The national conversation about gun control is about to begin, and I'm hoping it will be a healing and productive conversation. This afternoon, in response to the shootings at Newtown, the NRA released a statement saying it is "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again."
Yesterday, President Obama asked his cabinet members for proposals to curb gun violence. And this morning Obama's press secretary Jay Carney shared some of the gun control proposals Obama is considering: Reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and closing the so-called gun show loophole, among others. The President has met with NRA member Senator Joe Manchin about working together to curb gun violence.
It's happening, people. We are talking about gun control.
Now there are going to be other journalists and commentators who will express skepticism about the NRA's statement. And I understand where they are coming from. But I can't join them in that skepticism just yet. I want to see the NRA's statement as a hopeful gesture of compromise -- and much-needed leadership.
I know there are many, many people who feel threatened by any talk about gun control. It's tearing some families apart. Friendships have ended. Ugly things are being said. This makes me sad, especially when we are all feeling so raw from the tragedy. But I also know this is what happens when we are on the verge of major change. Change is always uncomfortable.
But I think in order to have a productive conversation, we really do need to start from a fresh place of trust and openness. The NRA will be holding a press conference on Friday. I will be listening.
What would you like to see happen to help curb gun violence?
Image via NRA.org