This week saw the death of 17 individuals in a high school in Parkland, Florida. This past week we heard the repeated message from the Republican Party of “thoughts and prayers” to the victims. This week we heard the repeated message of mental illness being the main factor in why the shooting even happened. This week we heard Republicans saying now’s not the time to talk about gun control. Today, on Sunday February 18th, this post of The Latest – Your Berning Week, will be solely about gun control. There’s a lot to discuss, not just on this shooting but guns in America, in general.
The shooter, Nicolas Cruz, claimed to have been expelled from school and have serious parental issues, so there’s the immediate platform many conservatives jump on to prevent any gun control legislation. We must understand that no gun control can effectively be implemented with this current Administration due to the NRA’s cloak of endless campaign contributions embracing nearly every single Republican in Congress, and the one in the White House. The National Rifle Association has given money to numerous members of Congress. In a small statistic in the Los Angeles Times, Thoughts and Prayers, Fistfuls of NRA Money: Why America Can’t Control Guns…
- John McCain (R – Arizona): received $7.7 million in 2016 from the NRA
- Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) (R – Kentucky): received $1.3 million in 2016.
- Joni Ernst (R – Iowa): $3.1 million since 2014
- Dean Heller (R – Nevada) Over $122,000 since 2016
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2016,
- Ted Cruz (R – Texas) received $360,727
- Marco Rubio (R – Florida) received $176,030
- Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin) received $171,977
- Ron Johnson (R – Wisconsin) received $165,498
- Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) received $155,605
- Pat Toomey (R – Pennsylvania) received $79,908
The list goes on with another dozen members of Congress. So, do you see a pattern? Why would someone want to spend that much money on a campaign? To uphold a personal agenda, that of the NRA.
The Supreme Court decision Citizens United deemed that corporations have the rights of ordinary citizens, which allows them to dump as much money as they want into anyone’s political campaign. That decision needs to be overturned, but with a conservative majority in the Supreme Court at the moment it most likely won’t be overturned. We need to push Congress to make legislation restricting how much money can be donated. Money needs to be restrained, it needs to be tracked, in doing so, we’d complete the first step in achieving sensible and proper gun control.
The next important subject to bring up is 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.” 1791 was the year the Bill of Rights were added to the Constitution, being the first ten amendments. That was 227 years ago. There were muskets, not assault weapons that are used to mow down people.
Gun control is about giving up some freedom, in exchange to live in a safer society. One where your children aren’t at risk of being shot, or being shot in the workplace. It’s placing life on a higher pedestal than material things. The Second Amendment was implemented because our founding fathers were afraid of the rise of a tyrannical government that would control every aspect of life. Our nation was founded on somewhat fearful terms, afraid that a government would terrorize its people, and afraid that our Presidency would transform into a monarchical leader.
Right now, Congress is letting the American people terrorize ourselves. The Constitution needs to be updated again, as it has been over time. Ending slavery. Women’s right to vote. Civil Rights. The list needs to continue to grow. Nobody needs an AR-15 or AK-47, or any assault rifle. Hunting rifles and pistols are different, of course, but the point “the Left” is trying to make is that you shouldn’t be so proud of weapons that kill our own children too often.
The Second Amendment isn’t the greatest right to be proud of, what about our right to vote? We live in a constitutional republic, you have a voice in forming and swaying government, that’s something to be more proud of than being able to own a gun. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
It’s not just about the FBI, it’s not just about mental illness, or being a lone-wolf, it’s about guns. The NRA and Congress has blood on their hands.