House Garbage

Congress comes into a lot of criticism for being unproductive. Speaker Paul Ryan likes to defend the productivity of the House by citing the number of bills it passes that die in the Senate. While I am far from a defender of Mitch McConnell’s Senate, if I put my old management hat on I would say we are dealing with a quality control problem in addition to a productivity problem. Let’s explore.  

On December 6th the House passed HR38 by a vote of 231-198. The vote was largely along party lines with 6 Democrats joining 225 Republicans in voting aye and 14 Republicans joining 184 Democrats in casting nay votes. The bill’s title is the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. It is pretty much what it sounds like. This NRA priority would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit in a given state to carry a concealed handgun in any of the other 49 states. Why would this be a top legislative priority for the NRA? The answer is that the NRA has long ago morphed into the lobbying arm of the gun manufacturers and is no longer a sportsman’s organization. You don’t need a concealed handgun to hunt pigs, bear, squirrels or deer. However, if you can carry your handgun anywhere in the United States you are much more likely to buy one.

Fortunately this bill can’t pass the Senate by reconciliation and is therefore subject to the filibuster. In the unlikely event that McConnell brings it to the floor I don’t see it getting sixty votes. This is an example of the garbage that the House passes and then blames the Senate for not advancing. It is a bad bill that contrary to the best interests of the American people.

Keep in mind that this bill shortly follows the mass shootings in Las Vegas and at a Texas church. America has a gun problem to go along with its gun culture. I don’t profess to have all the answers but this bill certainly doesn’t have any and actually exacerbates the problem. We have too many guns and more importantly too many are in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place.

I don’t have strong feeling on the issue of concealed versus open carry. I’m much more concerned about the person in possession of the handgun than how they carry it.

I do find it both interesting and hypocritical that the people who so often use states’ right and the Tenth Amendment to justify their actions (including the Civil War) are willing to disregard both when the NRA puts a little money in their campaign coffers. Make no mistake this is not about the Second Amendment or the right of self-protection; it is about money in politics and the greed of those making huge donations.

I would advise Ryan and his crew that if they want to see their bills enacted they had better start passing some with a chance of making it through the Senate and ones that actually serve the interests of the citizens they supposedly represent.

Americans should not blame the Senate. In fact, they should be thankful for the protection the Democratic Senate minority affords them and their country.

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