by Tom Buglio, West Chester Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
I know all of you, including myself, were hugely disappointed that the Senate, with their arcane rules kowtowing to the will of the minority (i.e., the filibuster) voted 54 to 46 for the passage of the gun safety bill.
Yes, a majority voted for the bill, but they need 60 votes these days when men like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, etc., threaten a filibuster. The filibuster group have earned my permanent scorn, showing a callous disregard for public safety in an attempt to show how self- important they believe they are in standing up for the 2nd amendment, and the right of all Americans to continue to permit huge loopholes for criminals, mentally ill, domestic abusers and terrorist to continue to buy guns without impunity in our country.
My heart and spirit took a blow that day, and particularly when we saw how much government intervention was used to capture the terrorists of the Boston Marathon, in essence closing down an entire city to capture these two boys/men turned radicals.
The same people in the Senate and House who applaud the great use of government to capture terrorists, won’t lift a finger to use the power of government to help save lives in the areas of gun safety–a bizarre juxtaposition, showing the schizophrenic nature of our nation in regards to use of government for the public good. Maybe we should start to call Adam Lanza, James Holmes, etc., terrorists?
After dealing with the disappointment, my head tells me that there really is no way that the gun legislation would have passed in the House, which is run by the Republicans, and hugely conservative. I think we all can look at what happened up to now as the first round of a long process.
I do not believe, as some pundits do, that the best chance we had for national legislation was this time, right after Newtown, and that since it failed in the Senate, it will not come back. I don’t believe that, as strong laws have been passed in a number of states, and thousands of Americans, like our little group, have come together to push the agenda of gun safety until it bears fruit nationally. It is part of the national conversation, and people like Michael Bloomberg, Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, survivors of Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and particularly the families at Sandy Hook, vow to keep going, as will we.
I am reminded that it took 7 years to get the Brady Bill passed, as well as the first assault weapons ban, and this was with two Republican Presidents in support: Ronald Regan and George Bush Sr. There is no doubt we will have to work to change the makeup of Congress, and boot out the people who will not vote the right way on gun issues… and make it clear that this issue is the one that can save the most American lives.