My friend, Annabel Park, an activist and documentary film maker, tried to begin a dialog on the gun control debate after the mass shootings in Connecticut, but found that the divisions were so deep on this issue, that her faith in dialogue and storytelling was tested.
With her experience with interviewing people for her documentaries, Annabel has been on the front line of the hyper-partisan debates in America. She is now working a documentary called, ‘Story of America: A Nation Divided‘.
Annabel believes in the transformative power of dialog and storytelling, as I do, because just spouting opinions at those that disagree with you will not achieve good results. It requires listening.
If you listen to the other side’s stories while relating some of your own, the conversation has more of a chance to become civil and dialog may occur. There are some that will never be reached though. Their stance on this issue is so culturally ingrained in their world outlook that advocating for any changes will always be a non-starter.
However, not everyone believes as strongly as they do, and are not as fixed in their views on the second amendment that listening to the stories of other people can be attempted. Many people really do live in different cultural worlds, but within each of those worlds, there are people like me that agree with Annabel’s thoughts on common sense gun measures, even though they believe everyone has the right to own a gun for protection and hunting.
I have been seeking others that believe in the 2nd Amendment but also believe changes need to be made for gun control, because they are the key in helping to diffuse the hostility of the debate. They are fluent in the cultural and religious traditions and can better verbalize the concerns and trepidation of the gun control advocates, as well as those of the gun rights advocates.
If the call becomes large enough for change, real progress may occur, if that call is heard from within each of the gun rights advocate’s own communities. [MORE]