So you'll forgive me for taking a layman's approach to what I feel is a very basic common sense piece of legislation that failed on the senate floor Monday. Maybe it's because I'm older and wiser that prevents me from wrapping my brain around why we can't pass a piece of legislation that would prevent a gun sale to a would-be terrorist. Granted, if a terrorist wants to buy a gun, he or she will likely not purchase it legally. Although that did just happen. But let's call that the exception and not the rule.
Since most of us govern our decisions largely using emotion, you would think that some of that emotion would leak over into simply saying, "Hey, you're on a no-fly list and we here in the United States have information that you could be a terrorist; we're not going to allow you to purchase a gun!" But it didn't, and legislation to address that loophole was actually expected to fail even before it was put before being presented to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Democrats are simply politicizing the issue as a political talking point and said the two GOP measures sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are "real solutions." He went on to say, "No one wants a terrorist to be able to buy guns or explosives.
Some have used the argument, if we institute this, where does it stop? Well here's your answer: it stops where you tell it to stop. If people start saying, well cars kill more people than guns, that's true, but it's a stupid conversation and that is now off the table. I've seen people post pictures of shovels with a caption that states, "This is an assault shovel, it's capable of killing many people, should it be outlawed?" Let me blow a hole in that argument. It's an idiotic example — it lacks common sense and reason. Once you've lowered a conversation to that level, it's over. But if we have the power to not do what I feel is a slam dunk (block people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns legally), then we certainly have the power to block dumb suggestions.
I guess what I get tired of is this partisan wrangling when it comes to the safety of the citizens of the United States. Yes, I understand it's not likely that a terrorist would walk into a Walmart to buy weaponry so they can wage Jihad on the USA. I get that. I am, after all, tethered to the same planet you are. But common sense should also dictate that there would be no harm in creating a precedent that makes a statement that lets the world know, "Hey! We just kicked up a notch!" Simply by writing out: If you're a terrorist, we're not going to allow you to buy guns. If you are a lawful citizen, please feel free to purchase at will. Is that so hard?
In a political atmosphere that is filled with contention and is walking us back down the evolutionary chart, I find it hard to believe that we are still incapable of compromise. Because here's what's going to happen. Eventually the tides will turn and the majority will swing the other way and the same thing will happen, which is nothing. Well, except name calling and banging on the bully pulpit and launching accusations like, "This is an opportunity to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad." Proving again and again that both our Senate and House of Representatives are broken and we'll continue to elect the same people over and over again! See: the definition of crazy! What the hell is up with that?
Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org