The Wolf In the Woods? You’re Probably Voting For Him

Another school shooting.

After Sandy Hook–after the mass murder of first-graders–I thought that at long last something, anything, might be attempted by our esteemed Congress to stem the epidemic of gun violence.

It turns out I’m a babe in the woods.

And the wolf in the woods? You’re probably voting for him.

It would be perfectly sensible to carry a firearm if you found yourself in the woods. Especially if there were wolves. But on a school campus? Not so much.

And the woods are a perfectly sensible place for wolves. But in Congress? Not so much.

Is it going to require some maniacal gunman to somehow actually burst into the House or Senate chamber and shower the place with lead–like a school massacre–before Congress pays more than lip service to ending gun violence?

Or would Congress, in the case of our maniacal gunman, just maintain the swaybacked Republican logic that representatives should arm themselves–like teachers, potentially–by carrying guns into their chambers?

I am past outraged by all the egregious Congressional “thoughts and prayers,” as always, in the aftermath of one of these ghastly episodes. Substitute “Abbott and Costello.” That’d be about as heartfelt as “thoughts and prayers.”

I’m very sorry, ma’am, to confirm that your six-year-old son, Lance, is not among the survivors. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Now, can you tell me who’s on first?

With apologies to Joe DiMaggio and Paul Simon, who our nation turns its lonely eyes to is Congress.

“Just one word…plastics.”

What we have now is a plastic Congress. Not plastic in the sense of its industrial meaning, a “malleable synthetic material,” which could actually be a good thing, but more in a derogatory late mid-century sense meaning “phony.”

But wait, it gets worse. Not only does Congress ignore us–it heists our collective credit card.

Congress is magnificently adept at running up taxpayer debt–Put it on the plastic!–with one hand, while, with the other hand palm-up, collecting all manner of contributions behind its back.

Here’s where it becomes so difficult for Congress to act against gun violence.

It’s not that the Second Amendment remains a particularly thorny legal knot. Between 1791 and 2008 it may have been debated whether the amendment should pertain to individual or state–militia–rights, but in 2008 the Supreme Court (District of Columbia v Heller) voted 5-4 to overturn a handgun ban in the nation’s capital.

According to The Guardian: “The conservative justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion in narrow but unprecedented terms: for the first time in the country’s history, the supreme court explicitly affirmed an individual’s right to keep a weapon at home for self-defense.”

Whatever your own take on the language of the Second Amendment–“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”–the clause is settled law.

The difficulty Congress has with changing gun law is not legal, but financial.

Don’t take my word for it. The Fresno Bee saved me some legwork:

Here’s a…look at the hearts and prayers of the [Tulare and Kings County] member$ of the California congre$$ional delegation, via the campaign money they’ve accepted from gun right$ organization$, led by the National Rifle A$$ociation. The Center for Responsive Politics compiled the data, as of the end of 2017:

  • Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield: $86,850
  • David Valadao, R-Hanford, $49,200
  • Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, $37,450

These men should apologize to their constituents, and the nation at large, return the loot and promise never again to accept their 30 pieces of silver. If they don’t, you should vote them out.

Here’s the link to the Center for Responsive Politics: https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php…

To put this into perspective–again from the Center for Responsive Politics–in 2016 the NRA spent $265 in favor of Hillary Clinton; of course, it spent $19,756,081 against her. It also spent $11,438,118 in support of the Orange Horror while not spending so much as a dime against him. That’s a single special interest group shunting $31,194,149 toward one candidate.

And we’re worried about Russian meddling in our presidential election? Who needs Russians while the NRA remains in the ascendant?

Still, with all this filthy lucre in our politics–blood money in our politicians’ pockets–I am also worried that, until the millennials finally vote en masse, gun violence will, ironically, remain a part of campus life.

11 thoughts on “The Wolf In the Woods? You’re Probably Voting For Him

  1. I support the NRA, I will not give up my 2nd Amendment right. Stop blaming NRA, start blaming the men who fail to be apart of their son’s life, or the government for lack of funding and support for mental health programs. So what if the NRA supports these 3 men, all politicians take this kind of money depending on their agendas for their campaigns.

    • Nobody is asking you to give up your 2nd Amendment right–indeed, as I wrote, it’s settled law. At least regarding handguns. But nobody needs an assault rifle. And just because “all politicians take this kind of money” doesn’t make it right. It’s blood money, and I’ll never consciously vote for any politician who accepts it.

    • I was a member of the NRA, when they were about local education and partnering with the next generation. But they became captured by the gun manufacturers, and Wayne LaPierre takes home $5 million to protect the merchants of death to Americans.

  2. But you have no problem supporting abortion which murders babies? (And I’m not talking about when the life of the mother is in danger)

    • Not that it’s relevant, but please point out to me where I wrote that I’m “supporting abortion.”

    • A “baby” is an autonomous being – separate from the mother after the umbilical cord is cut and breathing on its own.
      A fetus (or a zygote) is a fertilized egg that might be developed into a baby if the mother carrying the fetus chooses to develop it to deliver and if nothing happens either naturally or medically to stop the development.
      Abortion is stopping the development of the fetus before it becomes a baby.

  3. So in your eyes, Congress should implement gun laws? Guns laws that make it illegal to possess certain types of guns? Do you actually think non-law abiding idiots are going to follow these laws. They will find a away. How about making stricter laws if you commit a crime with a gun, instead of decriminalize it like Gov. Brown has done.
    You ask if it’s going to take a maniac to bust in to Congress and do a mass shooting. Have you thought that is unlikely to happen? You know why? Because there is a lot of guns protecting them. So maybe instead of trying to take guns away, implement a something to where we have armed protection at schools.

    • The argument that we should have no laws if people are going to break the laws is an argument for no laws at all. Go live in Somalia for a while if that idea appeals to you. Come back and tell us how that worked out.

  4. Our elected representatives take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that they will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that they take their obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. And for a very long time they (both Republicans and Democrats) have refused to do their jobs. If our elected representatives won’t do their jobs, we the voters need to replace them.

    The Constitution, as spelled out in the preamble, is there to “insure domestic tranquility”; to “promote the general welfare”; and to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Those are the most important parts of the Constitution and our elected representatives aren’t defending those rights.

    What is “posterity” for the parents of the children massacred in so many places in this country? Where are the “blessings of liberty” for those who are killed in schools, churches, concerts, and public gatherings. Where is the “domestic tranquility” for the relatives of the 10,000+ Americans murdered with a firearm in each of the last 4 years? http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls

    In 2017, there were over 300 mass shootings in this country. Does anyone really think that the mentally disturbed are the source of all the shootings, or that with proper treatment (or teachers packing guns) they can be stopped? Everyone understands that we’re making more murderous people all the time – and mental defects aren’t the source of all problems. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-many-mass-shootings-in-america-las-vegas-shooting-2017-10

    There is nothing religious or sacred about gun ownership, and it’s certainly not a God given right. The 2nd Amendment was added after the Constitution was written and adopted. The Constitution was designed to be amended to meet the needs of the country and it’s now time for that amendment. It’s time to repeal the 2nd Amendment – then each of the 50 states can assert its “state’s right” and decide which guns can be sold in its jurisdiction and who can purchase them

  5. I’m sorry but it feels like the same old song….villainize/defend guns. You’re discussion is different from Congress how? Why are guns not carried into court houses/airplanes etc? Means are taken to prevent it. Implement these at our schools! Set aside the arguments for a moment and let’s actually do something tangible to protect our students and staff.

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