Sad Day for the US Senate – Background Checks Fail

by Jessica B. April 23rd, 2013 | Democratic Deliberations
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gunsA large majority of Americans support the introduction of stronger background checks to purchase guns of any kind across the U.S. Since the terrible actions at Newtown, there has been new energy behind gun control bills that have gone before congress, but sadly, elected officials seem more interested in lobbyist groups than their constituents, and background checks have not been able to gain the super majority that is needed to avoid filibustering.

It is amazing to me how many so-called constitutionalists will beat the drum to fight gun control but then stand by to watch congress held hostage by a filibuster requiring a super majority, despite the fact that this goes against the 51% requirement set by the constitution. And the fact that, aside from Rand Paul, most Senators are too lazy to actually even perform a traditional filibuster by having to speak constantly.

No, what is far more important than a functioning constitutionally based government, is of course the only amendment that matters, the second. Let us ignore the fact that no one is trying to take away guns from law-abiding citizens. Instead, we are trying to take away guns from the same people we do not allow to vote (convicted felons) and those that are too impaired.

Sure there are some problems, I admit, with having a national database with this type of information. But this is not the reason most people object. The same people against the background checks are often happy to support legislation that demands that we citizens carry national identification to prove we are citizens at all times. This means we have to be registered in a database with all of our info. The issue does not seem to be a right to privacy.

Many argue that this will not stop anyone who wants a gun from getting a gun. Or that many people are killed with knives, machetes or even hammers. That may be the case. But this is a bit like saying “Well, we cannot make murder illegal, because people are going to do it anyway!” Yes, bad people will still be able to get guns. But it may be harder for them. It will be easier for law enforcement to see if certain people with issues have been trying to get guns. And law-abiding people will still be able to get guns when they need them.

Background checks are a win-win. And, if as the NRA claims, they don’t work – why should they really matter that they pass? It is a piece of legislation that they could live with, while they might be able to avoid stronger measures that they really oppose.

But once again the Senate vote goes to those who purchase it. And once again, large interest groups lobbying for their best interests will defeat the rest of us middle class folk who can only afford to vote for our congressmen and hope they choose to represent us and not them.

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