Like so many people around the world, the Knodes team is heartbroken. After the
tragic events soul sucking, senseless, inexplicable murder of 20 children, it’s hard to know what to do, what to feel or how to help.
Perhaps like me, you scour the web looking for answers, craving to understand what we as a society should be doing differently (it is NOT demonizing Autism by the way). Perhaps you’re looking to rationalize what can’t possibly be rationalized. Inadvertently you are probably pulled into the endless cycle of tragedy porn that our modern media excels at. Soundbites. Pictures of impossibly cute children who will never grow up. And the punditry. The g–damn punditry. Political posturing and tons of rhetoric. But what I want to challenge everyone (EVERYone), to do is to bring some facts to the conversation. There are people who have tried, but we need MORE fact-based conversation.
There have been amazing tweets like this one drawing parallels between shoe-bombers and revised TSA practices. There have been impassioned pleas from unabashed gun control advocate Mayor Mike. But there has simply not been a grassroots push for DATA in the dialog.
Let’s shed the light of real truth. Not militia-fabricated, NRA-sponsored studies. Not left-wing super crunchy liberal agenda-driven polls. If we really give a shit about changing the outcomes in this country, let’s apply the same passion and rigor to analyzing the value chain of guns, self-defense, crime and gun violence that we do to parsing election data, market data, sales data and every other kind of f-ing data. Let’s have a conversation rooted in accurate historical perspectives and updated demographic, geographic and whateverelse-graphic trend data.
To be clear on my perspective. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I narrowly missed being shot at age 14. Despite that fact, I came to enjoy going to firing ranges when I travel to places that have them. And yet this weekend, I took down and trashed a shooting-range target riddled with holes that I’ve been proud of for 9 years. I’m done glorifying guns even if I’m still divided on their place in our society. And personally, I’d love to have a better understanding of the data behind both positions.
And if another pro-gun person lectures me on how we shouldn’t regulate guns because it’ll be hard to do (and in defense of the position cites the fact that we can’t “even” keep drugs out of people’s hands)…I’ll actually scream. That argument is a lot like saying that since we can’t stop all drunk drivers we should strike down DWI laws and accompanying law enforcement.
We should be looking for real data. Crime prevention stats, accidental deaths, gun-related crimes as a % of total crime in major metro areas and in rural areas. Gun crimes in areas with harsh mandatory minimums. Gun crimes in surrounding areas where the “gun show loophole” is in effect. Not just studies that show that the US sucks compared to other countries around gun crimes (it does) but a study looking at the US itself in great detail. If this resonates, can you please share that sentiment by asking everyone, especially the gun lobby to share the #realgundata?
Rhetoric won’t bring back the lives taken in Sandy Hook. But perhaps a more factual dialog with the goal of better regulation could prevent the majority of tragedies that haven’t happened yet? Isn’t it worth abandoning the political jockeying?