NOW is the Time for a One-Issue Election

Written by Jill Chapin. Posted in Crime, Opinion, Politics

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Published on February 21, 2018 with 1 Comment

By Jill Chapin

February 20, 2018

If ever Americans were to rally around one cause so pivotal to our future, the narrative about guns must take center stage. Too many of us have become anesthetized to the patronizing platitudes spewing from the mouths of too many of our elected officials in Washington.

Worse, we know they don’t even mean what they say. Because how sorry can they be when they passed a bill just one year ago, making it easier for the mentally ill to buy a gun?

I had no idea it would be this easy to be a United States senator. Instead of actually implementing policies to protect us, it seems to be enough to just be heartbroken and to offer prayers, an easy job that appears any of us could master.

But I doubt too many of us would be capable of stooping so low as to sell our souls to the highest bidder for the self-serving means of amassing one’s own fortunes.

The Washington Post reported that only 3% of Americans own 50% of our guns. Further, over 80% want background checks. These two statistics alone are terrifying because it shows that Washington cares less about the wishes of their own constituents and more about appeasing the wishes of the NRA in order to keep the cash flowing.

Take a look at what these senators raked in from the NRA. Although it would appear more bipartisan to report that Democrats are also pocketing large piles of money, the numbers simply don’t add up. In the 2016 election cycle, gun lobbyists threw $5.9 million dollars to Republicans but only $106,000 to Democrats.

So it can be no surprise that these Top Ten senators all happen to be Republicans displaying the biggest and most shameful display of greed and hypocrisy, as shown by their comments

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, $7 million – Believes deeply we must prevent guns from getting into the hands of those seeking to do harm.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, $4.5 million – Said he doesn’t think we have enough information yet to know that a change in any law would have impacted what happened in Florida. Oh but he’s working on it. He voted just last year to loosen restrictions for the mentally unstable to buy guns.

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, $4.5 million – Said to keep victims in yours thoughts and prayers.

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, $4 million – Heartbroken. Said Florida shooting should be an opportunity to improve mental healthcare.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, $3.5 million – Said gun laws wouldn’t have prevented massacre

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, $3 million – Said mental healthcare, not gun regulation is key to prevention of mass shootings. Then why not do both? But first she should explain why the mentally ill in Australia, Canada or the UK don’t commit these atrocities.

Indiana Senator Todd Young, $3 million – Said he was heartbroken, sending prayers.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, $3 million – Praying for everyone, hearts go out to the victims and their families.

Arizona Senator John McCain, $8 million – Maybe his take from the NRA (double what most of the other Top Ten amassed) says it all.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman, $3 million – Sent prayers to the school.

There are still hundreds more in the House whose position on gun control we need to know, because every single House representative is up for re-election this year. Number one on our list has already stated his position. House Speaker Paul Ryan: “This is not the time to jump to some conclusions not knowing the full facts.” What? His take from gun lobbyists is by far the largest in the House. If ever we were to support a candidate, it would be the one in Wisconsin running against Paul Ryan.

But the Trumpeter in Chief, our president, sums up the cruelty and hypocrisy more than anyone when he said we need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Apparently he actually believes he did just that when he signed a bill passed by Congress making it easier for the mentally ill to buy a gun.

It would be easy if this could be completely attributed to the Republicans, but when the Democrats controlled the White House, Senate and House during President Obama’s first two years, gun control apparently wasn’t on the front burner for immediate action. And so there was none.

Therefore, our options for affecting change may ironically have to come from those too young to vote but not too young to be massacred in their classrooms. We are beginning to hear the outrage from these pained and passionate teenagers that we should be hearing from our representatives. Noise is growing about students around the country walking out of class to protest the inhumane inaction of our elected officials to protect them. I hope they do this on a regular basis; how much learning could they miss if their time at their desks was spent fearing for the sounds of gunfire to erupt?

Yes, these children of ours trapped inside their schools just might be the solution to those sitting comfortably outside the school campus who willfully do nothing – nothing! – to help them.

Someone said that if an egg is broken by outside force, life ends; if broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.

How pathetically awful to contemplate that our children may have to bear the burden of affecting great change while strategizing inside their Algebra class.

Jill Chapin

Jill Chapin has been a guest writer and columnist in several Los Angeles area papers for over fifteen years. She has written a bilingual parenting book titled, "If You Have Kids, Then Be a Parent!" and a children's book entitled, "My Magic Bubble."

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1 Comment

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  1. True, the Second Amendment does give Americans the “right to bear arms.” But that does not include semi-atomic rifles like Ar-15s. The AR-15, which the National Rifle Association calls “America’s Rifle,” has been used as the primary weapon in a number of highly publicized mass shootings in recent years. Common sense should tell us that such rifles have no use in hunting and are unnecessarily powerful as home defense weapons. Let’s face it, an AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing. It is time to ban such weapons. As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Tardy v. Hogan, certain kinds of rifles, including assault rifles, are not“weapons of war,” meaning they are not covered under the Second Amendment for the purpose of self-defense.