By Ruth Limkin
I’m intrigued. Today I read the following statement by a NSW Greens MP, David Shoebridge, “It is simply wrong that individuals can accumulate an unlimited number of deadly weapons with next to no scrutiny.”
Shoebridge is introducing legislation into the NSW parliament to limit the number of guns that can legally be owned. It seems the magic figure is three, although why he has decided three is ‘less wrong’ than four, five or even fifty, remains unanswered. Also, given that Mr Shoebridge’s concern appears to be that owners of registered guns are targets for organised criminals, one wonders if it wouldn’t be more effective to introduce legislation to strengthen requirements for safer, stricter gun storage?
What I’m intrigued about though is how the Greens have arrived at a moral position that legal ownership of an unlimited number of guns is ‘simply wrong’, as opposed to just deciding it’s unnecessary or imprudent?
In some ways, we’re just beginning the cultural conversation about what is, and isn’t, ‘simply wrong’. We’ve started to realise that a shared consensus about what’s wrong is elusive, yet we seem reluctant to engage with the conversation about why that is and what to do about it. For many reasons, we’ve traded away an internally consistent sense of ethics and moral fortitude for general niceties and slogans that make us all feel better, without realising that we’ve ended up on unsure ground.
I’m happy that we talk about gun ownership. Yet I’m also hoping each of us begin to graciously have the conversations about what else is right, or wrong.
For if we don’t, in the end, we may just trade away the things that really matter for trinkets of dust.