Can We Unite Around Gun Safety? Yes, Think Local And Get The Data (Forbes)

FORBES | Earlier this week, as I was checking in at the Aspen Ideas Festival, a man approached me unexpectedly. He said, “Excuse me, Dr.-Senator Frist. I am a pastor in North Carolina. I want to bring people together on gun issues, right and left, Republican and Democrat, rural and urban. Is it possible? And how can I do it?”

Already late to my first meeting, I gave him my short, but direct, answer: “Yes. You must start locally. Most important, you must open the conversation with specific data that accurately describes their local community, information that they can relate to. Bring eight or ten people to the table and begin simply by asking specific, thought-provoking questions about gun safety in their own neighborhood. Likely they will not know the answers, but you will quickly establish a rapport and common foundation for a civil, mutually respectful discussion that can lead to deeper understanding, possibly even a change in culture and attitude, and, eventually, progress.”

I left him with these four, specific questions that I successfully use in starting similar conversations:

  • “Are any firearms kept in or around your home?”
  • “If so, are these firearms now loaded?”
  • “Are any of these loaded firearms unlocked?”
  • “Do you feel safer or less safe when there are firearms in your home or vehicle?”

Read the full article here: