Saturday, April 13, 2013

High Noon
By Emma X

Emma X
Some issues really are
black and white.
90%.  According to recent national polls, that is the number of people who support background checks when buying guns. The same polls show 86% of active NRA members favor the same.  One would think that the passage of Manchin-Toomey would be as easy as shooting tin cans off a fence rail ten feet away. Not so if you live in the rough and tumble town of Hadleyville, or as we know it, Congress.

Hadleyville is a lawless place, mainly because its denizens are too scared to pass meaningful legislation. They have been cowed by special interest groups for three decades, much to the detriment of the American people.  As with every morality play, it has come down to a showdown between good and evil, or in this case, a public confrontation between a cowardly electorate and special interest bad guys at the NRA, who are coming back to town to let the citizenship know who really wields the power.  Its High Noon for common sense gun legislation.

Senator Joseph Manchin III, Democrat from West
Virginia.  He is a gun enthusiast who wept during meetings
with families of Newtown victims.
Americans love the movie High Noon because it exemplifies our spirit.  We stand up against the bad guy. We show courage under fire. We make sacrifices for what is right.  History proves this to be true. But we have failed to elect representatives who embody these American values.

Senator Patrick Toomey, Republican
from Pennsylvania.  He does not consider
criminal background checks to be a gun
control issue.  He acknowledges that he
has taken heat from fellow conservatives
over his bipartisan bill.
At last we have a stand-up guy in Joe Manchin. Senator Manchin decided that enough was enough. He wanted a bi-partisan gun control bill so badly that he hung out in the Capitol Building subway, making his pitch to Republicans that were a captive audience for the short ride.  Just like Will Kane, he got no takers.  Not until Patrick Toomey agreed to co-sponsor a background check proposal.  At long last America has not one but two heroes willing to meet vengeful special interest bullies face to face in the public thoroughfare.

Like the Miller gang, Wayne LaPierre and the boys have threatened to take
revenge on anyone who gets in their way.  As with most shoot-outs, the lives of
innocent bystanders are not factored into the equation.  They will not support
background checks, although they pledged to do so under the Bush administration,
and again after the Aurora, Colorado massacre.
And the bullies have made their threats.  The NRA keeps a list of 'Future Candidate Evaluations'  Currently both Manchin and Toomey, both gun enthusiasts, enjoy an 'A' rating with the NRA.  The clear threat is, pass this bill and you won't get re-elected. No money, no support, and once we spread the word, no candidacy.  That goes not just for Manchin and Toomey, but for every member of Congress that supports their bill.  With 86% approval of their own members, this bill is the best opportunity the NRA will ever have to show they are willing to compromise.  The fact that they won't reveals their mettle. They will take the day, or go down with guns blazing.  But they don't intend to go down, because they never have.  Their aim is true, and their ammunition is paid for.

Chris Cox, top NRA Lobbyist.  He sent a warning letter
to members of Congress on Wednesday.  "Expanding back-
ground checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce
violent crime or keep our kids safe in our schools.  Given
the importance of these issues, votes on all anti-gun amend-
ments or proposals will be considered in NRA's future candi-
date evaluations."  The NRA participated in the drafting of the
bill, insisting on compromises that watered it down, then they
threatened anyone who might stand up for what's left.
Many thoughtful people have criticisms of this bill. I am not here to suggest that it is the best effort that could be put forth, or that it does not have room for improvement.  I merely point out that it is now patently clear to everyone concerned that there will be no compromise from the NRA. Not with 90% of American voter support.  Not with 86% NRA member approval.  Not now, not ever.  Why should they compromise, when the citizens of Hadleyville are too afraid to stand up to them?
'Do not forsake me, oh my darlin...'
In the end it was the heroine that eliminated the bad guy.
Let's send more women to Congress.  If guns are a
necessity in this culture, we will figure out how to
protect our children.  It's a black and white issue for us,
one that's not negotiable.
   The NRA has less than 5 million members, in a country with a population of 310 million.  Their considerable wealth and influence comes from gun manufacturers and distributors, and related special interests, hence their obsessive passion to sell more guns.  It's time for all of us to meet them on Main Street to explain that the 2nd Amendment is in The Constitution to protect majority rule, and that the majority of Americans will decide what it means. 

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