Debates

The other day, I got in a political debate on Facebook.  I normally tend to avoid those things because they end up in this awful, confrontational argument rather than a civil debate of two people expressing different opinions.  There are a few people involved so we’ll start with Person 1 who is extremely against guns, no guns in the house, on the streets or available for any civilian possession.  He mentioned I believe a police officer that was shot in New York and saying this happened because average americans can have guns. 

Before I explain anything else, let me first talk about my opinion on guns.  I’m in the middle, with the idea that if someone wants a handgun in their house, then they can do what they want as long as it’s stored property or if they are hunters who have shotguns, however I think we need a better process to obtain weapons, I HATE concealed carry and people don’t need firearms that can shoot out 100 rounds in a few seconds.  The reason why I partially accept guns because I grew up around guns, my grandparents were hunters, I’ll get into that more in a bit.  I’d never want a weapon in my house, that’s for sure, but if others want it then that is their choice. 

I wrote to him that not all americans go out with their guns and kill people.  My grandparents were very responsible gun owners and respectful sportsmen.  They had their guns properly stored and locked away and their bullets were in a separate locked location.  They taught us that guns were not toys, that they were not power that one held over everyone else, you weren’t more powerful just because you carried a gun on you because they cause more trouble than good, which is why they only used theirs to hunt. 

I comment on this status and start a debate with Person 2 who is completely for guns, whether it is the concealed carry law or weapons that can fire 100s of rounds, completely opposite of Person 1.  Anyway, Person 2 and I have a really good debate, we can both express our opinions in a completely civil way, pointing our flaws in each others arguments or different ideas without it getting mean or confrontational.  For example, he said that the city has the strictest gun laws but the most crime and to me that doesn’t really make sense in comparing the city to the suburbs.  First of all, the city population is so much larger than out where we live, in the burbs.  Second, the make up of neighborhoods and the crime itself is completely different, we don’t have gang activity out here for one thing, there are some but you don’t hear about gangs in Elmhurst or Naperville or things like that, but in general, city crime is different and on another level.  It’s like comparing Chicago crime to Montana, it doesn’t make sense.  It was a really good debate though because we could point those things out about each others argument and no one got hostile.  He eve joked around saying you’d thank me about my ideas when the zombie apocalypse happens!

Then finally Person 1 comes back online and begins to talk about how we’re missing the point and people shouldn’t have guns.  Then he got into the hunting issue saying that hunting is not necessary anymore, which is a valid point and then he went on to say this “Shooting a deer or human because “it excites you” is absolutely sick”.   This comment made me very angry because to me, you can be against hunting, you can not want an animal to die and that is totally fine!  However, the average hunter is not a “sick” individual and you can’t compare killing a human to a deer, that is just beyond ignorant.  Whether it was right or wrong I took offense to this.

Many people who I’ve talked to assume hunters love this thrill of death and that is not the case.  There are some dishonorable hunters out there but many are not.  My grandparents weren’t trophy hunters and anything they killed they cleaned themselves and then ate.  They were able to provide for themselves, a thing most Americans can’t do and take for granted all that they are lucky enough to have at their fingertips. 

Also, to me its more honorable to have to work for your food and give the animal a fair chance in the wild rather than having them lined up on a farm awaiting their death.  You hear so many people against hunting because it kills animals, what about fishing?  I’ve never been hunting before, but I have been fishing and the fish I catch, if they are the right size, I kill it, clean it and cook it for dinner.  I was able to provide for myself.  I don’t fish for a sick thrill of death and my grandparents didn’t hunt for that reason either.  

What people don’t realize is that hunters, true honorable sportsmen put a lot of money into these wildlife refuges.  That’s where the money from the fishing/hunting licences go and they make donations.  Hunters respect the animals they hunt and know more about them than any average american with a no hunting pamphlet because they spend hours with them in the wild.  Our family friend Bob Torstenson, an avid hunter, donated 95,000 acres and a $4 million endowment to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation when he passed away.  That was in his will.  Obviously not everyone can make such a large donation.  His family business did very well, but he was a hunter that killed elk and look what he did for them. 

I know this is such a long blog, but the last thing I want to say is this is why we don’t get anywhere in debates, people turn to insults and ignorance.  It is totally fine to be against hunting!  I understand that, I’m against trophy hunting but I grew up around true sportsmen so I’m ok with hunting as long as you use the entire animal, but when you compare killing a person to a deer and say it’s for that sick thrill of death, that is just ignorant and insulting, especially when one of the people you’re debating with specifically stated she grew up around it.   These insults and ignorance is why we get no where in politics, everyone is so busy insulting each other rather than saying, well that’s not the case, here is a fact or something like that.  The next time you debate, think about that and just keep it civil and state your opinion without insulting whoever you’re debating with.  We need to get things done in this country and we can’t do that if we all act like children arguing.

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