Invisible Hands and Money That Talks

My mother was a teacher. I have three children in school. So, I have more knowledge about (and emotional investment in) the most recent debate over how to end mass murders in schools than the average person. We have these debates often, after every school shooting (which happens often) – and maybe that says more about us as a society than the mass murders itself. We are the only country in the world that has this kind of mass murder and post massacre debates so regularly with no results. We have made a deliberate decision to allow our children to be slaughtered in their schools. You can deny your decision and protest that you don’t want children butchered, or that you don’t understand the issue enough to have an opinion about what to do… but if you haven’t even taken the time to send an e-mail to your congressperson demanding that SOMETHING be done, then your inaction makes you complicit. More than 80% of Americans say they support stricter gun laws, but what have that 80% done about it? Marco Rubio denied that taking $3 million from the NRA has affected his position on gun legislation. He said that people follow his position and then donate money to his campaign. Yet the overwhelming majority if his constituents support positions on gun laws that he has blocked.

We know why Congress has refused to reflect the will of the people on gun laws, and nobody kids themselves about the power of the NRA. They have money and they have an ability to mobilize their base supporters politically. The NRA is only the most powerful of several pro-gun groups (and they are pro-gun, not pro- 2nd Amendment – there is a distinction). The invisible power behind these groups is corporate, the merchants of death, the Military Industrial Complex. They make a lot of money by selling a lot of weapons. They own the leadership in these organizations and dictate the policies and strategies. Even a majority of NRA members believe in stricter laws, such a closing the gun show loop hole and more extensive background checks. In Congress they have men and women with no moral compass and an insatiable need for campaign money. This malignant relationship may be the best example of how money has corrupted our democracy. Money from the NRA has caused the will of the people to be ignored by a corrupted Congress and enabled the slaughter of nearly 100 children across the country in the first few months of 2018 alone.

There are people in the U.S. already identified and known to be sympathetic to ISIL – they go on ISIL websites and they contribute money to ISIL – are able to buy assault weapons and unlimited ammunition event though they are on the “No Fly” list? After the last mass murder in Las Vegas the only law on gun purchases were not to ban bump stocks – it was a law that enable mentally ill people to purchase assault weapons?

There is a movement to make gun laws a single issue vote and it is long overdue. If the safety of children in schools, or the safety of your own family is not the most important issue to you than what is? This should be the first question to anyone running for office: “Do you accept any money from the NRA?” If they answer “yes” then let them know they will not have your vote. Period. That’s the short term solution, but disempowering the NRA does not address the real power behind the curtains: the arms manufacturers.

 

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