Dear Congress, about this gun violence thing which you are ignoring

Gun-Reform-in-Congress

Dear Congress,

You have an average 15.26% approval rate according to most of the dozen polls from this month…your disapproval rating averages 79.1%, somewhat higher than sinus drainage. The reason for that, most people understand that draining sinuses are a sign that something is actually happening.

Another way of putting this…if you were in elementary school, you would have a collective grade of F – 535 children who would not be promoted to the next grade, held back until you understand and perform the most basic of societal functions. You can’t play well with others, you can’t color between the lines and your critical thinking skills seem nonexistent. You pout when your weaknesses are pointed out and you are distracted by the most inconsequential things. You skip school…only in attendance less than half the available time.

Two activities are on your exceptionally empty plate right now…budgets and gun violence. Others have pointed out your chronic ineptness in solving our budget issues…this will focus on solving gun violence in America.
In December you ran to each and every microphone, each and every camera crew, every television show from network to basic cable to express your “heartfelt sadness” about the events of Sandy Hook Elementary School, about the theater in Aurora, about the mall in Clackamus, about the Temple in Wisconsin. And you said something has to change, that something had to be done to make our malls and theaters and the schools for our children safer. And to date, 17 weeks after Sandy Hook, 120 days after 26 children and teachers were massacred, you have done NOTHING.

Well, that’s not exactly true…you have taken off 10 weeks that you have been “in session”.

In that same time period over 3,300 Americans have died from gun violence; over 220 of them under 18, over 57 of them under 10 years of age. And you have done NOTHING except posture for the cameras, except craft your rationalizations as to why you have NOT acted.

Since you never see the mail you receive, never see the outrage that is filtered by the staff of your echo chamber you are mostly clueless to the expectations of your constituents, of Americans. In fact, the only people who do have your complete and undivided attention are lobbyists with vested interests and zealots with checkbooks. That much is painfully obviously.

And that brings us to the NRA. You fear the NRA because you have seen them affect elections. You have seen the money that you can receive if you get an A on their scorecard. You have decided that an A on the NRA scorecard is more important than an F on the American people’s score card. You have let an organization whose total membership is just 1.5% of the American population define the debate…what next, letting drug dealers define drug policy, letting pimps define prostitution legislation, letting bankers define financial sector regulations? Wait you already did that last one.

If you look at the legislatures in the states of New York, Colorado, Connecticut, and Maryland you will see what happens when elected representatives care more about the safety of society, about the need to curb gun violence than supporting partisan, dogmatic abstract philosophies funded by the NRA. Those state legislatures are a shining example of their success and your failure, of their willingness to ignore bullies with checkbooks and do what the majority of Americans want.

And we hear that the fringe elements of Congress…Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are threatening a filibuster of gun bills – without even seeing them. They are proving to be the very portrait of partisan, dogmatic philosophies that have brought Congress to a halt…but have contributed greatly to your 15% approval ratings.

Get off your asses. It is that simple. Take these bills and debate them in public, on the Senate and House floors and let each and every one of you stake your claim to either solving gun violence or supporting your lobbyist gravy-train. Let’s see you on CSPAN rationalizing how 10,000 deaths per year are “the price for freedom”, see you rationalize that the safety of schools and malls and restaurants and churches are less important than posturing for your supporters – at least those who write you checks.

Many of you incessantly refer to the Founding Fathers when trying to defend your positions. My guess those Founding Fathers wouldn’t let you in the front door after they heard your pettiness, and I am sure they wouldn’t let you stand on the floors of Congress where the adults work. Quit acting like the elementary school students that you appear to be and learn to work together, learn to compromise like adults are compelled to do every day.

Now, some of you might think I am not being respectful of the august houses of Congress and you would be right. Respect is earned. You have earned none.

Back to the subject of solving gun violence. Nobody wants to go after the Constitution, after the Bill of Rights, after the Second Amendment. America doesn’t want you to infringe on anybody’s right to KEEP arms or BEAR arms. But we do expect you to make sure that only those who are legally allowed to have weapons be able to get them. We expect you to support the far fetched notion that killing machines need some regulations, that those who own them do not have carte blanche. We expect you to protect the public safety, to insure that folks feel reasonably safe in the knowledge that they can safely go to work or take their kids to school or the mall or restaurants and not have them blown away by someone who is having a bad day.

