Thursday the Senate votes to begin debate on gun safety legislation. Wednesday, the Senate proposed a bipartisan agreement that is a good first step in addressing background checks that was a win for the President’s gun safety agenda.
However, Republicans are threatening to filibuster gun debates. If 20 dead schoolchildren can’t be enough to make the argument that perhaps we need stronger gun laws and fewer guns on the streets, then it really is pretty difficult to imagine what it will take.
On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden accused the 13 senators who are threatening to filbuster even a mere discussion of the proposed changes of being in a ‘time warp.’ He said they don’t recognize how much the times have changed around them even in the past few years – and it is the more than 90 percent of the American people who approve of stronger background checks that are paying the price for this insanity. They and the folks who continue to get gunned down virtually each and every day are paying the price. I think it’s safe to say they pay a significantly higher price than the rest of us.
But here’s the thing; I don’t think those 13 senators are stuck in a time warp at all. I think they can read a calendar just fine. The fact is they don’t believe they answer to the rest of us. If their constituents don’t force them to see otherwise then they are absolutely right. Because right now it’s not about the voters, it’s about the money and the power.
The fact that polls show the vast majority of Americans want stronger gun laws means absolutely nothing to them. That is if those polls aren’t affecting their cash reserves or their chances at being re-elected. And judging by the way they are acting it would seem that either their ground troops are feeding them false information about the safety of their seats or they have reason to believe that their individual futures are in good hands – for them. They may have sold their souls to the devil, but for them it’s just business.
As for those 20 dead children, well, they’re already dead. And besides, they were too young to vote anyway.
Keith Owens (AKA Black Liberal Boomer) is a Detroit-based writer who has worked for The Detroit Free Press, Detroit’s alternative newsweekly the Metro Times, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and other newspapers. He was also a nationally syndicated columnist with Universal Press Syndicate for three years beginning in 1993.