Vote Out These Cowards

You’ve no doubt heard the news from last night.

The GOP voted down four different measures designed to protect you and me.  Designed to keep folks on the terror watch list from getting assault weapons.  They did this in spite of the fact that:

A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass. (Washington Post — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/20/the-senate-will-vote-on-4-gun-control-proposals-monday-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/Emphasis added.

Senator Chris Murphy, who I am proud to say represents my home state of Connecticut in the Senate said the following:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” [Senator Chris] Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” (Daily Kos — http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/21/1540914/–ISIS-has-decided-that-the-assault-weapon-is-the-new-airplane).

Senator Murphy made clear that he will look to November, to make sure that those opposed to gun sanity don’t return to the Senate.  That’s just what I’m going to do.  So here’s where to start:

All Democrats favored the Democratic version of a bill to restrict assault weapons from folks on the no fly list except the following:  Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.  ALL Republicans voted against sensible gun laws except Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)  who backed it; he voted with Democrats on all four measures.

Elections matter.

Vote the bastards who refuse to protect us

OUT OF THE U.S. SENATE

Photo from NBC News

Senator Murphy, talking about Dylan, one of the 20 6 year olds who died in Sandy Hook, CT.  Photo from NBC News

 

71 Comments

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71 responses to “Vote Out These Cowards

  1. Until we make fundamental changes, this will never change. Those fundamental things? Money in politics (1). Politics as a lifelong career (2).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m trying to come up with an issue that sets people on their heels more than guns. Abortion is right up there but otherwise, I can’t think of one. You know how I feel. If someone can shoot-up a classroom full of children and nothing results from it, then I think that change will never come. Sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do know how you think about this issue, and you’re right. That’s why I believe that we MUST vote these folks out of office.

      And you’re right about abortion being the only equally divisive issue. And isn’t it ironic that so many of the folks who consider themselves “pro-life” are also pro gun? It boggles the mind.

      Like

  3. They are a pathetic group of self serving cats (I’m keeping it clean), who are more afraid of loosing their campaign contributions from the NRA than they are about the loss of life. The continuous reward for doing NOTHING has to end!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is literally sickening…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched hours of CSpan’s coverage yesterday. My one wish…that our Congressmen would start wearing jackets like race car drivers do…with their corporate sponsors (lobbyists) plainly visible.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Deb

    I have a hard time understanding the consistent arguments focused on our rights to continue to own weapons. 200+ years ago when the Constitution was drafted life was much, much different. Why are we able to hold on so tightly to antiquated aspects and rights that now, in a starkly different and advanced society, continue to hold forth with the idea that citizens need guns. The NRA and their many proponents do not seem to realize that we left the 18th century a long time ago. What about laws keeping pace with the time and place we live in now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • “We” aren’t the ones holding onto it. It is the NRA and the other crazy gun groups, along with a small percentage of Americans. That is one of the reasons we need to vote these guys out. It is a matter of national security — to keep Americans safe at home. It’s as simple as that — and as simple as regulation.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have mixed feelings about this one, Elyse. I’d like to see all firearms banned outright–especially handguns and assault rifles. But as long as they’re still legal, I hate the approach of using something like the “no fly” list to keep people from buying them. The ACLU is opposed to it, too. It’s a secret list. You don’t even know you’re on it until you show up for your flight. Many people have been put on it by mistake.

    As for the terror watch list, the Orlando shooter was not on that list any more, so these proposed laws would not have prevented the tragic shooting. Also, like the “no fly” list, you don’t know you’re on it, and you have no appeal rights, etc.

    I’m reluctantly siding with the GOP on this one. But I’ll still vote against them, because I don’t like their overall position on the 2nd amendment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll still talk to you, Tippy.

      I look at this the way I looked at Obamacare. It’s not even close to a perfect law. But it is a start. And it is easier to get to something good from something than from nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like the point you made. Perhaps a small, imperfect step would break the ice enough to allow for larger, more effective gains. Hmm. If you and I were in Congress, we might actually be able to forge a compromise. We should run for office.

