There Must Be Consequences

by Dave Mindeman

The dialogue is familiar. The arguments the same. The results predictable.

Guns in America is a serious and deadly problem. This type of problem only exists here. It only occurs here. It only succeeds here.

The NRA is perceived to be protecting the individual right to bear arms. That is a falsehood. The NRA is a lobby arm for gun manufacturers. They do not care about hunters, sportsmen, recreational gun users. They ONLY care about selling guns and the right to sell guns with the least amount of difficulty.

I have heard Republicans rail against the use of labor dues as political weapons. But their own equivalent is the NRA – which uses dues from its members to essentially buy votes in Congress….and hold them hostage.

Nobody wants to eliminate the Second Amendment. The Amendment, itself, is not the problem. The problem is the constant war against any restriction of gun sales of even the smallest nature by the NRA. Even the restrictions that have been there in the past have been targeted for removal by this gun lobby.

I’m sick of it. I have blogged about guns and the need for changes for several years. And, predictably, gun trolls are on watch to make sure I am properly chastised for thinking such evil thoughts.

Funny, how gun advocates make argument after argument about why unrestricted gun sales are so vital – yet, very seldom do I EVER hear them talk about the victims of these shootings as worthy of comment.

Guns over people. That is the road we travel. People die and the chorus of gun protection is immediate and swift.

Thoughts and prayers. The phrase has been uttered so often that it is now meaningless. There is a gun sold for every prayer uttered. And somewhere another person dies at the hand of a gun for every sympathetic thought.

I fully realize that there is not one answer to this. Mental health is essential to the conversation – buy why do we not fully fund this?

Counselors in the schools would seem to be a necessary help. But counseling is the last thing that gets funded and our schools often go without because of more budget cuts.

Programs about bullying should be on the list. But Christian groups fight it as if it makes them a target – without considering the victims.

But guns laws. That is the toughest nut to crack. It has become a type of sacred order for the Republican Party. You must be anti-abortion and pro-gun to get anywhere in the Party of Lincoln. It is an absolute. Guns and fetuses get equal protection – almost as if they are the same.

And it would seem that the only solution that has any hope of making inroads into this issue is for Republicans to pay a political price. Obviously, they cannot be persuaded, because that would cost them contributions. And worse, they could be a target for a primary challenge.

Yes, Republicans are too far gone. They have sold out to the gun lobby. And there is no purchase price big enough to get them back – because the NRA would just match it anyway.

No, people like Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, and Tom Emmer must face defeat. Tim Walz and Collin Peterson must be held accountable for their NRA money as well. This problem will NEVER go away until the NRA is challenged head on.

The National Rifle Association protects evil. That is what I have come to believe. The membership is not evil, but they have been duped into being complicit.

There must be consequences on this issue this November.

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