Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's only just begun

Our broken Senate managed to prevent any reform of gun safety regulations yesterday. In a way it's almost a good thing because there were more amendments than just the watered down expansion of background checks that failed to break the perpetual filibuster requirement of 60 votes. In fact, the GOP's Cornyn amendment to further weaken interstate gun safety laws got more votes than Manchin-Toomey, though it also failed to reach the magic number.

While many were angered and disappointed by this complete failure of good governance, few have more reason to be angry than Gabby Giffords whose op-ed ran in the NYT last night. A powerful piece but these passages get to the heart of her remarks:
Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on. [...]

They looked at these most benign and practical of solutions, offered by moderates from each party, and then they looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby — and brought shame on themselves and our government itself by choosing to do nothing.

They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.
As Gabby and the parents of the Newtown dead and so many others have vowed, this is not over. If anything this blazing display of political cowardice has only hardened the determination to change the status quo. And as Gabby said in the op-ed, if we can't reform the laws with this Congress, then we'll change the Congress members. In the end, anger may bring more change than hope ever could.

Meanwhile, while the vote was going on, many victims of gun violence were in the gallery. One of them was Patricia Maisch who shouted, “Shame on you!”

You may remember her from when Gabby Giffords was shot on that horrible day in 2011. "Maisch was hailed as a hero for disarming Tucson shooter Jared Loughner by preventing him from reloading a fresh magazine." As she was leaving the gallery, she was detained by security. They held her for two hours, which is "approximately 115 minutes longer than a background check at a federal gun dealer," in order to run a criminal background check because she dared to briefly disrupt the proceedings -- with three words. The irony is lost on no one.

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Blogger merlallen said...

maybe their constituents wanted them to vote no, I can't figure it out either. Normal people need to scream as loud as wingnuts do. My senators did the right thing again.

3:50:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I used to live in a state where my Senators did the right thing. Whole different world in the south. There's a very vocal and crazy gun nut contingent here. When Burr voted to let it come to the floor, they were making all kinds of threats on his FB page.

3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I might add totally misinformed threats.

3:54:00 PM  
Blogger A Conservative Teacher said...

There is no powerful, shadowy gun lobby- she might as well be spinning some sort of evil Zionist conspiracy here for as accurate as that description is. There is the NRA- but then again, there is also the Brady group and other anti-gun lobbying groups, and in a free marketplace of ideas where both groups are allowed to compete for political influence and power, she does not get to pass judgement on which ones get to get described as 'speaking for the people' and which ones are 'shadowy'.

It is a shame she was the victim of gun violence, but nothing in the bill the Democrats have advanced would have done anything at all to prevent that gun violence. It's just an attempt by those who love controlling others to control others.

If Obama really wanted to confront gun violence, his Justice Department might want to try prosecuting those already breaking gun control laws- out of 40K felons who tried to buy guns, he's prosecuted maybe a couple dozen. It's easy to give speeches and pass more more laws- maybe he should do some actual work combating gun violence first though.

Or does Obama and Gabby just like talking and not like actually combating gun violence? One has to wonder.

9:52:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

One has to wonder that you think presidents are prosecutors. While I agree that databases are not being updated and people who should be prosecuted are not, this is a problem of long standing and your attempt to pin the tail on the negro is typically idiotic and tactically ignorant.

9:50:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Is it worth pointing out that Giffords is as much a part of the "Gun culture" as I am? She owns the same model pistol she was shot with and as I do, enjoys recreational shooting (even thought I really don't like Glocks)

Crazy people should not have access to guns. Her assailant was batshit and possessed a pistol illegally. That is indeed a failure of a system put in place to prevent it, but is it the justice department reluctant to maintain the databases or is that "oversight" a product of the apocalyptic paranoia and hyperbolic propaganda of the the sick cowards trying to sell themselves as "conservatives."

There are many reasons that doctors and hospitals are reluctant to report mental patients to authorities that have nothing to do with the NRA, but when that august body can influence a State to pass legislation making it a felony for a doctor to ask Hannibal Lector if he owns a gun, there's plenty of blame to be assigned to these perverts.

11:22:00 AM  

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