        Liked by 1 person

    • My opinion is, I am opposed to the list as it exists now (there’s no due process, lots of mistakes, impossible to fix), but given that there’s a list that identifies people who may be too dangerous to enter an airplane, it makes perfect sense that people on that list are too dangerous to be allowed to buy firearms. Why can’t we do both – make the list more transparent with an error correction mechanism and appeals process, and use the list for the background checks?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Those things are fixable — but until there is a “there” there will be nothing to fix. No law is perfect — not even close. They are starting points and are refined over time.

        We must stat somewhere. Otherwise, we will all end up cowering in our homes, afraid of our neighbors, afraid to go out … It’s a slippery slope, to coin a silly legal phrase.

        Like

      • Makes sense to me. As long as due process exists, allowing for appeals, with the burden of proof being on the government, I’m supportive of this law.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I would lean toward voting them all out … then repeat … then they may get the message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve talked about that before. Getting rid of everybody would leave the staff –the unelected staff — as the only folks who know the rules and the lay of the land. Nope. Just get rid of the GOP. (I’m not expecting you to agree!)

      Like

    • As a compromise, how about we vote out GOP first, and then, if there’s no improvement, work on Democrats?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll go along with that.

        But things WORKED when the Democrats were in charge. Just sayin’

        Like

      • That’s no compromise!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sure it is. We take turns.

          Like

        • Why not? We vote out one of the two parties, keep the other one for now, but leave our options open.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That may happen accidentally with Trump at the top of the ticket. I’m crossing everything I got (which may explain the typos as a result of my crossed eyes.

            Like

          • One party rule spells disaster.

            Liked by 1 person

          • So you would accept voting all the Dems out to give the GOP a chance?

            Like

            • No. They are wack-a-doodle.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I don’t think a one party government is a good idea – wherever Democrats hold on to power too easily (in deep blue states or cities), it seems that politicians’ corruption indictments become more common than retirements. (It’s not a uniquely Democratic problem, but it seems that most such high-profile indictments were for Democratic politicians). Having a realistic GOP opposition keeps them in check. But today’s GOP is set on blocking the government from doing anything useful, even the stuff they used to support, so we have a choice between a more corrupt government doing something, and slightly less corrupt government doing nothing – and I think for a brief period, we might even have a slightly less corrupt do-something government.

              Liked by 2 people

              • It would be nice to have a functioning Congress for a few years, wouldn’t it? I mean just to experience the difference …

                Like

              • Today’s GOP has numerous factions that lead to numerous problems – but that is still doesn’t justify in my mind voting one party out. Governing is about finding solutions – not mandating them.

                Like

                • I agree, governing is about finding solutions, but the Republican party is either not interested in finding them, or rather they have their goals (more guns, less taxes, less regulation, cut benefits) that they pretend to be solutions to be applied to anything that looks like problem.

                  Like

                  • Hence the art of governing is finding solutions amidst the different philosophies. …. therefore, why I continue to say that politicians represent their party first, not the people – which is true on both sides of the aisle.

                    Like

                    • Frank, what philosophy leads people in one party to propose individual mandate for health insurance, then come out against it once the other party picked up the idea?
                      What philosophy leads a senator to propose a moderate judge to replace Antonin Scalia, then oppose that very judge once he is nominated?
                      What philosophy leads one party to set restrictions on voting that don’t even pretend to fight voter fraud – like cutting early voting, ending same-day registration, reducing the number of polling places?
                      And what philosophy leads a Senate majority leader to say in public that their number one priority is to make sure the opposite party’s president doesn’t get reelected?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s easy … a conservative, Republican philosophy.

                      Like

  9. I’m speechless (and taking count of how my local guys voted).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the way to go. All the way down the line to the local guys. They won’t be voting on gun control, but there are other target issues that will indicate where they stand on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Paul

    Perfect Elyse – clear, unambiguous, simple, logical and action oriented.And the rhetoric is powerful, powerful – the Republicans are selling assault weapons to ISIS. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      Although I have to add, it will usher in a new age. For Americans have been killed by American weapons and ammunition for as long as I have been alive – and I mean in the international theater. American companies and governments have supplied American weapons to many organizations and countries who pledged allegiance to democracy and later started shooting Americans with their own weapons. in fact this has happened enough that it makes one suspicious that there may be a disconnect in foreign policy as well.It is hard to find a current war in the world in which at least some American weapons aren’t being used by both sides.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul

        I just reread that and it was wishy washy. What I should have said is that your arms industry is out of control and if you don’t f*cking rein it i, more ‘merican boys will be killed by ‘merican bullets – making the wealthy wealthier.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m going to respond to all three with one response. I agree — death is good business here in ‘Merica. And that’s not just here in the States, but wherever bullets and guns are used. I just can’t understand why we have such a bad reputation internationally!

