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Opinion: Let’s try middle ground on gun policy
Matthew McConaughey on Uvalde

The debate over gun control is as strong as I can ever recall. Nothing like 19 kids getting massacred to once again focus our attention on the issue. 

A friend reminded me of the 1988 decision by the Consumer Product Safety Commission banning lawn darts. Remember them? A game. Kids were being injured and, yes, killed by the darn things. A logical decision. But lawn darts didn’t have the same constitutional protection as guns do. 

Matthew McConaughey made a powerful statement on the issue speaking in the White House pressroom. He’s from Uvalde, Texas, and attended UT-Austin (so did my daughter). He’s also a gun owner himself and as Texas as they come. 

But the key element of his remarks was something we used to see in Washington. He talked about finding a “middle ground” in at least beginning to solve the problem of the growing plague of gun deaths in America. Yep, when it comes to gun deaths in the world, we’re No. 1! 

The Constitution is clear on the issue as clearly outlined in the 2nd Amendment. We’re granted the right to keep and bear arms, but it also calls for a well regulated militia. Key word being regulated. Hmmm. 

But back to the middle ground thing. It wasn’t that long ago responsible elected representatives knew they couldn’t get everything they wanted in legislation but, more often than not, found that middle ground. 

Ultimately their goal was to best serve the people who elected them. You can’t always get what you want but you can get at least something. 

But when for example, you get a recent voter turnout here in Hall County of just 27%, we get what we voted for. Or in this case, didn’t vote for. 

There are people who just shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. Will raising the age limit to 21 make a difference to own a gun? Will background checks make a difference? How do we raise awareness of mental problems? 

There’s only one way to find out. Try it — you know, the middle ground. 

Brian Olson

Gainesville