Online Discussion with the Hometown (Don’t do it)

In the wake of ANOTHER school shooting, this time in Texas, emotions run high on both sides. I kept quiet about it on social media, because we all think what we think, and arguing about it does not good. Then an old family friend from my very small, rural hometown in the deep south posted his thoughts and very clearly invited people to debate with him.

I don’t debate on Facebook anymore. If you’ve ever tried it, you know that you might as well beat your own head against a wall. So I asked a question. I asked what the other countries that don’t have this problem are doing differently. I was met with a paragraph on how we’re different because of the Bill of Rights. I repeated my question: Why don’t they have this problem? I shared charts mapping the correlation in gun ownership and gun deaths. They were ignored.

Within hours, several members of the community were chiming in. They pointed out that Israel doesn’t have school shootings and suggested it’s because everyone is heavily armed. I shared an article on Israel’s strict gun control laws. No response. I was told that our nation needs to turn to God to fix our problem. I shared an article noting the decline in religiosity in western Europe, at which point one woman stated she would never give up her faith, no matter what I said. I most certainly never asked her to do so.

Someone said that a lack of mental health care is the problem and that liberals never talk ¬†about that. I pointed out that they have, in fact, talked about it and worked for improved mental health care for years. It’s a problem with the people, I was told. Are the people in the countries that don’t have this problem better people than us? No one answered me.

There was a “you can’t reason with a liberal” comment. I was told Jesus is the only way. I was told people will kill each other no matter what. It was suggested that the government will come after us if we can’t protect ourselves with guns. Please note that at no point did I ever suggest taking away guns. At no point did I suggest anything other than studying the issue. I said, three different times, the the CDC has not been able to study gun violence for years.

How are we supposed to have any sort of discussion to fix our problems if people completely ignore information that is not in line with their own worldview?