How can the American people and our elected officials have more civil, rational and productive conversations about the challenges facing our nation? Serious issues abound — the "fiscal cliff," deficit reduction, the debt and now, most recently, Newtown. What cannot be overlooked in post-Newtown discussions is that every single day eight of our children die in gun-related violence across the country.
These issues are difficult and complex. There are no easy or single answers that can solve any of these problems. However, extremism is the enemy of both dialogue and any effective action. It might help to send Grover Norquist, Wayne LaPierre and Rush Limbaugh to their respective bedrooms for a week, maybe more — to in effect put them in "timeout chairs." If we could shelve their individual self-serving arrogance, intolerance and outright idiocy, maybe more sensible people could step forward in a positive way and find a common path forward toward sustainable solutions that the majority of us normal folks could decide upon.
— Peter Armington