There's a solution to the problem of respecting gun owners and understanding firearm fears - and social media has proven why we'll never find it.
There's a solution to the problem of respecting gun owners and understanding firearm fears - and social media has proven why we'll never find it. SIphotography

Gympie's gun billboard shows how bad we are at debate

THERE is possibly no more dramatic image in film than that of someone lighting a match, and then dropping it on gasoline.

Nor is there a better way to describe social media debates.

If you want a fresh example take a look at the smoking ruins left in the wake of yesterday's article about Gympie's newest billboard.

 

Some Gympie residents fear this sight greeting northbound travellers gives the region a bad name, and others think it's much ado about nothing.
Some Gympie residents fear this sight greeting northbound travellers gives the region a bad name, and others think it's much ado about nothing. Scott Kovacevic

Along with the usual "snowflake" and "leftard" insults, there came a hijacking of the attached reader poll which would have left the writers of Under Siege envious.

The survey was never going to be scientific, but who else would have liked to see the "unskewed" results?

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I suspect it may have given firearm advocates a result they liked - but now we'll never know.

And it's sad, because it is a debate around which we need a lot of clarity.

There's no denying many gun owners are tarred with a brush they do not deserve, often by people who should know better.

 

The Gun World Australia sign outside Gympie's south entrance.
The Gun World Australia sign outside Gympie's south entrance. Scott Kovacevic

It's also true guns carry an aura of threat and danger not found with other objects like vehicles and knives often pointed at as more lethal.

Try telling anyone who has been threatened with a gun that they were more at risk if the robber was wielding a car, and I can guess the look you'll get in reply.

There is of course a solution - not that we'll ever find it if we keep screaming at each other like banshees at a fun park.

Gympie Times


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