Trust and respect are important in every relationship where people need to get things done. Whether it is your family, friends or work colleagues, the worst outcomes follow name calling, accusatory language and actions that limit or discount the opinions of others. It's no different in our political system.
In Virginia, a Republican has called out the behavior of his colleagues on the other side of the aisle that prevents constructive debate and raises suspicion.
Delegate Nick Freitas raises several points in his speech that lead directly to the lack of productive discussion about gun violence in this country. First and foremost, he does an excellent job of calling out the lack of respect in the debate. So much of the rhetoric from the #Gunsense crowd is that those of us who value our 2nd Amendment rights:
- Are okay with dead kids
- Are white supremacists
- Belong to an organization that is responsible for the murder of children
I wish comments like these were unusual. They aren't. All you need to to is look at the replies and mentions for NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch and the the NRA's own account. They way that those who wish to infringe on some of our very basic liberties have chosen to blame unrelated organizations and individuals for the tragedy in Parkland is very concerning.
Freitas also highlights another very salient point. Those of us who believe we have an inalienable right to protect ourselves and our families do not believe that the #Gunsense crowd will stop until the 2nd Amendment is destroyed. As he pointed out, as each new law fails to produce the results promised, those who worship at the altar of big government will come up with new ways to chip away at "shall not be infringed". Goodness knows states like California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois have already taken substantial chunks out of it.
For those of in districts and states where gun ownership is common and valued, the assertion our representatives are "bought" by the NRA is also absurd. If a Representative or Senator in Washington or Atlanta voted for substantial changes to the gun laws the folks of many areas of my state are subjected to they would be run out of office. They vote based on their constituents. As it should be.
Another truth bomb launched by Freitas is that the government, who the #Gunsense crowd feels is sufficient to provide for the safety and security of all citizens, failed miserably in the case of the Parkland shooting. While the final report is pending, it is fairly clear a horrible combination of bad policy at the school district level, failure of school administrators to engage law enforcement and failure of law enforcement to act when contacted by the public all contributed to the tragedy ay Marjory Stoneman Douglas School. Forgive us if we all don't trust the government to keep us safe. Especially when you have friends and family who live in areas where emergency response times may be ten minutes or more.
Overall, Freitas provided a template for how many conversations with the increasingly progressive left need to be framed. He is absolutely correct that our representatives need to once again learn how to have discussion and debate. They need to use facts and data to craft proposals and policy not name calling and hyperbole. If our legislative bodies can not move in that direction, the divisions we see today will only get worse.
I was not familiar with Delegate Nick Freitas until I saw this video, but he is now on my "One to Watch" list. I hear from my friends in Virginia that he'd like to put Senator Tim Kaine out of a job. After seeing his speech, that might not be such a bad idea. Seems we could use a few more like him in Washington.