Off Topic: Gun Violence, It’s Time For Change

I try not to mix politics into my professional platform, but I feel it’s important to lend my voice to a critical topic, gun violence. As a nation, we the people of the U.S. can’t let down our kids, grandkids, and their children by allowing the continued proliferation of guns in our society. The data matches with common sense: more guns leads to more gun violence, which leads to the deaths of too many innocent people.

Let me make this clear, I am not opposed to the 2nd amendment. I’m not advocating for the elimination of the right to bear arms. But I do think that we need to create some common sense limit to gun ownership, like:

  • Extend background checks for all purchases of guns, and limit ownership in cases where there’s a history of violence or mental illness. (Yes, create a national database. For goodness sake, we do this to keep people from buying too much sudafed at pharmacies).
  • Eliminate the legal ownership of all guns that facilitate mass killings, such as assault rifles and any gun that has a large magazine of bullets.
  • Allow for the proactive removal of guns from people who demonstrate violence or have mental health issues that may lead to violence.

Yes, we need to do a lot more to help people with mental health issues and to protect our schools. But the solution to our chronic gun violence issue has to include some common sense limitations on gun ownership.

The situation led me to create this poem, which I have been releasing in pieces on twitter…

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Gun Violence, It’s Time For Change

When we found that smoking caused cancer… we cut back on cigarettes.
When we found that snow was making our walkways slippery… we chopped ice.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership. 
It’s time for change.

When we found that many people were dying in car accidents… we lowered speed limits.
When we found coyotes attacking our pets… we built fences.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we found terrorists attacking planes… we increased airport screening.
When we found toddlers falling down stairs… we put up gates.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we found people in severe motorcycle accidents… we required helmets.
When we found dogs biting people… we required leashes.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we found people being poisoned… we eliminated lead paint.
When we found trees about to fall… we cut off branches.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we found people having severe car accidents… we required airbags.
When we found our furniture stubbing toes… we moved tables.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we found cell phones distracting drivers… we outlawed texting and driving.
When we found fireplace embers creating fires… we put up screens.
When we see children and other innocent people being shot… we protected gun ownership.
It’s time for change.

When we find people dying… laws change.
When we find dangerous situations… people change.
When we find gun-related violence… nothing changes.
It’s time for change.

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I don’t want to turn this blog to become a platform for a debate on gun ownership, so I won’t respond to comments. I just wanted to share my opinion.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 thoughts on “Off Topic: Gun Violence, It’s Time For Change”

  1. beautifully said. We as a nation need to all come together around reforming our gun laws, better dealing with mental health crisis, but never will one of these be enough to stop the carnage with guns in our country. We must do ALL that we can to protect our citizens, young and old, from a deadly machine which so easily ends up in the wrong hands.

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