Obama is on the verge of announcing new gun control measures and closing the now infamous Gitmo prison in Cuba – he should be applauded for doing so.
The Republican controlled Congress will do everything in their power to oppose both claiming if not a national mandate then the mandate of their constituents.
Of the two gun control will become the most contentuous – guns kill, they are designed for that purpose whether used for hunting, self protection, defensively and offensively in war, or in the hands of a crazed lunatic.
There are currently something like twenty thousand gun laws on the books, that fact alone speaks to the reality that if criminals want a gun they will get one laws or no laws.
Stiffening the penalties won’t in my opinion stop gun violence any more than the death sentence has in reducing murder, yet it is obvious something must be done.
That something is closing loopholes that allow gun dealers to forgo background checks at gun shows – a proposal no reasoning person could possibly oppose, and yet the Republicans and NRA will.
Will it be “the” solution? I don’t think so but nonetheless something has to be done. Word is there will be a ban on assault weapons as well, which I also favor.
Such weapons are not of the “sporting” variety – they aren’t intended for hunting and were never designed for that purpose.
But in the midst of this and a candidate like Donald Trump there are questions to be asked as both I believe speak to a growing distrust of government and I don’t believe any meaningful legislation related to gun control or anything else can be exclusive of addressing this lack of trust.
There is an increasing sentiment that government is exceeding Constitutional limits, that rights are being trampled, and I believe that is a part of the surge in gun ownership and the Republican/NRA narrative that is being presented.
This administration made a lot of noise about it would be the most transparent administration in history and yet it has been one of the most secretive. It has in fact tripled the number of indictments when it comes to “whistle blowers” of the previous administration.
It has responded to terrorism as though every citizen of this country is suspect and launched an unprecedented program of domestic spying rivaled only by those of oppressive nations, and done so by creating in the president’s own words a “new legal regime” to legitimize what is unconstitutional and by it’s very nature criminal.
The issues are larger than gun control, they are about funding mental health programs, education, and even job creation.
It is also as I’ve said previously about the participation of law abiding gun owners in any dialog that takes place and their willingness to be part of the solution.
A conversation based on reason, not sound bites and conspiracy theories.
A conversation that addresses the need for the government to conduct itself in a manner that will instill trust rather than suspicion.
Gitmo has been a national embarrassment – supporters and apologists have droned on for years about the necessity.
This president promised a pro active approach to closing Gitmo when first running for the presidency – seven years later he now says he will take executive action if necessary.
I’ve been saying for some time that as Commander in Chief and president Obama had the ability to do just that, yet in more than one speech he said there was nothing he could do. Now of a sudden he can – what changed?
And what do the apologists who nodded their heads with a false sagacity in agreement in forums, the media, and across the board with this strawman argument of presidential inability have to say now as they reverse course and promote the boldness and “wisdom” of the president doing so?
An apologist explanation has been Congress or a detainees own country won’t take them.
It should be obvious now to the apologists that the Congress excuse doesn’t hold water, and as to the other they are countries that recieve foreign and or military aid and support from the U.S. – easy enough to link that support to their acceptance of detainees from their own country – if they feel they pose a threat then let them lock them up if they believe that’s the solution.
America isn’t supposed to be the world’s prison of choice.
If government truly were the voice of the people Gitmo would have been closed long ago and the U.S. would have gotten out of Afghanistan just as Russia did.
This more than anything else is the responsibility of the people, to insure that government is their voice, not that of corporations, lobbyists, special interest groups, super pacs, or what former president Eisenhower referred to as the industrial military complex.
Transparency comes only when the governments voice is that of the people, as will equity and sensible foreign and domestic policies, to achieve this requires not only the process of voting but that of accountability of the elected – something that cannot be accomplished if it is all about party allegiance, or turning a blind eye to to the malfeasance of one while focusing on that of another.
America never seems to learn from it’s mistakes, it just recycles them into something bigger with an inescapable familiarity.
It supports despotic rulers who turn on this country and taking nothing from the experience moves on to support other despotic rulers making new enemies as a part of the process.
During WW2 citizens of Japanese ancestry were immorally and illegally detained in “internment camps”, some while their sons or daughters served in the military.
This was accomplished via an “Executive order” signed by then president FDR, think about that the next time you hear the current president speak of executive orders as it relates to specific issues.
During the 50’s it was the “communist threat” and witch hunts that blackballed and ruined the lives of many during the McCarthy era.
Domestic spying was unprecedented during that time, rights routinely violated as a matter of rote, the public whipped into a frenzy of hate and fear while being portrayed as a matter of national defense and security.
Fast forward to the present and the bigger all to familiar new form of McCarthyism is fully in place -domestic spying has reached a new unprecedented level, rights just as routinely violated, secret courts await to issue secret warrants – and yes once again it is about “national defense” and security.
In the end it isn’t enough that the country must pay the price of war through taxes and the blood of sons and daughters they now must pay through the dismantling of the Constitution and the rights they once held.
As a people we have endured over five hundred years of this sort of thing, we could have told you that when it comes to the perpetuation of government nothing is off the table, and right or wrong not even a minor a consideration. That the larger it becomes the more paranoid, self serving, oppressive, and invasive.