For religious people, and practitioners of voodoo, the term resurrect means bringing something dead back to life, but it can also mean to bring back into use or practice and can apply to just about anything that appears to be expired. Earlier this month, gun zealots and the NRA celebrated the death of gun safety measures, particularly expanded background checks prior to purchase, and it excited Ted Cruz (R-TX) to boast to a tea party gathering in Texas that he was a major force in killing the compromise gun safety measure in the Senate, but Cruz’s funereal celebration may be premature.
When Senate Republicans and four Democrats killed expanded background checks, there were intimations that the Senate would resurrect the issue again, and it seemed it would put a damper on the NRA and Cruz’s celebratory mood. Late last week, Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told gun safety advocates in the House that “they were definitely going to bring it back up again,” and that “we don’t know when that time will be, but he said before the end of the year.” It is easy to see why Reid is planning on resurrecting the legislation again because unlike gun fanatics, the NRA, and Republican gun sycophants, the majority of the population did not conflate the federal government confiscating personal firearms or establishing a national gun registry with something as sensible and benign as background checks.
In a recently released survey, two-thirds of Americans said the Senate should have passed the bi-partisan compromise background checks bill that was defeated by a minority in the Senate. The legislation would have expanded the current law that requires federally licensed gun sellers to conduct background checks to prevent criminals, terrorists, and mentally unstable Americans from buying guns to other venues such as gun shows and Internet sales. Many Americans may not be aware that federally licensed gun dealers are already required to do background checks, and the new legislation would have just extended that simple requirement to include dealers who openly and without restriction sell guns to anyone regardless their criminal history or if they are on terrorist watch list, and over the weekend, Ted Cruz took credit for killing the legislation.
It is unclear though, if Cruz is taking credit for the backlash against other Republican senators who saw their approval numbers tumble as a result of their allegiance to gun-fanatics and the National Rifle Association leader Wayne La Pierre. Cruz, who has assumed Sarah Palin’s role as teabagger hero, told a crowd at Freedomworks that killing background checks proves teabag ideology is “winning” in Congress and that the letter he, and Senators’ Rand Paul and Mike Lee sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatening to filibuster any gun safety legislation ultimately doomed the bill’s passage. According to Cruz, the NRA-sponsored trio forced other Republicans to face their constituents who demanded to know why they were not fighting against President Obama’s use of “grieving moms and dads who tragically lost their babies and treating them as political props,” and that the “threatening” letter ignited teabag outrage that pressured Republicans to vote against background checks after “involvement” of the American people he claimed was “critical” to the eventual outcome.
Apparently it was not enough that some of Cruz’s fellow gun fanatics approval ratings plummeted because they voted against expanding background checks, so he demeaned moderate Republicans as “squishes” for being open to having public debate on the issue, and for not “standing up for the Second Amendment;” the amendment that says gun ownership is supposed to be “well-regulated.” However, the American people, and especially the constituents of five Republican senators, were not amused or pleased the Senate was unable to at least expand background checks and besides lower approval ratings, they are less likely to support them in their next election. If anything, Cruz’s alleged “heroics” may make passing the expanded background checks more likely when Harry Reid resurrects the legislation before the end of the year, and with two-thirds of Americans disgusted Republicans killed the measure from a minority, simple background checks may garner support from Republicans facing the wrath of their constituents who don’t share teabagger ideology Cruz claims is “winning” in Congress.
Most Americans are sane enough to understand, unlike teabaggers, that doing a simple background check on all prospective gun purchases is an idea whose time has come. Connecticut Governor, Dan Malloy (D), who likened NRA gun fanatics to “clowns at the circus,” made a point that rings true to reasonable Americans and explained that in his state assault weapons are banned, but the gun used to slaughter 20 children and six adults was purchased legally. As it stands, any criminal, terrorist, or mentally deranged person can waltz in to a gun show, or log on to the Internet, and purchase an assault rifle without going through a background check. In fact, at gun shows around the nation, a criminal who is turned down by a federally licensed gun dealer can simply step over to the next booth of an unlicensed dealer and purchase any weapon regardless their criminal history or intent to commit mass murder.
Even with the public disgust that Senate Republicans killed background checks, it is not guaranteed to pass the next time around, especially in the House. There is talk of “sweetening the deal” to attract Republican votes for passage, but thus far the only proposals being floated is amending the Toomey-Manchin bill with a provision nationalizing the right for all gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public that Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) said is a “definite deal-breaker.” It seems that it hardly matters what gun-safety advocates offer the NRA, because La Pierre’s lackeys (GOP leaders) say they have no interest in even looking at gun-safety proposals until the Senate acts and, even then, as long as La Pierre and Ted Nugent are directing Republicans, it is unlikely House Republicans will show any interest in considering tougher gun safety laws under any condition.
It is unrealistic to expect many Republicans to oppose the NRA, but maybe the Republicans suffering declining constituent support will realize that regardless the NRA’s overwhelming power and influence, their political existence is dependent on voters, not gun-manufacturers or “clowns at a circus.” It is heartening that Senate Democrats plan on resurrecting gun safety legislation, and that in at least in five, voters took note of Republicans who helped kill background check expansion in spite of overwhelming support for what any reasonable American expects from their elected representatives; sanity and following the will of the people…unless it is Ted Cruz.
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.