with a slight look out of the side of her eye.
“Why them? What about parents?”
“Hasn’t government always been our guide,” she asked hesitantly.
“I think government was part of the problem in SS, not to mention Uvalde.”

It was worth my time to attend. I got along as well with them then as I did at that rally. And that was after I made it fairly clear what my beliefs are. As I made clear at our strategy meeting last week, the first step toward public safety is not only our human right to defend ourselves however we see fit, wherever we go. It’s also that, should we choose not to (guns are intimidating to some) exercise this right, we should not obstruct those who do.

When they do, we’re all safer for it.

That wasn’t my key takeaway from this discussion group though. The main thing I got was just talking to people with diverse/opposing views. We’re a better society when we can simply be civil with each other.

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