DAVID ROSMAN: Responding to varying views on gun control

Thursday, December 27, 2012 | 2:25 p.m. CST

I look forward to the Missourian online issue on Wednesdays, not because my column is published but to read Karl Miller’s thoughts. And though we usually do not agree on issues, I honor his opinions. This includes his essay this week.

We differ on our views of gun control and I accept that. In fact, both of our columns reflect our opposing positions. I strongly invite our readers to take in both.

Responding to the criticism of the NRA, J. Karl Miller’s Wednesday column is well written but might not fit the mainstream thoughts of the American public. This same morning, Republican strategist and CBS News political analyst Frank Luntz talked specifically about this “disconnect” of both parties on our two major issues — the fiscal cliff and gun control.

Before you decide that Karl or I are working with the devil because of our stances, I invite you to listen to the usually conservative Luntz. He starts with the fiscal cliff and at 2:20 speaks to gun control. He begins his conversation with, “Well, I’m not sure either side is watching very carefully and listening to what the American people think.”

Luntz reinforces two things on which Karl and I can agree: 1) that the average American is more worried about gun violence than the fiscal cliff, and 2) the American electorate is part of the problem, after all, we voted to keep a dysfunctional government.

I enjoy when Karl and I take on the same issue from our unique political and social understandings. Now it is your turn to comment with a caveat — no name calling and no demonizing either of us. Along with every other citizen essayist at the Missourian and throughout the U.S., we are advancing our patriotic duty by starting the conversations.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Michael Williams December 27, 2012 | 4:08 p.m.

"Gun issue viewed as more important than fiscal cliff issue"

Agree. It's easier to view the gun thingie as more important when you don't understand the fiscal cliff. In addition, the recent heinous act is fresh in minds and tugs seriously emotional strings. The fiscal cliff is simply seen as one more unbalanced check book. Who cares?

Humans react in a huge way to catastrophes....things like airline crashes, OK City bombing, twin towers, mass murders, mass crashes of autos in a fog, food poisonings, pharmaceutical deaths, ships sinking, etc. In the Newtown case, many of us are not only heartbroken about these little children, we're angry because we get no justice or revenge for them because the filthy, evil coward killed himself. There are few times I like the idea of "head on pike public display", but this is one of them.

These events remind us we have little control over certain things in our lives, even when those same events are quite rare and the concomitant risk assessment says there is very low probability. The calls for regulatory action and change end up quite loud.

For a while.

In the end, some changes that don't mean much in the real world will be made. Oh, we'll feel good about it and all the lofty rhetoric that sounds nice but isn't; we'll think we're REALLY DOING something, but we aren't.

And we'll go on until the next catastrophe.

I certainly agree with you on the dysfunctional government part. I dislike them all. On this issue, I'm an equal opportunity disliker.

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