noun, (plural: democracies)
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
If rule by the majority is now controversial, then we are in trouble! If enforcing the laws that are in place is controversial, then we are in trouble! If one political party wants to oppose the things that they claim to stand for just because a President of the opposite party is doing them, then we are in trouble!
I am so SICK of the media telling me that the opinion I hold is controversial. I mean it is not like I believe that we should have religious tests on immigration, or that the pyramids of the Giza Plateau are grain silos. And I will be the first to admit that some of my views (political and social) may not be as widely popular as others, but the fact of the matter is that the recent news coverage is so blatantly biased that it totally irks me. Here’s what I am on about:
Every newscast that I saw this morning (I watch ninety of news each morning – spread across three of the local channels and two cable channels) called the President’s announcement yesterday “controversial.” The problem is that the reports – and the actions taken – do not really include anything that is that controversial.
The right keeps claiming that we don’t need new laws, we simply need to enforce the laws that we have. I agree… we should enforce the laws that we have. That is exactly what the President proposed the other day.
The proposal was to make sure that all gun sellers are licensed, make sure that all people who are buying guns are going through the federally mandated background checks, and staff-up to enable the various departments to enforce the laws that are actually on the books.
Last I had checked – that was his job!
Besides being his job, it is the job of the Legislature to do what the people want. Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for some sort of gun control. The latest Pew Research poll found that 85% of all Americans support universal background checks and 89% of all respondents to the Quinnipiac University poll supported checks for gun sales on-line and at gun shows.
When asked about preventing the mentally ill from obtaining firearms 79% of all voters in the Pew Research poll supported this, 70% support a national gun registry, and 57% support an outright ban on military-style assault weapons.
Ignoring these last three (only two of which have the supermajority of 2/3s that would be required to pass over a presidential veto – that seems to be the only way we can get anything passed these days) the President has proposed what would appear to be the politically safe move of supporting only the positions that nearly 9-in-10 Americans support.
So why is it that such a widely held popular support the President’s call for enforcement of the law is so controversial? Three little letters – NRA.
The gun lobby holds such inordinate power over the Legislature that they cannot even bring the proposal to a vote so that we know what the support would be in the House and the Senate. The gun lobby is so strong that it has each of the candidates on the right frothing at the mouth to tell you that your views are “controversial” instead of doing their job and representing you!
Why should 80-90% of us sit down and shut-up just because the gun lobby wants to protect the profits of Smith and Wesson?
Look, I get it – the constitution says that we need a well regulated militia to protect states’ rights. I get it the Supreme Court believes that this means that every American can buy as many howitzers as they want. I get it – some people just feel that they “need” guns. I get it some people just like to own guns.
But the problem is that there are nearly 90% of us who believe that there should be some system in place to assure that the people who are buying the cameras are not buying them simply to do harm to the rest of us. And before anyone brings up the blessed second amendment to me, I get it, you think that the protections of the constitution are absolute. But the fact is that they aren’t.
There is a concept of clear and present danger.
The first amendment says that there is to be no restriction on the freedom of speech. But time and again this is abridged for the sake of the public good. You cannot incite people to riot. You cannot walk into a crowded theatre and yell “FIRE!” Why is it that this is allowed and you feel that keeping guns out of the hands of felons isn’t just as much in the public interest?
The fact is, that none of this is any more than my rambling electronically on the web unless the silent majority of us stand up and tell our representatives that enough is enough. Vote out any senator or congressmen to chicken shit to do their job and enact the will of the people!
Either that or – to paraphrase Lincoln “…government of the people, by the people, for the people shall surely perish from the United States.”
Wherever you are today – please get in touch with your representatives – let them know that government by
the gun lobby is not okay!