In the iconic movie the Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy’s dog Toto famously pulls the curtain aside and exposes the truth about the “great and powerful Oz”. Up to that point no person had displayed the courage to cast aside irrational fear and challenge such omnipotence. It took the sublime innocence of a dog to unwrap the facade and show the truth. We have all experienced fears that when confronted head-on lose their mystique and are suddenly no longer the barrier to progress they once seemed to be. The curtain surrounding the “great and powerful NRA” needs to be pulled aside once and for all.
We have often observed examples of distasteful political behavior. Political pandering has become a way of life for those seeking to make a career in Washington. However, rarely has there been such an overwhelming display of political cowardice by one political party as we have experienced over the past seven years. During the Obama Presidency there have been 13 mass shootings and thousands of innocents killed by those who should rationally not have access to a gun. Those who help to make this possible hang onto erroneous and misleading 2nd Amendment arguments and simply feed on the ignorance of the American people. Most of those who wave placards or yell slogans, supposedly protecting our liberty and our freedoms, have either not ever truly read the 2nd Amendment or don’t have the contextual understanding to interpret it properly. However, that can’t be said of the politicians who perpetuate the myths and untruths bandied about.
The politicians who have taken the reins of the fight against the tightening of gun laws are simply cowards. They are afraid of being called out by their colleagues and most importantly the NRA. The mythology surrounding the power of the NRA has been carefully etched by its leaders into the psyche of the GOP and is backed by the promise of campaign contributions to these spineless and needy politicians. The motives of both the NRA and the GOP are not a mystery. They are the age-old maladies created by greed and the desire for power. The NRA supported by the gun industry prospers as the industry prospers. The more the government restricts sales or requires safety modifications to guns during manufacturing, the lower the profit margin. Keeping the GOP in line is a minor cost against the major profits to be made. Naturally, the GOP rank and file are more than willing to line up at the trough to get their share of slop.
WE must pull the curtain aside and see this battle for what it is. Let’s cut through the mythology and the manufactured rage and contrived threats to our freedom and liberty and see what is really at the root of this fight. But equally important we must recognize what the opponents of stronger gun laws are not considering. The lives of innocent children and adults have become secondary in the value system of the GOP. Those who rant and rave about the immortality of abortion, calling it the murder of the unborn, seem to have no ability to see the hypocrisy created by their opposition to gun control. Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised as we watch this same group fight for increased military spending while reducing spending for feeding starving children. The contradictions of their actions prove the hollowness of their words.
This morning President Obama, in an emotional and heartfelt statement, laid down the gauntlet yet again at the feet of Congress. It is true that the President can act using Executive Orders, but it is Congress that in the end must fund those Orders. I applaud the President for his actions, and condemn Congress in advance for what is sure to be its inaction and obstruction. In truth, the only way to change things is at the voting booth. It is the way it should be in a democracy. We need to be angry, active and engaged to make a difference. But will we be angry enough, active enough or engaged enough before the next child dies from a senseless shooting? That is truly up to us.