I’ve been talking about this for years on this blog and elsewhere, and it’s finally starting to take hold. President Obama has finally done what should have been done a while ago, precisely because Congress won’t do anything at all to reduce the number of gun deaths in this country, which are right around 30,000 every single year. For perspective, that’s more than ten times the number of people who were killed on 9/11 every single year, and we now stand in long lines, take off our shoes, jackets and belts and undergo body cavity searches at the airport, 15 years after that event if we want to fly anywhere.
And before those on the right start spouting off about “tyranny,” let me just tell you to shut the hell up, because you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
You are free to walk the streets at will, you are free to spout off all over the Internet, or call-in right wing radio shows and you are allowed to own a gun, unless you’re a convicted felon or you’re too mentally ill to be safe with one. That’s not life in a “tyranny” and it’s not life in a “police state.” (Well, unless you’re black, but that’s another discussion for another day.) And frankly, if you are one of those mindless idiots who will run out and buy a goddamn gun because some right wing morons that Obama’s going to take them soon, then you have earned the moniker, mindless idiot.” You are truly among the most gullible people alive.
And please don’t tell me how infinite your Second Amendment rights are and that “shall not be infringed” means you can own as many of any type of firearm you wish, please sit the hell down and shut the hell up because you really don’t know what you’re talking about. As I have pointed out repeatedly over the years, even Justice Scalia, of all people, in the case gunloons like to crow about but have never actually read, DC v. Heller, said the government has the power to regulate firearms, including which of them you’re allowed to have and how many, which makes sense; even the worst gunloon realizes he can’t keep a nuke in his garage, although you know he secretly wishes he could set one off, to protect himself from, say, the Iranians or Kim Jong Un. (Come on; you know right wing gunloons aren’t aware that Iran gave away all of its nuclear materials over the weekend, right? They’re still whining about the Iran deal.)
And if there is an issue that needs to be addressed that Congress refuses to act on, the executive branch has the power to act to keep people safer. I’d say safe, but let’s be realistic; there are more guns than people in this country, even though more than half of us don’t own one, so no one in his right mind believes that all gun deaths will cease due to President Obama’s actions.
The President’s actions are mild because his ability to affect gun policy in this country is very limited. Despite the whining and crying by gunloons, no one’s gun is in danger of being taken unless you are breaking state law by having one you shouldn’t have. All Obama’s executive order does is to close the absurd loophole that makes it possible for private parties or sellers at gun shows to sell guns without doing a background check on the buyer. It’s really not all that much. It’s basically the same as the bill that was proposed just after Sandy Hook, in which 26 people, including 20 precious innocent little children, were mowed down by some kook who had easy access to a gun and couldn’t even see what he was shooting. Everyone who sells more than a gun or two is a gun dealer and no one will be allowed to sell a gun as a gun dealer without conducting a background check. He has also ordered the hiring of lots of new federal agents to perform the background checks, so that more people don’t fall through the cracks when a check takes “too long.”
Let me remind you that 92 percent of Americans, including the vast majority of self-described gun owners, are in favor of this action; the only people against it are gunloons, like the band of morons (without the “i”) who now occupy a bird sanctuary in Oregon and the NRA, which ceased being a gun rights organization decades ago, in case you haven’t been paying attention. However, despite that overwhelming level of support, the Republican-led Congress punted the bill.
Let’s make this clear to every single voter out there this election year. For all of their whining and pissing and moaning about Obama’s “disregard for representative government” (Jeb Bush’s exact words, which have been echoed by almost everyone in the GOP Klown Kar), our “representative government,” the Congress, which is run by the Republican Party didn’t bring the universal background checks bill to a vote. They killed it before it got that far because they knew it would pass. So, who’s really against “representative government,” if we’re really being honest?
Obama’s executive actions are very minor. They’re not even close to what needs to be done, and he knows it. However, what he can do is extremely limited, until we can get the Republican Party out of power in both the White House and Congress; then we can perhaps pass some more meaningful legislation, like another assault weapons ban, which actually did work. I’m sure some right winger has told you that gun homicides are down significantly since 1993; they like to use that to demonstrate the power of more guns. What they don’t mention is that most of the reduction happened between 1994 and 2000 and that, since 2004, the numbers have actually been sliding upward somewhat.
Well, the assault weapons ban took effect in 1994 and expired in 2004. So, you know…
Watching Obama yesterday, surrounded by victims of gun violence, I got a sense of compassion that I have never gotten from a modern Republican, and I mean never. Yeah, I know, Boehner cried a lot, but it wasn’t about compassion, it may have been a hangover. To show you just how obnoxious they are, a number of right wingers are claiming he faked his tears. He didn’t. I don’t. As he said, when we think about what happened at Sandy Hook, and then we think about the possibility that those babies died in vain because our Republican-led legislative branch has done exactly nothing, there is no way anyone shouldn’t be mad as hell. I still tear up when I think about it, and the lack of compassion coming from the right is infuriating. Those are rational emotions. Go ahead, close your eyes and imagine a six-year-old in an elementary school classroom being killed by a bullet coming through the wall and lying there, lifeless, as paramedics tend to him or her. If a tear doesn’t appear, you might be a right-wing gunloon.
Finally, the President has done something. It’s not much, but it’s a start. And it’s important that we build on that, which means that all progressives must cease this unicorn-loving hissy fit and realize what is really important, and that is, getting rid of the currently radicalized GOP. If you’re one of those who claims you won’t vote for Hillary if Bernie doesn’t win or vice-versa, you are part of the problem. If you are constantly going on and on about “Blue Dogs,” you are part of the problem. And if you truly think there is no difference between the two parties, you are as bad as a right winger and you shouldn’t be able to pass a gun background check because you’re batshit.
Whoever is the next president will get to appoint at least 2-3 Supreme Court Justices and maybe more, and the next president could potentially kill the universal background check order Obama just signed within minutes of taking office and you’ll find out at next week’s Republican debate; every single one of them will promise to do just that on the day he’s inaugurated. Just as importantly, said president will only get to appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court and/or expand upon universal background checks if Democrats have control of Congress, so that’s important, too.
So, guess what we have to do? Do I really have to say that the only thing progressives can do for a while is to support Democrats? ALL Democrats! Why is this not obvious?