Traffic deaths due to alcohol began to decline remarkably as social attitudes about drinking and driving moved to ‘not cool’. Of course regulations also help, and when possible as gently as possible.
In private I’m guessing most people would agree with a general notion of a serious problem with gun deaths. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately in the arena of political ‘discourse’ it challenging to express that ideal because it tends to put someone on one side or the other.
The same I suspect is true in the abortion conversation. I’m opposed to me having an abortion, I don’t get to make that decision for anyone else. I’m male and never married so I’ve never been faced with the real decision. My options, my personal ethical standards do not apply to anyone else. Yet I am able to assist with decision making, if asked. I can listen to reasons for a particular action, explore desired outcomes, investigate what options available and more. I believe I am more approachable, and more available if I’m clear about my belief and also clear it has no standing in someone else’s life. Then together we can try to assist each other.
In the area of abortions there are many alternatives available yet they have never been the focus of the messages. A whole bunch of money has been poured down the drain, and it continues. That money could be used in other meaningful and beneficial ways. I’m guessing most people would not be opposed to beefing up adoption options, regulations and monitoring for both adopted and foster care, increasing financial support for the parents having the baby to reduce that burden especially if financial reasons were behind wanting an adoption..
Guns, and gun violence, also have areas of conversation, curiosity, compromise, and regulation that have not been explored. Currently it will be difficult to do so as long as the focus is solely on gun control and gun rights.
When it becomes socially unacceptable to have a military brigades worth of weapons in a single person’s basement, when it is socially not cool to holster your side arms to go to the store shopping for groceries, or theatre, and so forth. When it is not cool to brag about all your guns, when the social currency is devalued people will, as they have in the past, shift their own personal capital and energy somewhere else. Going after organizations, targeting manufacturers, regulating how a weapon is built by many dating specific things such as gun locks or owner-bio-coupling, are two that could be explored as well as establishing quota limits. They may or may not work, we’ll never know until we look into them. The emerging talk of applying insurance requirements could potentially remove the problem over night, or rapidly. Perhaps a redistribution of insurance profit from that could be an offset for medical insurance.
Who knows what will and what will not work or what other ideas may arise in the process? It could be fun and exciting. It would invite more voices into he conversation to reduce gun violence and deaths from guns something I’m guessing most people would fundamentally agree on, even if not agreeing on first steps.