Jeb Golinkin offers a thought for how to defuse the absolutist positions staked out by the gun debate: clarify the second amendment.
The position of many gun owners is based in fear. They see gun rights as insecure, malleable, and under constant attack. In some sense, they are exactly right. Every time a madman uses a gun to kill people, gun-control advocates harness the nation's raw emotions to pressure legislators to crack down on whatever the prevailing gun-rights regime is at the time of the shooting. Each and every time, gun owners fight like hell against any and every proposal, seemingly irrespective of the merits of the options on the table. The reason for this is simple: Gun owners take the position that they would rather defend their rights from the Rhine than from the Rubicon. NRA members have a very healthy fear of slippery slopes, and they worry that if they concede today on, say, reducing the permissible magazine size to 10 rounds, the next time some wacko goes into a school using those 10-round magazines and kills children, gun-control activists will call to reduce the magazine capacity even more.
I don't think his ultimate conclusions work well, but the idea is there. Thoughts?