90% isn’t enough

When I was on loan to the State of California in 1982, I had the pleasure of attending an interview with the then state treasurer, Jesse Unruh.  Prior to that, Mr. Unruh had been speaker of the Assembly.  And a bit prior to that he had been a believer in the democratic process.

The six of us sitting around the table were regaled with colorful stories about how the system operated.  Having the opportunity to ask pointed questions, one of my colleagues said “Is it true that you can buy a senator or assemblyman?”

Not missing a beat, Jesse said.  “Absolutely not, but you can rent quite a few.”

No better example of that profound statement was displayed in the United States Senate today when a minority of bought and paid for senators laid waste to a gun control bill that ninety percent of Americans yearned for and supported.  A law that might have made a difference in preventing the future deaths of five-year-olds while they eat milk and cookies in Mrs. Green’s kindergarten class.

Ninety percent of America believed it was good law, not perfect, but a dent in the mindless pursuit of guns that have no useful purpose other than entertainment and death.  And, for some people, both of those pursuits walk hand in hand.  It was those misbegotten people who would have been inconvenienced by a law supported by ninety percent of us.  A law far less restrictive than registering a car, obtaining a driver’s license or applying for a credit card.

Ninety percent of Democratic senators voted for the law while ninety percent of Republican senators voted against it.  Just in case you’re counting.

You’ve got to wonder who these elected paragons of virtue represent.  Oh, silly me.  Of course, the NRA.  In defense of their right to collectively thumb their forty-six noses at us, maybe they were misled by the NRA.  Lied to.  Lied to by an NRA that loudly proclaimed that the law would establish a national gun registry.  When in fact, the legislation expressly prohibited it.

Or maybe the forty-six were merely unimpressed by the effectiveness of the legislation.   As Republican Senator Charles Grassley, voting against the curbing of mindless violence, said following the vote…“Criminals do not submit to background checks now. They will not submit to expanded background checks.”  Bravo.

“It’s almost like you can see the finish line, but you just can’t get there,” said Andrew Goddard, whose son, Colin, was shot but survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

It’s enough to make me think that Jesse Unruh was right.  That things never change.  That the mindless minions will continue to be manipulated by people who have enough money to pay the rental.

What’s  a life worth anyway?  Outlaw abortion and arm the outlaws?  What a world.

Jmmy Stewart

5 Responses to “90% isn’t enough”

  1. 1 art April 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Today, gun control; tomorrow immigration reform; the next day…. I don’t remember who said that we have the best government money can buy.


  2. 2 Aryna April 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Such a sad day for our so-called Democracy. At least Obama’s speech told it like it was.
    ( oh maybe I missed the part where he talked about being “bought”).


  3. 3 Pearl Malos April 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Improving the mental health system along with background checks should help. Maybe these checks can even help to ID gun alternative crackpot murderers that make bombs out of pressure cookers.


  4. 4 art April 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    This article in today’s NY Times by former Representative Giffords is essential reading. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/a-senate-in-the-gun-lobbys-grip.html?hp


  5. 5 K April 19, 2013 at 7:48 am

    When are we going to have enough of these “MEN” in Washington & get rid of them. Nothing but a bunch of kids fighting all the time & for what? Money always speaks.


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