          Thanks for keeping John Burger (below) busy while I was at work. It’s always good to have the MBAs on my side (sorry — I couldn’t resist).

          But money is the key to the problem. The NRA answer to the gun manufacturers, they have no liability unlike makers of any other product. They have no conscience. My husband, the lawyer, thinks that exposing them to liability is the key. We’ll see.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. What happened in Orlando was horrific. I can’t imagine the pain the victims and their families are going through. Yet, making national policy after such a tragedy is asking for trouble.

    Here is a counterpoint to your position, written by Jack Marshall for your consideration:

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/06/19/ethics-observations-on-the-karl-murphy-exchange-on-gun-regulations-and-orlando/

    A recent poll concluded that less than 40 % of the population trusts the government, which means more than 60% of the population distrusts the government. Yet, those same people want to permit the federal government to place limits certain rights guaranteed by the US Constitution? Which other rights should we suspend? The First Amendment? How about the Fifth Amendment? How about due process (you know, that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt?) and habeas corpus? The 14th Amendment? What about the right to vote? How about the right to an abortion?

    What is being proposed by these “common sense” ideas is nothing short of totalitarianism where the rights are derived from government fiat and not the individual’s right to be free from unreasonable and unjustifiable governmental intrusion without due process. That citizens would approved of the denial of someone’s right to purchase and own a gun because that person is placed on a secret government ‘watch list’ or ‘no fly list’, for which the person has no ability to know about it, protest against, or make the government prove that person is, in fact, is a security threat is downright frightening.

    jvb

    Liked by 2 people

    • I might give credence to your argument that we can’t do this so soon after a tragedy if only there was EVER a long hiatus between mass shootings. In 2015 there were more mass shootings than there were days in the year.

      Personally I believe that my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness trumps (and predates) your right to get off with an assault weapon.

      Thanks for trolling.

      Like

      • Who is trolling? For the record, I don’t own any firearms, unless you consider by extensive Rush record and CD collection a weapon (I do – against the onslaught of terrible music). And, by the way, I don’t ‘get off’ with an assault weapon, so don’t be an idiot.

        However, I do recognize that the right to own firearms is intended to be the final check on governmental authority. It is included in the Bill of Rights because the Framers of the Constitution believed that individual liberty was (and is) supreme, even to the ever-expanding-and-encroaching power of the federal government. Consequently, your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not anymore superior to mine. In fact, they are co-equal. What makes you happy is irrelevant to me; just as my happiness is irrelevant to you. Even assuming I ‘got off’ with an assault weapon, how is that your business? You don’t like weapons so I can’t buy one? You don’t like Rush CDs, so I can’t buy one? You don’t like Dr. Pepper so I can’t buy one? You don’t believe in global warming and mankind’s impact on it so I can’t believe it? You don’t like X presidential candidate so I can’t vote for him or her? You should reconsider your position. You don’t get to decide what I do or don’t do.

        jvb

        Like

        • Paul

          She sure does when your actions threaten her life. Provide me with a link showing the last person killed by a Rush CD and I’ll provide you with a link of the last person killed in the US by an assault weapon. Mind you that changes by the minute….

          Like

          • Erm . . . Paul and Elyse, my actions have never threatened your or Elyse’s life. In fact, I would assume that the fact that I might have more AK-47s, Howitzers, and RPGs in my underground bunker (where I keep my tinfoil hats) than any single person on the planet does not constitute any kind of threat to you or Elyse or anybody else for that matter.

            The real issue is whether the government should be able to limit what I buy (or in my case, don’t buy because I have absolutely no interest in buying any kind of firearms anytime soon). Moreover, the definition of an ‘assault rifle’ changes depending on the person talking about the firearm. Is it the deer rifle that is fashioned in the form of a military style rifle or the semi-automatic rifle commissioned for the armed forces? Is it a 44 magnum handgun or a .38 special?