You submitted over 40 bills to Congress in January…you have failed to bring any to debate, to vote. It’s time you did the work for which you were elected, for which you are paid. And remember, you work for America, not lobbyists like the NRA. You represent ALL of America, not just biased special interests.

Now get to work.

_____________________________________________

McAllister is a life long liberal, environmentalist, Eagle Scout, and even gun owner – born in Harlan, Kentucky and has lived in Southern California, New York City and now resides in Lexington, Kentucky as a Systems Analyst.

You can read more of McAllister’s observations and opinions at Shoot From the Left Hip.

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8 responses to “Dear Congress, about this gun violence thing which you are ignoring

  • Nelson Horton

    Well…sorry…I have not heard the main issue mentioned here or in congress. MENTAL ILLNESS ….every mass killing has been by a mentally ill person. Yes, some gun control is needed to make sure guns are not pubchased by the wrong people. The big problem though is surely MENTAL ILLNESS.

    What are the causes of so very much MENTAL ILLNESS ? What is it that caused elementary school children to plot the murder of a young girl student…whom they planned to kill with a gun and a knife. ?

    Our Socieites are literally “going to hell” …and this is causing what is causing what is known as “GUN VIOLENCE”….as MENTALLY ILL PERSONS get their hands on weapons of any kind available…and then kill other people and themselves.

    So…marriages are falling apart at a very rapid pace…often leaving Mothers to take care of the children…and she will have to go to work. The Children then begin lives with no Experienced Adult to guide them through life. The are left to learn about life “on the street” and on the internet…where they talk with equally inexperienced friends.

    Violent TV Programs, violent video games, pornography, and narcotics..are all taking a heavy toll on our socieities. All of these factors are big profit makers…so our Congress hesitates to go up against them at all…becauses of expected campaign contributions for the next election.

    We can strike back ! Turn off violent TV programs…destroy violent Video games and never spend money on ponography. Get and keep all of these things out of one’s home. Seek help from social services if your child or an adult in your family becomes mentally ill. Educate your children against the use of narcotics…sniffing substances etc…

    Yes, we do need adequate control of all weapons in any society. However, whatever we do about “gun control” will mean nothing unless the basic causes of SOCIAL DETERIORATION are also dealt with.

    Thank you. Tenton Nelson Horton Order of Humanity

    • mcallisterbryant

      Mental health is being addressed in a couple of the 40 bills being presented. To solve that part will require changes to HIPAA and some tweaking to the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] to insure that everyone that needs mental health evaluations will be able to get them and that the diagnoses will be passes from state records to NICS.

      Mental health was also covered in Obama’s executive orders…
      2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system.

      16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

      17. Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

      20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

      21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges.

      22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

      23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

      That is SEVEN/23 Executive orders that address mental health. Those were signed at the end of January.

  • Texas Girl

    There are two types of gun violence: mass shootings and the day-to-day carnage all across this country. The vast majority is “out of sight, out of mind” to most people because it’s happening to someone other person’s son/nephew/mother/father. It’s “those” people, who happen to be mostly black and hispanic. But here’s the thing: since the early 80s when mass shootings started occurring regularly, nearly 75% have been committed by WHITE. MALES. So if you’re a black kid in Chicago who shoots someone, you’re a no-good thug and all “you people” are the problem anyway. If you’re a white kid who shoots 20 people, well…you’re just craaaazy and we need better mental health in this country!

    I’m so sick to death of white people not owning up to this national crisis because they think it won’t ever effect them and then blaming the part that they clearly own (mass shootings) on a handful of ‘evil’ people. It’s utterly maddening. P.S. I’m white AND rich. I’ve had it with “my people”!

  • John Hogan

    DO SOMETHING!

  • kimaparker76

    As a mother and grandmother, I demand you pass this gun bill. Does your concious bother you in the least that TWENTY babies will never get to feel the loving arms of thier parents wrapped around them, or here the words I Love You! Pass the bill!!!!

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