breaking news: congressional republicans don’t give a damn

Posted: March 14, 2013 in gun policy, money in politics, politics, Republicans
Tags: , ,
Some fun facts:
  • 61% of Americans believe that it’s important to take vacations.
  • 71% of Americans like chocolate.
  • 63% of Americans have a favorable view of capitalism.
  • 73% of Americans bathe or shower daily.
  • 83% of men in their 20’s masturbate.

Republican_GunsOverPeople91% of Americans are in favor of a comprehensive background check policy for purchasing guns.

Did you catch that? Ninety-one percent. Really, 91% of American’s don’t agree on anything. But when it comes to background checks? It’s a no brainer. In fact, the majority of gun owners favor background checks. Hell, the majority of NRA members favor background checks!

Background checks are more popular than vacations, chocolate, capitalism, daily personal hygiene and solo sex. In fact, background checks are more popular than Congress isn’t popular. (Last week, Congress’s disapproval rating hit a near-record high of 87%.)

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a universal background check bill to present to Congress. Guess how many Republicans on that committee voted for it? Zero. That’s right – none. Nada. 91% of Americans support this thing…but the Republicans who have been elected to represent those people? No way.

A little background: It is already illegal for certain people to buy guns. If you’ve been convicted of domestic violence, in fact if you’re a convicted criminal of any flavor, if you’re extremely mentally ill, if you’re a fugitive, if you’re a drug addict, you can’t buy a gun. But no worries! All you need to do is find a way to avoid a background a check. And guess what? It’s super easy! Right now you only have to go to a gun show, or respond to a print ad.

398945_483797145001183_111642883_nCan I remind you why this matters? The horrific mass murder at a movie theater in Colorado last July, another at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, another at a manufacturer in Minneapolis in September—and then the unthinkable nightmare at a Connecticut elementary school in December where 20 small children and six brave teachers were murdered—are the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 62 mass shootings across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Twenty-five of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006, and seven of them took place in 2012. This background check thing is truly a no-brainer.

Of course background checks won’t stop all the killing. But almost no one disagrees that it would save SOME lives…and probably many lives.

So why – WHY – are these Republican congressmen against something as basic and common sense and non-controversial as a comprehensive background check system?

Well, there are the lame-ass stated reasons, and then there are the real reasons. Here’s a sample of the frequently stated (lame-ass) reasons:

This bill would unnecessarily burden private sales. I think it has unintended consequences. This bill greatly restricts the rights of law-abiding citizens.

-Senator Chuck Grassley, R – Iowa, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Wow. Really!? An “unnecessary burden” to private sales? That’s one of the lamest things I’ve ever heard. This can not be their real reason. A “burden” like having to transfer registrations and titles when you sell cars? Or having to get a credit check before you borrow money? And “greatly restricting the rights of citizens?” Seriously? And which rights would those be? The right to not have your background checked before you buy a weapon that’s designed to kill people? And where exactly is that right spelled out in the constitution? And how about my “right” not to get shot by a crazy guy with a gun?

Ok…there’s got to be something else. What’s the REAL reason?

The truth? These guys want to be re-elected, and they are terrified that if they back down even one tiny bit on the issue of guns, they will be “primaried” in their districts back home – meaning, the whack-job-right-wing-tea-partiers will brand them as not sufficiently conservative and put one of their own loons up against them in 2014.

These guys are willing to act against what is best for you and me and our children for their own self-interests.

What can we do?
1. Punish the bastards. Check out the names below. If you see an “R” by a name, do everything you can do to make sure people don’t vote for that guy next year. And the men and women with the “D’s” by their names? Get out the vote for them!

Patrick J. Leahy
Chairman, D-Vermont
Dianne Feinstein
Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, R-Iowa
Chuck Schumer
D-New York
Orrin G. Hatch
Dick Durbin
Jeff Sessions
Sheldon Whitehouse
D-Rhode Island
Lindsey Graham
R-South Carolina
Amy Klobuchar
John Cornyn
Al Franken
Ted Cruz
Richard Blumenthal
Jeff Flake
Mazie Heron

2. Email your congressmen and congresswomen. Believe it or not, this does occasionally help. Congressmen/women report that the stated opinions of their own constituents does carry weight.

3. Spread the word. Make sure your friends and family know what’s at stake here…and how pathetically self-serving the Republicans are behaving.

4. Be hopeful: The NRA is losing it’s power! Case in point: Robin Kelly, whose campaign called for tougher national gun laws, clinched her party’s nomination last week in a special primary election for the House seat vacated by Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. The contest, which had been unexpectedly cast into the center of the national gun debate, pitted Kelly, who had previously received an F- rating from the NRA, against Debbie Halvorson, a former Congresswoman with name recognition and an A+ rating from the NRA. The good news: The more the pro-Kelly campaign ads focused on Halvorson’s A+ NRA rating, the further behind in the polls Halvorson fell!

GunTragedyThe hope: Maybe I’m being a dreamer, but wouldn’t it be great if Republicans in Congress got to the point in which they were free to vote their consciences and the will of their constituents, instead of advancing the agenda of the NRA for fear of being the target of the once-powerful NRA lobby? Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, guys….

ONE FINAL NOTE – a message to my conservative critics: If you think I’m off base here, that’s fine. But here’s what I need from you. Don’t write in with a rant about second amendment rights, or gun confiscation conspiracies, or drivel about how guns don’t kill people. This is about background checks, and only about background checks. Instead, do me a favor. Give me ONE RATIONAL REASON to not support a background check bill. I dare you. I challenge you. I double dog dare you. In fact, I’ll send you $20 if you come up with something reasonable. (But if your “reason” is about background checks being “a burden on private sales” or how background checks “greatly restrict the rights of citizens,” you lose.)

  1. MikeB says:

    The “Cake” analogy should be simple enough for you and your one reader to grasp the concept. When you’re not busy peddling fabricated bullshit numbers like “91%” try chewing on this for a while:

    I hear a lot about “compromise” from your camp … except, it’s not compromise.

    Let’s say I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with “GUN RIGHTS” written across the top in lovely floral icing. Along you come and say, “Give me that cake.”

    I say, “No, it’s my cake.”

    You say, “Let’s compromise. Give me half.” I respond by asking what I get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my cake.

    Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.

    There I am with my half of the cake, and you walk back up and say, “Give me that cake.”

    I say, “No, it’s my cake.”

    You say, “Let’s compromise.” What do I get out of this compromise? Why, I get to keep half of what’s left of the cake I already own.

    So, we have your compromise — let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 — and I’m left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.

    And I’m sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.

    This time you take several bites — we’ll call this compromise the Clinton Executive Orders — and I’m left with about a tenth of what has always been MY DAMN CAKE and you’ve got nine-tenths of it.

    Then we compromised with the Lautenberg Act (nibble, nibble), the HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble, nibble), the Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM), the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act (sweet tap-dancing Freyja, my finger!)

    I’m left holding crumbs of what was once a large and satisfying cake, and you’re standing there with most of MY CAKE, making anime eyes and whining about being “reasonable”, and wondering “why we won’t compromise”.

    I’m done with being reasonable, and I’m done with compromise. Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been “reasonable” nor a genuine “compromise”.

    You can send the $20 to LawDog for wording it simple enough for even you anti-gun bigots to understand…

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