The other day, I was trying to explain the art of compromise to my daughter. “Government,” I told her, “can’t function without compromise.” Oh right, I thought, bad example, because we aren’t exactly excelling on that front these days. The debate over gun control immediately popped into my head. Because doesn’t it seem like no one is willing to compromise on that front? At all? Ever? On either side? On any part of it?
So here goes, my totally irreverent take on what’s going on today…
Crasshole: “You can’t take my guns. Not a one of them. Not a single finger-licking one of them. Not my automatic weapons. Not my bajillion round clips. Nothing.”
Mother-Fluffer: “No one needs guns! We should take them all away and hand out flowers. Guns killed Bambi for the love of all things fluffy! And why can’t we have background checks? If we have to have guns, can’t we at least make sure someone isn’t off their nutter before giving them one?”
Crasshole: “Fluff background checks. Anyone can get guns anywhere, and it’s my constitutional right to own as many as I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, whether I’m a nutter or not. So suck it!”
Mother-Fluffer: “Take your guns and fluff ‘em. We don’t need no stinkin’ guns. Cops have guns. All we need is love. And peace. And chocolate. And maybe some wine. Lots of wine. Lots and lots of wine. But no guns. Fluff guns.”
Crasshole: “You hippie lovin’ fluffer. You’re next on my list. I’m coming after you next hunting season.”
Mother-Fluffer: “See, background checks might have kept a crazy Crasshole like you from getting guns.”
Crasshole: “See, more guns everywhere might help stop more gun tragedies, and get rid of you to boot!”
Mother-Fluffer: “Fluff you, Crasshole!”
Crasshole: “No, fluff you, Mother-Fluffer!”
And that in a nutshell seems to be what we’re dealing with. So in the midst of this, you might pardon my difficulty in trying to explain to my daughter about compromise. Or maybe I should use it as a teachable moment to illustrate how adults can be major Mother-Fluffers and Crassholes when they don’t compromise.
Not sure where I stand on gun control? That’s the point. A single opinion shouldn’t matter in formulating policy. It shouldn’t come down to my way or the highway. Compromise is about all of us coming together and giving a little and taking a little. It’s about saying I may not agree with you, but I can work with you. And I can do that, because despite our differences, we’re all on the same team – and that’s the American team for all of you still not getting it. And that team is made up of children and adults, rich and poor, liberals and conservatives, and gun haters and gun lovers.
Is it hard to be a responsible member of such a diverse team? Absolutely. But if we as adults can’t do it, and we can’t use common sense or display respect for our fellow Americans – or human beings for that matter – then how can we expect our children to do it when they take over the reins from us? So remember that the next time you give me the stink eye when my kids are throwing a tantrum in public. Yes, they should know better, but shouldn’t we all?
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