Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Republicans Balk at Gun Control and Politicise the Connecticut Massacre

The New York Times carries an article today about President Obama’s response to the awful Connecticut massacre. He said the debate about severe gun control has to start now, and he has directed Joe Biden to lead an interagency effort to limit gun control on many levels. He added that is will not be a commission that gets shelved after a few months. He has responded to the massacre with dignity and resolve.

If Republicans had their way there would be no effort to curb guns at all. Two days ago all the news outlets were talking excitedly about how the shooting had truly affected Americans, both Democrats and Republicans. Stores selling assault weapons stopped sales, stock prices in the gun industry fell. For a few moments sane Americans and the world held their breath.

Could it really happen, could Republicans really agree to something that would effectively curb the power of the NRA and help American society get back to health? Of course not. Already, a few days after the massacre, Republicans are saying that gun control won’t change anything, that the Second Amendment is firmly enshrined and that now isn’t the time to have the debate because now is the time to mourn. 

I doubt the Second Amendment was intended to be interpreted as the right to carry assault weapons, or even the number of guns that people have today in America. I believe that if the founding fathers saw how Republicans and the NRA are manipulating the Amendment they'd be outraged. What a pity they didn’t add the qualifying clause that they must have presumed everybody would assume – the right to bear arms against a foreign foe in a time of threat.

Personally I'm horrified at the Republicans' fatuous argument on the issue, and how they would stoop so low as to politicise the horrible deaths of children and heroic teachers. Like their stand on taxes, it exposes how little they understand about what makes a healthy country. How little they care. So long as they can hold onto their status quo. 

I think that until enough Americans vote Republicans out of Congress the country will move inexorably towards social and financial bankruptcy. The tragedy is that they have a president who knows how to halt that process, and has even succeeded in slowing it down and turning everything around to a certain degree. But he can't do it on his own. 

Imagine what America could be like if Obama had a sane, responsible Congress with the same kind of vision that the founding fathers had, that Martin Luther King had, that he has? A middle class well on its way to flourishing, an economy with a strong foundation again, an America that is looked on by the rest of the world with respect. A veritable Rennaissance where human rights are treasured.  All this is available for Americans. That at least half want it is reassuring, but is it enough? 

America is two separate countries; it's a pity the Republican and Democratic states are fragmented. If they weren't, Republicans could have their own country ruled mostly by the NRA. They could destroy their middle class and eventually themselves with their own corruption and shoot each other into oblivion. The problem is they would cause another World War too. But hey, the NRA would be happy about that.

I thank God, for America and the rest of the world, that Republican voter support is waning.Maybe it isn't too late. But it's going to be too late for the next innocent victims of the next massacre. Click here for the New York Times article.