It is admittedly difficult to rail against the travesties of political injustice in modern American democracy without quickly feeling your feet go out from under you in a wave of self-conscious hypocrisy. But after the blatant expression of individual cowardice that took place in the US Senate yesterday I am left wondering whether that inane and inept institution has outlived its useful purpose of balancing the interests of national majorities against those of individual states.
According to an ABC Washington Post-ABC News Poll, over 90% of Americans are in favor of universal background checks as a prerequisite to gun ownership (as are 85% of NRA households by the way). That was still not quite enough to convince more than 46% of the US Senate to accept the will of the American majority over the metaphorical bags of gold being dangled in front of them by the NRA (or rather, being taken away).
I’m not going to beleaguer Pub visitors with a diatribe on the pure idiocy of turning a blind eye to even legitimately considering what was a common sense and widely accepted gun control policy measure. I rather refer you to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ editorial in the New York Times, A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grips.
I have long held that the political realities are such that we can expect no change until being elected becomes more like being chosen to serve jury duty than winning the lottery. The addiction to political power in this country is now so strong that with few exceptions elected officials have become whores to the status, fame and fortune attendant to public office. They achieve through Congress that which they would never be able to achieve through any other legal means of personal industry.
And the greatest irony I find in this is mockery of democracy is that those who most ardently oppose any encumbrance upon gun acquisition and ownership do so under the auspices of individual rights and liberties. I wonder whether they really trust a sitting body of government to protect those rights and liberties when that body has clearly and blatantly demonstrated its ability to ignore the will of a strong majority in favor of the political influence bought and paid for by business interests. Be careful what what you wish for Daniel Boone . . .