ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | DAN CASETTA
As we once again mourn the tragic loss of 21 lives in an elementary school shooting — 2 teachers and 19 children — we felt compelled to use this platform to share some brief thoughts. Dan Casetta is the host of Changing Lives Selling Knives. Neither left or right of the political center, he’s a part of the radical middle, simply believing in what’s right, which means constantly evolving and looking for truth. In addition to commenting on the Uvalde TX school shooting of May 2022, Dan shares 3 concepts to open minds and hearts, with the objectives of having civil discourse, pursuing truth, and finding answers to the scourge of mass shootings in the United States.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTRO TO FLASHBACK FRIDAY:
As I record this message, we are once again mourning the tragic loss of 21 lives in an elementary school shooting, 2 teachers and 19 children. As the creator and host of this podcast, I felt compelled to use this platform to share some brief thoughts. Please note that everything I’ll say are my own views, and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints or values of any other leaders in the Cutco/Vector community, or the company itself. I should also add that I’m not either left or right of the political center in any clear way that anyone could measure. I’m part of the radical middle, in that I don’t believe in an ideological checklist, I simply believe in what’s right, and that means constantly evolving and looking for truth.
EVERYONE listening to this would most certainly agree that what happened this week in Uvalde, Texas is horrific, and should NOT be happening anywhere! At times like this, though, it’s becoming increasingly easier to just get numb to these senseless murders, to just let it pass like so many other things that just happen in our society. I urge you NOT to ever let yourself become numbed to these things, and I urge all sensible people to remain steadfast in demanding that we do SOMETHING … ANYTHING … that can at least START to move the needle in the right direction here.
Start by recognizing that the SCOURGE of gun violence in our country is truly a uniquely American problem.
• I REJECT the principle that possession of firearms is important to protect ourselves from tyranny from a government whose military already possesses the most technologically advanced weaponry ever invented, far greater than anything any citizen can hold in their hands.
• I REJECT the notion that our system of relatively unregulated gun ownership — and the illusion of liberty and safety that it creates — is worth the obvious cost to society.
• And I reject the absolutely ASININE idea that this an issue of the users, not the tools. It’s obviously an issue of the users, AND the tools that certain users subsequently have at their convenient disposal.
I could sit here today and talk about the direct correlation between the number of guns in our country, and the number of mass shootings that occur.
I could point out that we have made available to the general public weapons that are capable of shooting 500 people from a 30th floor window about 2000 feet away in under 90 seconds.
I could sit here today and talk about the ease of access to this massive inventory of tools designed not for hunting or protection, but for killing.
I could sit here today and talk about the percentage of homicides in our country that happen with a gun (79%), and how that more than doubles any other civilized country where availability and access is regulated.
But I’m not going to talk about those things today because too many people already have their ears plugged.
What I want to say today is this: It is a UNIQUELY AMERICAN PROBLEM that we discussing here. And so I simply ask you to ponder this question: Do you think this should be allowed to continue happening in our country? If your answer is “of course, no, we have to stop this?” Then what are we going to do about it?
And don’t come at me with the “we need MORE guns, we need to arm the teachers,” Give me a fucking break … is that the best you can do? Is your brain so small that this is the smartest answer you can come up with?!?
Look, the American gun culture is a part of the fiber of our Nation. It’s important to our liberty-loving society. It’s critical for our own sense of personal empowerment. I don’t want to take that away. But our gun culture — in its current state in 2022 — is not worth the cost to society.
If we DON’T work together to come up with some BETTER solutions, my child could be next or your child could be next.
My message today is to choose solutions over stubbornness.
Today’s flashback is to episode #152, recorded at the time of the 2020 US presidential election. This contains 3 simple concepts to open minds and hearts, with the objective of having civil discourse and pursuing truth.
I hope this message can reach your soul, and I hope that we can finally BEGIN to solve this truly American problem.
EPISODE #152 NOTES:
I’m a political centrist, mainly in that I don’t subscribe to some ideological checklist from either party.
If you think about all the major issues …
• Taxes and economy
• Health care
• What do about COVID
• Abortion rights
• Climate change, and what to do about it
• Racial inequality
• Criminal justice reform
• Gun control
• Foreign relations
… It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to agree with someone across the board. In what universe is there such a clean dichotomy across the board?
What I really want to say in this episode is that you CAN disagree with others and still co-exist.
Being AMERICAN is way more important than being Republican or Democrat. Being HUMAN is more important than that!
We have all been damaged by the constant bickering going on between parties. It’s hurting me, and it’s hurting you, it’s hurting EVERYONE.
There are a few paradigms I think are important so that we can all get along and have a more functional society … 3 ideas for today …
1) Embrace the notion that diversity of thought is usually good.
WHO ARE YOU TO KNOW YOU’RE RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING? The ARROGANCE with which some people communicate — especially on social media — is appalling.
Here’s a reality to understand —
Your beliefs are a reflection of your environment …
— your social circle
— what you watch or read
— algorithm of the social media that you consume
There’s a lot of criticism of how some historical figures behaved 200 years ago … you know what, if you grew up at that time in those circumstances, you would probably have developed a similar mindset.
But what’s key is that you are not FIXED in your mindset.
This requires that you be OPEN to opposing points of view. That’s the ONLY way to evolve.
MOST PEOPLE LIVE IN THE ECHO CHAMBER OF THEIR CHOICE
It’s important to make a deliberate effort to avoid living in an echo chamber.
Embrace the notion that diversity of thought is usually good.
2) Once you embrace that concept, the second thing is to work on your listening skills.
Stephen Covey — “Listen with the intent to understand.”
Another great idea is … “Be curious before critical.”
When you get curious, you can begin to understand why people think a certain way, and you can learn to be more accepting … shoot, you might evolve over to a different point of view.
Part of listening is also … Ask what other people think instead of assuming you know.
I’ve often had others assume something about me without asking to clarify. One thing I hate is misinformation being spread, so when I see something shared on social media that I know is false, I call it out, regardless of whether it supports one side or the other.
I’ve called out a false meme about Trump, and been called a libtard.
I’ve called out a false meme about Biden, and had some rail on me for being on the Trump train.
What I’m really against is BULLSHIT, and what I’m for is truth, and we only get to find that out by hearing BOTH sides of the story.
Work on your listening skills.
3) My last suggestion for today is to learn HOW to debate ideas.
It’s ok to attack an idea, but not to attack the person.
“Have you ever thought about it this way?” MIGHT actually work to get someone to take a look at the other side.
“You’re a f*****g idiot,” is another approach. That will work about NEVER.
Ruth Bader-Ginsburg: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
What good does it do to put out messages that insult your opposition? You’re actually pushing people farther away and making them hold on stronger to their position.
Here’s another key to healthy debate …
— Be more interested in getting to the truth vs simply being right.
Think about that list of issues I rattled off earlier …Taxes & economy, Health care, COVID, Abortion, Climate change, Racial inequality, Criminal justice reform, Gun control, Immigration, Foreign relations, Trade …
Is there any area in which your position has changed in the last 10-20-30 years?
If the answer is no, you’re probably fixed in an echo chamber of your own choosing.
If the answer is yes, then realize that you MIGHT STILL evolve in the NEXT 10-20-30 years. But only if you stop holding onto being right, and instead pursue WHAT’s RIGHT, pursue TRUTH.
No matter what you believe, I have to live in a world with you, and you with me. We have to live with our neighbors. They’re all on my team… the human team.
• Value diversity of thought for what it can make of you.
• Be willing to listen and truly attempt to understand others.
• And debate with civility, sometimes passionately, and even sometimes loud, but always with respect.
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