School age children are taught in arithmetic that a majority is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set’s elements, or in very simple terms; a majority is a number or percentage equaling more than half of a total. In government, the group or political party having the greater number of votes is considered to be in the majority, but for the past four years in the United States Senate, Republicans successfully transformed their minority numbers into a majority, made a mockery of democracy, and thumbed their noses at the will of the voters at the behest of their special interest masters.
It is no secret that Republicans serve special interests who buy their votes regardless the effect of putting the health and well-being of the people on the same level as deadly bacteria, and in the Senate on Wednesday, Republicans and four Democrats acted to ensure that the epidemic of gun violence will continue laying waste to innocent victims at the behest of the NRA. Whether it was the idea that allowing criminals, the mentally ill, and hate groups to have unfettered access to assault weapons, or obeisance to Ted Nugent and Wayne La Pierre, Republicans and their Democratic gun zealots successfully voted down expanded background checks because 8% of the population is now the majority of the American people and to Republicans, the will of a nation.
The vote in the Senate was 54-46 in favor of expanding background checks for gun purchases, and it included four Republicans voting yes because they regard reducing the senseless gun violence ravaging the nation a priority, and four Democrats voting no because they regard pleasing NRA leaders Nugent and La Pierre an important part of their jobs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, echoing his NRA-supporting cohorts, said the Senate measure went too far and infringes on gun-owners’ rights saying, “The government should not punish or harass law-abiding citizens in the exercise of their Second Amendment rights,” and the male version of Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, said “In my view the approach of the federal government to violent crime should be very simple, it should be focused on stopping violent criminals.” It is too bad Republicans did not consider keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals, but with Ted Nugent and Wayne La Pierre pulling the strings, rational consideration hardly enters into the thought process of Republicans in the employ of the NRA.
It is also too bad Republicans care so much about focusing on stopping violent criminals that they have, through their austerity madness, cut spending to such a degree that law enforcement across the nation is weakened due to lack of funding, but then again the Republicans’ legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), enacted laws giving citizens the right to “stand their ground” to fill in for laid off law enforcement officers. One of the ways the NRA exerts is considerable influence is through ALEC by bankrolling their operations, and at one point co-chaired ALEC’s “Public Safety and Elections Task Force” that enacted stand your ground laws in states across the nation. Many of ALEC’s templates for Republicans to fill in as legislation were written by the NRA and adopted by ALEC’s legislators as models for a well-armed population, as well as enact bills to eliminate laws that protect Americans from gun violence. A little over a year ago at ALEC’s policy summit, the NRA garnered unanimous support from corporate lawmakers in ALEC’s task force to amend their “Consistency in Firearms Regulation Act” to expressly prohibit cities from banning machine guns and armor-piercing bullets, as well as making it legal to alter guns to make them more deadly.
Wednesday’s Senate vote revealed many atrocities going on in America at the hands of Republicans’ special interests, and it is clear that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must now give up his expression of “comity” for his esteemed colleagues across the aisle and put an end to their running this government from a minority position. A visibly angry President Obama summed up the sentiment of 92% of the American people who supported a sane measure to keep Americans safe and said “There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this. All in all, it was a pretty shameful day for Washington.” The President was right, but he failed to say it was a shameful day for America because 8% of the population, Ted Nugent and Wayne La Pierre, ALEC, and gun-crazed Republicans thumbed their noses at the great majority of Americans and cemented what many pundits have said for four years; Democracy is dead, and like the Sandy Hook massacre and thousands of gun violence victims, it is not coming back.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.