Gun control has become a metaphor for the way our Congress doesn’t work these days.
Proponents of the defeated gun background checks bill are looking at ways to amend it in hopes of getting the votes of push it through. Meanwhile, at least one senator, as well as the House of Representatives are pushing measures to either relax existing gun control laws or broaden situations where guns are allowed.
My question is, why try to jump the Grand Canyon flat-footed if you’re a turtle?
What I mean by that is that politics is supposed to be the art of the possible. But it appears that it’s become the art of public demagoguery in order to rally your voter base. The desire to actually accomplish anything for this country appears to be dead.
I do not see how constantly erecting straw man legislation and then voting on it does anything for the people. I know that there are times when a lawmaker will introduce legislation they don’t have much hope of passing to make a statement about deeply-held principles. I’ve done this myself. But when this becomes the only thing that Congress is doing, it starts looking like cheap demagoguery designed to deepen the culture wars and lock your sliver of the vote in place for the next election.
We call these kinds of things “hero deals,” and done in moderation, they are not only harmless, but can serve a purpose. However, the purpose of a governing body is to govern, not do endless “hero deals” for the cameras.
Surely there is something besides pumping more money into unneeded defense contracts and going on lobbyist-provided junkets that the members of Congress can agree on. Frankly, I’d like to lock all of them up in a dormitory and make them eat beans and sleep on cots until they agree to start governing for the common good and what is best for the people of the United States of America.
Given the deference they are accustomed to, I think one night of this torture should break almost all of them.
From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators backing gun control are discussing ways to revise the defeated bill to help win the votes they need to resuscitate the measure.
Among the changes they might consider are limiting the fees buyers would pay at gun shows, adding provisions dealing with the mentally ill and altering language extending the requirement to all online sales, senators said Tuesday.
Supporters fell five votes short when the Senate defeated legislation last month that would have extended required federal to more buyers.
That vote, four months after the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at a school in Newtown, Conn., was a defeat for President Barack Obama and gun control advocates. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to revisit the issue, perhaps by early summer.
While Senate Democrats hunted more votes to expand background checks, the Republican-run House took a step in the opposite direction Wednesday, voting to make the system less restrictive for some veterans.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee voted by voice to require a judge or magistrate to declare a veteran is dangerous before the name is entered in the background check system’s database of people barred from getting firearms. Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs sends the system the names of veterans it has declared unable to manage their financial affairs — 127,000 names since 1998.
Supporters of the measure said veterans who can’t handle their money aren’t necessarily dangerous. The department opposes the measure, saying veterans in the database already have the ability to appeal.
Gun rights advocates were also taking the offensive in the Senate.
The chamber planned to vote Wednesday on a measure by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., allowing firearms on land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers if it didn’t conflict with state law. (Read the rest here.)