Dead children don’t matter
“We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show.” — NRA lackey Wayne LaPierre May 27, 1999
When 14-year-old black kid named Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly flirting with a white woman, his distraught, outraged mother had his body sent home to Chicago for the funeral. At the funeral, she demanded it be open casket so the public could she the horrible mutilation done to her son by his killers. The shocking photos ran in Jet Magazine and horrified the nation, strengthening resolve among blacks and right-minded others to fight racism.
In the wake of the monstrous Newtown murders, several people including Michael Moore, have called for the public to be shown the pictures of the slain children to galvanize public support for gun control. While many of the Newtown families bristle at the thought, I too, have wondered if Newtown’s version of Mamie Till stepped forward and said this is what a Bushmaster .223 round did to my 5 year old, if it would have the same motivating resonance.
But I’m living in America in 2013, and while it might move the public, the Congressional obstructionists are a whole different breed. Children massacred in a schoolhouse are acceptable losses for the defenders of the status quo. We’ve seen kids killed in schools, coworkers shot on the job, a federal judge slain and Congresswoman shot in broad daylight, moviegoers attacked and a savage ongoing murder-rama going on in Chicago. But all of these incidents, yes, even the deaths of 20 white kids in a nice suburb in Connecticut, with .223 rounds cutting 5 year olds to pieces, isn’t enough to change anything. It surely can’t match the ferocious gun lobby, it seems.
I guess those deaths and injuries come with the territory. That’s what our Founding Fathers believed, right?
While I did not support the so-called assault weapons ban, I wasn’t surprised it died in the Senate. I’m a gun owner and I diverge from many advocates of gun control measures who want “assault weapons bans.” I think such a ban is a feel-good measure that doesn’t do anything. But a universal background check should’ve been a no brainer. Forty percent of weapons are purchased with zero background check. Polls consistently show that up to 90 percent of the public, including the majority of gun owners and a majority of NRA members, support universal background checks. And as I showed at the beginning of this column, even Wayne LaPierre, before he became the soulless whore he is today, backed it for gun shows at one point.
Give America what California has: background checks required for all firearms purchases, whether it’s at a gun show or a private sale. Fully fund the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make that a reality.
LaPierre says it won’t work because criminals won’t submit to a background check. Good. So they won’t buy. And if they do try to buy on the black market, at least that will be a crime we can prosecute. Right now, it’s not a crime for a person to sell to someone else in most states. Will it stop gun crime? Of course not. There’s NOTHING we can do to stop all gun crime. But because we can’t stop it all, does that mean we throw up our hands, stick out our chests and wait for a hollow point to take us out?
It’s low hanging fruit. It’s an easy vote. No guns are banned.
This is a 90 percent issue. The only reason it hasn’t been done yet is because your weak-kneed obstructionist representatives in Congress haven’t watered the bill down enough to pass. They have to weaken it so it’s completely ineffective and then they can pass it and pretend they’re doing something. They haven’t acted because Republicans worship at the bulging groin of the NRA and Democrats in red states can’t find their balls long enough to vote, for fear Cletus, clinging to his AR-15 and New Testament, might vote them out of office. Heavens forbid they should stand on principle.
Dead children are no match for the fear of losing their seat in Congress.
Perhaps they plan to just wait it out. After all, Americans’ attention spans are incredibly short. “Newtown is a game changer.” “This time feels different.” “Hey, did Justin Bieber have a meltdown?” “American idol ratings are down.” “Tiger Woods is back on top.” “Did the Vice-President cost a ton of money for a night in Paris?” “Who is in your Final Four?”
If the war in Chicago, spousal murders, robberies, carjackings, the murder of Colorado’s top prison official, a baby being shot in the face in Brunswick, GA and brains of dead children splattered all over the walls of a classroom can’t motivate a Congress to vote on something 90 percent of the public agrees on, then what are we doing? Does it have to be Wayne LaPierre’s children or the children of Congress members to finally reach our elected officials? Or will they similarly dismiss their own family members’ deaths when doing a cost-benefit analysis on their next election?
To be honest, universal background checks shouldn’t have been passed in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown shootings. It should’ve passed after Columbine 14 years ago.