Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This week's winners: criminals, the gun industry, anti-government fear-mongers


President Obama says it better than I can say it, so before you read my post, you might want to just save yourself some trouble and watch the video above.

The POTUS is angry, angrier than we've ever seen him during the last four years. I'm angry too, for the exact same reasons. I've been planning a post on expanded background checks, but today is the real kicker.

A majority of Senators voted for the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to the Firearms Bill and 90 percent of Americans support the measure. The sponsors of the amendment, one Democrat and one Republican, are both gun owners and have "A" ratings from the NRA. But somehow, this was not enough to make a law that would move us an inch toward reduced gun violence. We have a mile to go, and we can't even move an inch.

Who won today? Criminals who cannot pass background checks. The gun industry, interested in selling more guns and more powerful guns that can shoot expensive ammunition more quickly. Anti-government fear-mongers. To be succinct: anyone who profits (financially, politically or intangibly) from more criminals people buying guns or simply the idea that anyone should be able to buy a gun.

I have many, many thoughts on this subject but in light of today's vote and Monday's bombing in Boston, I do not have the emotional strength to explore these in a coherent fashion tonight. I will fight again tomorrow, and I hope you will, too.

I leave you with one thought for today: think of a reason to reject expansion of background checks that is not also a reason to scrap the whole background check system entirely. Every "reason" I've heard so far (infringing on 2nd Amendment rights, it's too expensive, hurts law-abiding gun owners, etc.) seems to be a reason to get rid of all background checks, which is extremely scary and dumb. That's not a very polite thing for me to say, but I'm done with being polite when it comes to this subject.

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