What is the life of a child worth? It turns out it is worth exactly 54 votes in the Senate. A majority to be sure, but far short of the 60 needed to beat back a short sighted and ill-advised filibuster from the right. Why do I weigh those votes against the life of one child and not the 20 that died at Sandy Hook? Because expanding background checks would not have prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook. This bill was not for those who have already been killed; it was designed to help prevent the death of future victims of gun violence. The NRA and the Senators who voted against this bill can talk all they want about how background checks won’t stop a dedicated criminal from getting a gun or committing a violent act. They can go on and on about how it is an imposition and inconvenience to law abiding gun owners. They can even spout off on the latest lies and conspiracy theories about national gun registries. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that if the death of one child could be prevented by expanding the background check process, then how can the NRA argue against it? How can even one senator vote against it, let alone 46?
The NRA believes that senseless deaths are a regrettable but necessary consequence of the ‘God given’ freedom of gun ownership. In the past, this insidious quid pro quo has gone largely unnoticed and unreported. However, thanks to the defeat of the background check bill, the negative polls of Senators who voted against it, and the very public and disgusting celebration that the NRA is currently conducting, that will no longer be the case. Now, whenever there is a violent gun death the first question the press and the public will ask is where and how did the perpetrator get the gun? Now, every senseless gun death that could have been prevented with background checks will no longer be an innocent consequence of ‘freedom’, but the fault of the NRA and the 46 Senators who voted against the Toomey/Manchin bill. They will all have blood on their hands and they will no longer have any place to hide. Kelly Ayotte had enough trouble answering questions the last time she got asked about her vote. How well do you think she will do if there is a child killed in New Hampshire with a gun bought at a gun show by somebody who shouldn’t have had a chance to own one? How will she answer the question of a grieving parent whose child was killed by a gun whose purchase was directly facilitated by her no vote on the bill?
Do you think I go too far? Have I left a bad taste in your mouth because I dare to conflate the defense of the 2nd Amendment with the death of innocent children? I’m not creating the link. I’m just pointing out the connection that already exists in the minds of those who think that the 2nd Amendment is absolute. After all, absolute means absolute. It means that there is nothing that supersedes its language or its intent. It means that even the prevention of the death of a child is less important than the preservation of the ‘sacred’ right to bear arms. They are the ones that believe that there is no justification for any law that would infringe upon that right. Most people disagree. The Supreme Court disagrees. Even a majority of gun owners and NRA members disagree, but the minority viewpoint received 46 votes anyway, and in the Senate, a large enough minority has veto power over the majority. But how long will that minority hold once there is blood on their hands. They will now own every single unnecessary death. Every gun crime will now be measured against the absolutist view of the 2nd Amendment and the public will see how foolish that position really is. It is actually their zealous commitment and dedication to the 2nd Amendment and their ferocity in defending it that will betray them as nothing more than fanatics and be their undoing. The NRA is enjoying their victory lap right now, but in the defeat of sensible gun laws that would help prevent the death of innocent victims; they may have sown the seeds of their own destruction.
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