Politics Magazine

Congress Is In A State Of "Depraved Political Stagnation"

Posted on the 26 March 2021 by Jobsanger

The last two years in the United States has seen an average of more than one mass shootings for every day, and so far this year, the country is still averaging more than one mass shooting each day. One might think that in the midst of this gun violence epidemic, Congress would take action to at least curb the purchase of guns by dangerous people. But they have not. There are two bills to plug the holes in the background check law that have been passed by House Democrats, but it looks like those bills will die in the Senate -- as senators seem to care more about gun manufacturers than the lives of innocent Americans.

The post below is part of an op-ed by Charles Blow in The New York Times. I agree with what he has written.

Another mass shooting. Another round of recriminations. Another push for more gun control. Another pushback from Republicans in Congress doing the bidding of the gun lobby. Another reminder of the unlikelihood of any real federal legislative change.

As incessant as mass shootings have become in this country, so has the ritual in their wake to respond to them, a ritual that ultimately, inevitably unravels.

I hate to sound defeatist, but I feel defeated.

Yes, there are common-sense gun safety advocates who are making some headway, particularly on the state and local levels. But comprehensive federal gun legislation remains elusive, if not impossible.

Our anomalous gun culture and the shocking number of gun deaths and the prevalence of guns — including military-style weapons — in our society simply don’t seem to convince enough politicians to take action.

Nor are the tens of thousands of Americans we lose to guns each year enough to inspire action. We have, on some level, simply absorbed that abominable number of deaths as normal, or perhaps collateral damage, in a society with a gun culture like ours.

We know that we could do more to prevent these mass shootings and to reduce the number of people killed during them. But many politicians won’t budge and the people who elect them won’t hold them accountable for their intransigence. . . .

America is awash in blood and bullets and its leaders, Republicans for the most part, are bereft of the political courage and moral clarity to help.

They have adopted the gun lobby’s “slippery slope” positioning: That any new restrictions on gun ownership and usage open the door to more, inevitably leading to gun banning, gun registries and gun confiscations.

This extreme, existential position forces many progressives to repeat the idea that “no one is talking about taking anyone’s guns away.”

But, in truth, I must say that I want a society in which there are fewer guns sold and fewer guns in circulation. I want a society in which the ownership by individual citizens of weapons of war would be illegal. I want a society where gun ownership is highly regulated and where guns are required to be registered and insured. I want a society in which so-called “smart guns” are heavily promoted among those who buy guns, so that those guns can’t be used by people who aren’t the owners.

I want more gun regulation, severe gun regulation, the kind that most elected Democrats dare not speak of, the kind that scares the gun cult. I am honest about my desires and motivations, even if they confirm the gun lobby’s fears.

I know that it is not likely that I will ever see the kinds of gun restrictions that I want, but there are more modest gun restrictions upon which most of America agrees and we can’t even seem to achieve those. . . .

It is true that the vast majority of guns in this country belong to law-abiding citizens and will never be involved in a crime. But when a society has as many guns as ours does and guns are so easy to get, it only takes a tiny percentage to produce carnage.

It seems to me that to institute restrictions that might also limit access to people who aren’t criminals might be a reasonable sacrifice if those restrictions might mean that fewer people are killed.

The mass shootings in our society are not normal, nor are they inevitable. They are the outgrowth of inaction, cowardice and greed. They are the result of the callous policy of the gun lobby and the politicians kissing up to them. They are the result of a depraved political stagnation.

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