DANGEROUS, DEAFENING SILENCE ON GUNS
Congressional Republicans have been characterized this week as “digging in” in their resistance to new gun control legislation, but in fact if President Obama’s speech in Hartford this week is an indication advocates for greater gun control have dug in as well. The difference is one side wants more discussion and debate about the issue, and the other wants none.
Like an equally critical issue, climate change, Republicans in Congress have taken the approach of keeping the issue of new gun laws from even coming up for debate. Both are tactical strategies to be sure: opponents of climate change and gun control laws are paying Republicans a lot of money to keep new laws from being enacted and refusing to even debate them is a pretty sure bet. But it also suggests that the arguments against both cannot be won on their merits, and thus silence is the easy way out. But the silence is sending a message much louder than any impassioned debate. This is not about finding the common good, or coming to consensus on what accommodates the values of both sides of these debates. It’s about power, control and money.