Gun Insanity?

For anyone who doubts the power of the gun lobby in America I just want to point out a bill that as of this writing is awaiting President Trump’s signature to become law. I have no doubt Trump will sign it. This is also an example of the evil that is being perpetrated while most of the world is caught up in the distractions of the circus at the White House. If you are brave, venture forth with me.

In the waning days of the Obama administration (December 19, 2016) the Social Security Administration put forth a rule that people who had been declared mentally incompetent to handle their own social security check and instead received it via a guardian would be ineligible to purchase a firearm that was subject to a background check. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable rule to me. If someone lacks the mental capacity to handle their social security check society certainly wouldn’t want to put a gun in their hands. The problem is the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers (a/k/a the NRA) does.

Trump took office on January 20, 2017 giving the Republicans complete control of Washington. Only ten days later the legislation that became known as HJ Res. 40 was introduced. Its purpose was to nullify the rule. It passed the House on February 2, 2017. It was introduced on a Monday and passed that Thursday. If only the House acted that fast on solving America’s problems!

It moved to the Senate and passed on February 15, 2017 by a vote of 57-43. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont joined 42 of the 46 Senate Democrats in opposition to the bill. Maine independent Angus King along with Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana joined the Republicans. All five have one thing in common; they are up for reelection in 2018. I don’t think it is much of a stretch to say their votes were in large part motivated by fear of an NRA attack in 2018.

With a vote of 57-43 the obvious question is why didn’t the Democrats filibuster the resolution and kill it. The answer again is rooted in fear. By voting against the resolution the 57 can go back to their constituents and brag of their record and “courageous” action. The bottom line is that the NRA still got its way and therefore the 57 kept their heads down sufficiently to not incur the wrath of the NRA in the future. From the standpoint of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer there is a good chance the NRA could have peeled away three votes in an all-out war situation. Even most Democrats fear the NRA’s money more than their constituents.

It is impossible for me to see how any Senator could vote for this resolution. How does putting guns in the hands of the mentally challenged serve society? In the wake of most of the recent mass shootings the Republicans and their NRA financiers have blamed the mental state of the shooters, not the availability of guns. I have to agree that the mental stability of someone who opens fire on a room full of people is at the very least questionable. Also the availability of medical mental health assistance in America is far from adequate. Making mental health assistance more readily available is certainly in the best interest of America as a whole. However if you are going to advance that argument it is entirely hypocritical to then make it easier for the mentally incompetent to get their hands on guns.

The thing that really gets me is the unbridled greed of the gun manufacturers. Do they really need those few extra marginal sales to mentally incompetent people that badly?

This vote illustrated the lack of courage in the United States Senate. The really scary part is that this story is flying almost entirely under the radar screen!

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One thought on “Gun Insanity?”

  1. This story didn’t fly under my radar screen. Here is another example of the Congress not living by the same rules as the people. This resolution should have been accompanied by a provision which allows people to carry guns on the Capitol grounds and throughout the buildings.

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