            Notwithstanding those issues, you don’t address the fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution. You don’t like firearms. Fine. Ban them. What about nasty articles about a president or candidate? Don’t like those? Ban them, too. You don’t have anything to hide? Let the police check out your car trunk or come into your home and look through your private documents. You criticize the government, you don’t get to fly. You are accused of a crime? Hell, you’re guilty anyway so why waste precious resources on a defense and an unnecessary trial – just accept your punishment and let’s move on. I recognize these are straw man arguments but they are valid considerations because that is what you are advocating.

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            • Paul

              I you have ever fired an automatic weapon, you would not be arguing this,believe me. The shear violent destructiveness that is controlled by one finger and spews from that muzzle is abhorrent to me for ownership by individuals. Oh,while you’re at it,why not sell nuclear weapons to rich individuals? They come suitcase sized now and after all it is none of my business what you own,is it? I mean if I had one would you worry? you shouldn’t because after all it is mine and that is my business. And I have determined that the only way to level the playing field with a government with nuclear missiles is to own some of my own.

              Like

              • Hmmmm . . . . I have fired one. I am neither impressed or shocked by what I experienced. A mere shrug of the shoulders for me. Then, I went and bought another Rush CD – which did enhance my feelings for the world around me. Yes, it did.

                Nuclear weaponry, though, is a non-sequitur. Firearms are discussed in the Constitution, not weapons of mass destruction. We can go down the rabbit hole and find all kinds of abhorrent things we don’t like. For me, I hate broccoli and tuna fish. That doesn’t mean I think they should be banned.

                jvb

                Like

                • Paul

                  An assault weapon is to guns as a nuclear weapon is to bombs. It s not possible to target accurately enough to avoid innocent deaths. It is just a matter of semantics that it is not called a weapon of mass destruction for truly it is and that is why its efforts are called MASS shootings.

                  Like

                  • With all due respect, it is irrelevant to the discussion. Individually possessing a nuclear weapon is already declare illegal in national and international law. RPGs are probably illegal, as are (probably bazookas and flamethrowers). So what. The issue is firearms. Some are already effectively illegal – automatic machine guns, etc. Again. So what.

                    Make no mistake, I am not a card-carrying member of the NRA or any other gun-rights group and I generally have no interest in them. I find most of them unappealing but the ugliness of a firearm is not the issue; the right to own one is. If the government is going to infringe on a Constitutional right, it better have damn good reason, with the lease restrictive alternative available, for doing so. None of the Senator Nelson’s proposals would have made a difference. The firearms were legally purchased and the maniac killer was not on a no-fly list. If you are advocating gun/firearm confiscation, say it. And, if so, simply admit that you don’t have any problems with unfettered governmental control over your life.

                    You think this is only about firearms? Think again. Your rights conferred by Natural Law, or as the Declaration of Independence states, “conferred by their Creator”, are inalienable, which means that they are your fundamental rights that belong to YOU and the do NOT exist by governmental fiat (a la the Magna Carta). Otherwise, the government could simply declare that the First Amendment is merely a suggestion and Freedom of the Press would cease to exist at the stroke of an executive order. Your rights against incriminating yourself would merely disappear in a wisp of prosecutorial discretion and you would have to prove you are not guilty of the crime with which you are charged. Your right to a speedy trial by jury would be left up to the tribunal, which could then decide the efficiency and expedience dictate that you don’t need either and are guilty.

                    jvb

                    Like

                    • Paul

                      The constitution can be changed with due process – it is a document made by men and powered by faith. It can be changed by men. I asked if you had fired an automatic weapon because when I did, albeit as a novice but with the instruction of a Marine Gunny, I did not hit my target but rather denuded a tree of its leaves. If those leaves had been people,it would have been yet another mass murder – but they weren’t.

                      Like

                    • The Constitution can be changed but, thankfully, it takes a whole lot of work and a long time to do so. Amendments should not be done on a whim.

