This is an interesting suggestion on the gun control debate from Tim Phillips:
Is there another way to frame this issue?
For the last 20 years I have led an international organization that works in war torn countries to negotiate an end to conflict. In places like Northern Ireland, El Salvador, South Africa and the Balkans, groups once driven to violence to defend their beliefs have put down their weapons, sat down at a table, overcome their differences and negotiated. Moving beyond conflict is, indeed, possible.
One dynamic I have observed present in all successful negotiations — which is missing from our current debate over gun control — is a recognition of the role of sacred values.
Phillips claims the two sides don’t really understand each other. While I’m certain the anti-gun people don’t understand us I think we understand them reasonably well. Of course they could be saying the same thing about us.
I am skeptical that progress can be made when the other side has irrational beliefs such as using guns to protect armored cars, banks, and politicians is a good idea but using them to protect school children is a bad idea. But I would be extremely interested to sit down and have such a discussion with an mediator who has experience with the techniques described by Phillips.