Sit-ins, protests and movements are great, but in this system they are futile
There are countless blogs, articles, memes and editorial cartoons which have posed the question; what will it take to pass common sense gun laws in America? It is a question no one has been able to answer and the question itself is now growing more and more tedious.
Will it take more dead children like at Sandy Hook, the threat of Islamic terrorists like Farook in San Bernardino or the threat of Christian terrorists like Roof in Charleston? How about a more proactive approach like protesting or a sit-in like the one we saw last week in Congress? How about a voting population that supports new common sense laws? It’s all been done by now hasn’t it?
It’s not that the question isn’t worth repeating, to me the question is incomplete. It should read; what will it take to pass common sense gun laws in a system that doesn’t make sense? Our government, Republicans in particular, won’t pass any gun control law until they have to answer to us. If you think that’s going to happen come election time, think again.
Gun control activists like to look to Hillary Clinton as the go to candidate on control, and that’s great, she’s earned it. I believe she generally wants to change how Americans looks at guns and who can have access to them. But if you think she’ll have more luck than Barack Obama in passing any gun control laws you haven’t been paying attention.
Republicans, as well as some Democrats simply don’t care about gun control. What’s worse is that they don’t care because they don’t answer to you or me, they answer to donors, not voters. Thanks to the billionaires like the Koch Brothers or corporate lobbyists like the National Rifle Association, these politicians can shake us gun control advocates off like an annoying flee that refuses to die.
Things are not about to change. We’ve been through this, shooting after shooting, day after day, year after year. It doesn’t matter how many articles we write. It doesn’t matter how much we sit down, protest, bitch, and complain. It doesn’t matter what percentage of us support any particular gun control law. Without a vote that counts, we will always be voiceless.
Please do not take this as an endorsement to give up, throw in the towel and wait for your kids to get shot. Nor am I suggesting that protesting inaction is useless, au contraire. I’m merely suggesting that getting any gun control law passed will require a two pronged approach.
A couple months ago, in the heat of the Democratic Primary, I wrote a piece entitled Gun Control or Money Control. The premise was about which of the candidates’ main policies were more important; Clinton’s gun control policies or Sanders’ policy of getting money out of politics. Needless to say the debate was loud if not a little divisive.
But the truth is, as I’ve come to realize, you can’t have one without the other. Our system is that messed up. I hear comedian Bill Maher repeatedly say that climate change is the defining issue of our time, but what good does a statement like that make when we have people in congress paid to believe that it doesn’t even exist in the first place?
There are also progressives who believe that income inequality is the most pressing matter, but again, there are politicians in congress, Republican and Democrat, that get paid to lower taxes for their wealthy donors.
If you really take a look at all the problems plaguing American society today, you can be sure that our corrupt system is at its roots. Why would anyone think that gun control is separate from the rest?
If you are one of those people who would prefer to put all your time and resources into passing sure to fail gun control laws, that’s cool with me. It’s important to have a passion you can get behind and it is nevertheless an important cause. Besides, when we finally get money out of politics, we’re going to need you.