In trying to bridge the civic divide over guns, a productive approach to conversation is to focus not on who is right, but on where people are coming from. Questions developed at a recent public forum on guns, hosted by The Monitor, can be tools for less polarized dialogue on guns.
The deep civic divide over guns was the focus of an April 11, 2013 storytelling and civil dialogue hosted by The Christian Science Monitor in partnership with the Public Conversations Project and The Mantle Project.
Participants created questions of curiosity that would be tools for less polarized conversations. We include some of them here and we encourage you to add your own in the comments section:
What does a gun symbolize to you? What might it symbolize to others? What comes to mind when you think of all these symbols?
Could you imagine sitting down with someone who has a totally different perspective from yours on guns? And listening? Without interrupting?
Why do you care about the gun issue?
With the assumption that everyone wants to reduce gun deaths, why is the debate so polarized and why can't the multiple positions start from this area of common ground for policies and actions that are workable? Do you see any common ground between those for and against guns?
There seems to be a “gun rights” culture, a “gun control” culture, and maybe a “gun safety” culture. Are these cultures reconcilable? How might we develop a culture that has the benefits of all these without the risks of any of them?