Thursday, June 16, 2016

Still, This Can Be Done [A Modest Proposal]

Our elected leaders have been posturing for eager TV news cameras this week, and through a filibuster that caused the folks at Channel 3 to swoon, but it's all just empty gestures. The congressman representing Fairfield County even walked out on a moment of silence in the House this week in protest of such moments.  He attends the Presbyterian church in Greenwich and, as I worked in that county in the early days of my ministry, I expect his lack of respect for what some members of congress regard as a moment of prayer is reflective of the "country club Christian" mentality of Connecticut's Gold Coast.

Protesting what the congressman sees as an empty gesture with his own empty gesture is rather rich, but he seemed terribly serious about it when the cameras were pointed at him.  He even scowled to denote his concern.  The scowl seems to be something that's learned at Goldman Sachs, the congressman's former employer and a notorious paragon of high morality.

They will now make the rounds of friendly radio and talk shows, humbly promoting their moral courage.  It's all very familiar and those of us who were witness to the blood and bodies at Sandy Hook know the routine and aren't fooled by it.  The end result will be, as in Connecticut, laws that will not address the actual atrocity.

If they were serious, and not just trying to come to the attention of Hillary Clinton's vice presidential nominating team, they would do something that is totally in their power:  They would repeal the Second Amendment.  They can talk all they want about "common sense gun laws", but the only thing that will answer their concern is repeal and confiscation.

Appearing before fawning audiences is easy, though.  Changing the Constitution is hard, but it can be done and, in fact, Blumenthal, Murphy, and Himes have that legal ability.  So, fellas, let's see if you mean it.  To facilitate the process, and even though they have hundreds of aides and interns at their beck and call, I've actually tried to help by putting together an outline of sorts that would enable them to never, ever again have to endure people joining in a moment of silence or offering thoughts and prayers.

First, they will have to make their case to the American public that they can be trusted to protect us. In the aftermath of "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor", trust will be difficult to construct, but not impossible.  They will have to leave the urban and suburban parts of Connecticut and travel to the rural sections of the state where they are not as highly regarded.  They will then have to travel outside of the state to places like Xenia, Ohio and Sharpsville, Pennsylvania; to Rolling Fork, Mississippi and Littlefield, Texas.  As gun ownership is of more concern to them than Islamist terrorism, they should frame their actions as a kind of holy mission.  After all, anyone can appear before the clapping seals of The Daily Show, but it takes men of mission to stand in a Grange Hall and convince a crowd.

It will cost a remarkable amount of money for travel, advertisements, radio and TV spots, contributions to the re-election campaigns of those whom they wish to coerce to their side plus getting those sympathetic to their cause elected, so they should start forming those PACs now.

Then, once the groundwork has been laid, they actually have to frame the repeal in law.  It will have to be written with care, they are canceling part of the Bill of Rights, after all, and will have to go through the ringer of committees.  Still, this can be done.  Once complete, and the Second Amendment repealed, then the real work will begin.

You see, simply repealing the Amendment doesn't change gun ownership in the United States.  It does, however, give the government free reign to design new gun laws.  Since making guns illegal and confiscating the 300+ million firearms currently owned would seem to be the logical goal, these new laws will be sweeping and require a type of enforcement more common in totalitarian regimes and on a level never seen in our country.  Still, this can be done.

Except, most of the states of the union have constitutional protections that permit the individual states to make up their own minds about federal law.  Some of those states will be easy to convince, some will resist.  You will also have to overcome the "sovereign citizen" types in Idaho, for example, and the reservation Indians of Oklahoma, who know too well what happens when some white guys from the East come for their guns.  This may require the intervention of the military.  Still,...

This will take years and may damage their future political careers but, if what they say they believe is true, we will never, ever again be plagued by gun crime or violence.  Well, except from those who will ignore the law and evade its enforcement.  Still,...

I have a feeling it will be easier to continue posturing.

Related:  The Washington Post assigns Murphy three "Pinocchios" for his recent and repeated statements.

Also related:  Why Does the IRS Need Guns?  Sounds like they're getting ready for enforcement.

Update:  I just received a fund-raising letter from Murphy highlighting his bold, transgressive filibuster, so in addition to serving to attract the attention of the Clinton campaign in their search for a VP candidate, the slaughter was handy for raising money, too.