In consideration of what ought to be done to reduce gun violence, we would do well to ask Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer if the concealed firearms that they carry will be exempt from the gun control legislation they are promoting. We could also ask New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo if their cadres of armed bodyguards will be subject to any assault weapons ban that may ensue. Is it proper that only a few should be allowed to protect themselves with effective means while the rest of us are not?
Instead of launching into more emotionally charged rhetoric, we could ask questions about factual information such as: What effect has the handgun ban had on crime rates in Chicago and Washington? (Answer: The homicide rates went up in both places.) Or, what was the result of enacting concealed carry laws in places like Michigan, Florida and Texas? (Answer: The homicide rates went down.)
Our debate would be well served if we offered fewer solutions and asked more questions. Unfortunately, the ability to ask thoughtful questions requires a level of critical thinking that is apparently beyond the reach of a large part of our population.