                      I assume that your comment ” . . . it is a document made by men and powered by faith. It can be changed by men” was in reply to the Creator reference. I disagree. The Framers of the Constitution were influenced by Hobbes, Locke, and other philosophers. They truly believed in the inalienable right of the individual to be left alone from unreasonable governmental intrusion. That language was not simply thrown in to appease future Fundamentalists. That was included specifically to declare the rights of the people over and against the rights of the sovereign in order to prevent a despot or a king. The co-equal branches of government are expressly set out to provide checks and balances on the three branches of government.

                      jvb

                      Like

                    • Paul

                      Absolutely John. To declare my bias, I am Canadian. That said I am in a rather unique subset in that I worked for an American company for many years and traveled back and forth across the border having the undoubtedly unique experience of being able to contrast the two cultures daily. I do not in any way wish to detract from the American citizens’ rights to affect change ,even if it is violent In fact I am the first one to point out that the American Declaration of Independence says CLEARLY that it is not only the right of the citizenry to change the government but it is the obligation of the citizenry to remove any government that does not seek to benefit the people. And it states clearly that should be done in any manner necessary – including shooting the bastards [my addition – they stopped at at manner necessary]/ Herein lies the problem.The weapons currently being sold to American citizens kill American citizens = all innocent = and not government officials.If they were using assault weapons to kill politicians I would holler “Revolution!” and carry on – they are not. The framers had no idea how weapons would evolve. The constitution needs to be adjusted to reflect the new reality.

                      Liked by 1 person

        • I consider your collection of Rush CDs to be a powerful emetic and proof that you and I are not destined to be besties. What a waste of brain cells to follow (so closely that you collect his words) an aggressive, misogynistic, racist, addict.

          The 2nd Amendment was drafted in the late 1700s when the “arms” available were flintlocks. I will say for the record that anybody can have as many flintlocks as they’d like. It was also, and this is the part that the 2nd Amendment lovers neglect to mention, that those arms would be used for a militia because the founders didn’t believe in a standing army.

          But the Constitution is a living document. It can be changed. As you pointed out, it is very difficult, and that is as it should be.

          The 2nd Amendment, however, is not carte blanche. It doesn’t mean anybody can have any weapon they choose. It also, and this is a more important point, the Amendment does not preclude regulation of “arms.” (I can imagine Rush’s response to that dirty word “regulation” already. But I am a regulatory specialist. Regulations keep us safe.)

          You mentioned other rights freedom of speech for example. As you well know, there are limits to that right too. No shouting “Fire” in a crowded theatre. If you threaten someone, you can be charged. If you defame someone, you can be sued. There are penalties for misuse. The same is true with freedom of the press. With search and seizure (it can be done under well regulated conditions.)

          Nothing, NOTHING in the constitution says folks with guns get to have whatever kind they want (because weapons capable of killing 49 and wounding 53 people in a heartbeat did not exist in 1789) to be used by anybody.

          Perhaps there are better ways to regulate guns than the bills that were brought to the Senate floor yesterday. Frankly, I don’t care. I want a start. I want to reign in the carnage and the Democrat’s effort would have been a good place to start.

          People should be free to go to a club, to go to a movie, to a mall, to send their children or to go to school without fear of being a random victim of someone with a weapon that belongs nowhere but on a battlefield.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Paul

            Ahhh, a woman after my own heart. Oh, oddly enough, I thought that the word was “reign” as well but when it didn’t seem quite right I checked and it is indeed “rein” – as in rein in a horse to control it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Just to clarify, my reference to Rush was to the most sublime Canadian power trio of all time, which as we all know is the greatest rock band ever to existed, not the talk show radio guy. Consequently, there may be a chance that we can be besties.

            jvb

            PS: I do love Rush. I became a fan in 1976 after listening to “2112” and my life has been much richer and more fulfilled as a result. Yes, it has.

            jvb

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am not sure whose blog you are referring to. If it the string of responses to my initial comment, I did read them. I don’t have any issues with people disagreeing with me, though. I tried to comment/reply last night but for the life of me I have no idea what my wordpress password is and I am terrified that changing it will cause me grief on other wordpress blogs I read such as Ethics Alarms (which I recommend – good stuff, that).

              If, however, you are referring to Rush the band, I subscribe to Neil Peart’s blog. I enjoy reading his stuff. His writing has become much more concise, tight, and thought-provoking. I don’t agree with everything he says, but because he is 1/3 of my favorite band I can accept it. I also have a ton of Rush-related websites and facebook pages to which I subscribe. Twitter gives me a headache so I don’t spend too much time on that site, as I much prefer playing Panda Pop on my cell phone.

              As for the current status of Rush’s future in question, I have wept continuously and often over news that they will be scaling everything back, with no new tours or music in the immediate future.

              jvb

              Like

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