105 Ways to Give a Book

Thursday Three: Gun Control

This won't be a usual Thursday Three as I couldn't find such picture books as "Don't Shoot Your Friend in the Face!" But I felt compelled to write today in what can only be called outrage. With a touch of depression, I suppose.

Boston's terroism didn't strike me to my core as much as this Senate vote on gun control. As horrible as the bombing was, I could see it as the evil act of a terrible person. I could witness humanity in the caring acts of strangers and the efficiency of our police and federal investigators. I found comfort in the words of Patton Oswalt's statement that made the rounds of the Internet, and honestly, is one of the most insightful, intelligent things I've ever read.
This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.
If you haven't read the whole thing, please do and allow yourself to get to the part where you'll find my new mantra. "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

My faith in humanity was challenged by this Senate vote in a way it wasn't by the bombing because I continue to believe that we go through a process of finding good people to represent our interests in making laws for the country. Even through the worst, most useless Congressional session in history, I have held onto some naive hope that these were good people trying to do the right thing, even if the votes were politically motivated. At least they believed they were representing their constituents.

But even politics have nothing on the vote for universal background checks. It was the least they could do after Sandy Hook. Seriously, the least they could do. And they couldn't manage that. So my Thursday Three?

1. Universal background checks are supported by 90% of Americans.

2. Universal background checks are supported by 88% of gun owners.

3. Universal background checks are supported by 76% of NRA members.

Universal background checks have a higher approval rating than Mother Teresa. Universal background checks have a higher approval ratings than kittens, baseball, and apple pie. Personally, I am for much stronger measures of gun control, but am absolutely outraged that the Senate could not pass this piece of legislation for fear of what the NRA would do. The NRA that doesn't even represent its own membership on this issue. Well, expect the dirty little "secret" that the NRA doesn't speak for gun owners or individual members of its organization, but gun manufacturers.

For once, my state of Virginia is on the right side of this issue. But if your senators are not representing you - and it seems that they are not - please call/email/write and let them know. If you need an extra boost of outrage, read Gabby Gifford's op-ed in the New York Times.
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.

Yes, it was a pretty shameful day in Washington..

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