Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Is the NRA running Congress?

The question needs to be asked. It was today in an editorial in the New York Times. Who is influencing our Congress? Just take a look at recent votes and you will see that even progressive Democrats have been scared into voting with the NRA. What are they scared of? They all know that the NRA can do serious damage- or at least threaten to do serious damage. But the reality is that many NRA supported candidates lost in the 2008 elections, including Senator John McCain. But never mind. Senator McCain and Democratic Senator Jon Tester from Montana have proposed a bill to gut the gun laws in our nation's Capitol. Why do they want to do that? Does this make any sense whatsoever? It is beyond the imagination to think that we would want more people walking around on the streets of Washington D.C. with loaded guns. That would be the affect of this dangerous bill.

In light of recent events, this makes even less sense. When terrorists can legally buy guns, it doesn't take much imagination to conger up the image of a terrorist walking into a museum, as has already happened, or wait for an elected leader or diplomat to walk between the Capitol and an office buildings or somewhere else in D.C. and start shooting. We all know that shootings have happened in all sorts of public places. In Washington D.C. the city council has purposely made the gun laws strict. Not only are they considering the safety of the residents of D.C. but that of the millions of tourists from all over the world. They should be allowed to make their own laws concerning guns. So it's hypocritical, at best,that the NRA and some of the more conservative members of Congress, who deplore the federal government imposing laws on state and local governments to now want a law to impose the NRA's will on the residents of Washington D.C.

Scoring political points and staying in favor with the NRA is trumping the safety of our country. It's as simple as that. The issue is black and white. Either Congress and our President are in favor of terrorists being allowed to buy guns legally or they are not. Either they are in favor of potentially dangerous people carrying guns on the streets of the nation's Capitol or they are not. Either they are in favor of public safety or they are not. There is no room for nuance concerning this issue. Unfortunately, that is what some in Congress have tried to use when supporting past bad gun amendments. Many reasonable Senators, including my own Senator Klobuchar, supported loaded guns in our National Parks as well as guns on Amtrak trains ( which do not have the screening measures of airports for luggage). Why? The question needs to be asked. ( The nuanced answer is that they voted for the amendment to get other important bills passed) On whose side are they? Are they willing to risk standing up to the NRA when public safety is at issue? Since the NRA really doesn't affect elections as they say they do, what is the reason for supporting them? Money? Who is getting money from the NRA? That's a topic for another post.

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