Congress Needs to Have a Prom

dancing

I had an epiphany in an online discussion on Facebook today. There has been recent gun violence in a school in Portland Oregon, and someone posted to Facebook her ideas for gun legislation. Several people, including me, were sharing our thoughts about gun control, for and against. I was “jackaling”, which can feel so good sometimes, although it’s not very productive. I became self-connected during the conversation and got serious about this issue of gun control and the possibility of agreeing on how to reduce gun violence.

Some people from both sides of the issue “liked” my comment that we all just wanted safety and it is possible to find a way that all of our needs could be met. I eventually posted a suggestion to see if we could agree on a starting point. I wondered if we could agree that only mentally competent, trained people with no intent of hurting another person should be using guns. I thought this had to be the base from which we could all start. Someone agreed, but then expressed fear about who would decide competency, would privacy be violated, it was a “slippery slope”.

At that moment I realized an even more basic need that had to be met before anything else could was trust in each other. We couldn’t even agree that there could be guns in the right circumstances because we couldn’t trust we would stay with that. Trust. I realized that we need to work together on “safer” issues to develop trust in each other before we try to work on something that seems to be a “hot button”.

So, congress needs to have a prom. They need committees to decide the theme, the colors, the venue, the band, and all kinds of things. They/we need to have the experience of working together for a common goal. Experiencing that we can listen to and trust each other. They may have to have a few proms.

If we are ever going to tackle the problems we have right now, we have to be able to work together. Let’s just work on trust for now.

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