Thursday, January 17, 2013

"King" Obama Makes His Case

The president announced his broad sweeping proposal to reduce the gun violence in our country.  He called for the elimination of assault weapons and high capacity magazines as well as universal background checks for all gun purchases. 
Afterward, family members of the Sandy Hook victims watched as he signed 23 executive orders that address a host of parallel issues pertaining to gun violence.
As expected, the president’s proposal was met with a firestorm of protests from the right.  “Monarch” “Imperialist” “King” and “Dictator” were the most common terms used to describing the president’s actions.  NRA President David Keene also took time from his busy schedule to deny that the president’s daughters were used in the association’s recently released web ad.
This is going to be a long drawn out battle in congress. 
The typical Washington nonsense reared its ugly head within minutes of the president’s remarks.  John Boehner said that he would be more than happy to consider any bill passed by the Senate; sending a clear message that he had no appetite to bring the matter up in the House.  Harry Reid responded that the Senate would not waste its time considering any bill that would not pass in the House. 
Checkmate!  It will be up to the president to keep this debate on the front burner…both in congress and in the minds of the American people.
From our prospective the president has the will of the people on his side.  And unlike gun control efforts in the past, this effort will be funded in a manner like never before. 
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate millions to the cause.  Former Representative Gabby Giffords, who was a victim in the Tucson shooting, has started a PAC that supports pro-gun control candidates.  And most important of all…the Obama for America juggernaut will begin to flex the same massive ground war that swept the president to two terms in office.  We expect that these fundraising efforts will overwhelm those of the NRA.  The days of the NRA buying elections and dominating the gun control conversation are over. 
Republicans have a choice; they can work with Democrats to pass common sense gun control laws under Speaker Boehner… or they can watch new Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi pass the reforms in 2015.
But if we are truly going to change our violent culture there must be a comprehensive approach that includes the mental health entertainment industries as well.  Protectors of the first amendment are going to have to set aside some of their free speech bias.
We have criticized the radical right for coming unhinged at any mention gun control.  But they sound no different than those on the far left who go ballistic when there is any hint of curbing the violence in movies and video games.
Director Quentin Tarantino recently sat down for an interview to promote his latest film; “Django Unchained.”  The movie which examines the brutality of slavery includes a very graphic massacre scene.  Tarantino, who is known for depicting graphic violence in his films, was more than willing to discuss the movie; but he became unhinged when asked to explain his previously stated beliefs that violence in film did not in any way contribute to the violence in our society.
“I refuse your question.” Tarantino screamed.  “I’m not your slave and you’re not my master.  You can’t make me dance to your tune.  I’m not your monkey…The reason I don’t want to talk it:  Because I have said everything I have to say about it…I’m shutting your butt down.
Quentin Tarantino or Rush Limbaugh…it’s hard to tell the difference.
This is an important time in our history.  It is time for us to decide what kind of society we want to be. 
It is time for us to decide if the national interests of the many can over ride the special interests of the few.    

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