What can you do about the shootings at Newtown? One thing you can do is talk about it. Not the mournful/terrified/horrified “I know—isn’t it awful?”
Talk about gun control. Don’t leave it to Congress and the President. Talk about it to everybody with whom you spend significant time. That means your family, friends, neighbors, teacher, therapist, co-worker—my rule is that I will talk about guns with everybody with whom I spend forty-five minutes.
This is too important to leave to the National Rifle Association or the politicians. This is something that all citizens need to talk to each other about—and I’m not talking about an hour-long learned discourse or a passionate argument. I’m talking about five minutes. And I’m doing it.
I had breakfast with a friend this morning and in the last five minutes I asked him what he thought about gun control. He has two daughters, aged 9 and 11. He said, “My God, my God, this has got to stop!”
I had a forty-five meeting with a woman. I spent the first five minutes asking her about guns. She said, “Hunting—that’s okay. Personally, I’m not into it but it’s okay. But assault weapons? Absolutely not.”
My aide came and somewhere between washing the dishes and making the salad, I asked her. She said, “This is crazy. This is just crazy. It’s got to stop. We got no need to have all these guns.”
And then I say, “Hunting weapons are okay, but no handguns or assault weapons because they’re only used to kill people. And instead of just not selling them, let’s not make them. Only specially licensed manufacturers can make them for the military and the police.”
Have this conversation with everyone with whom you spend a significant amount of time. Take five minutes to hear their point of view and express your own. Gun control is too important to be left in the hands of elected officials.
Take the problem back. Have a little conversation with everyone you meet. Surface the issue. Find out what others think. Share what you think.
It’s one thing you can do