Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rhetoric v. Reality

It hasn't been easy trying to get Congress to agree on anything... Lately. Period.

It's especially been difficult trying to get Congress to agree on any sort of gun safety legislation. The House struggled just to approve more funding for the national background checks system. And even though a majority of Senators supported closing the various background checks loopholes (that criminals exploit to obtain lethal weapons they're not supposed to obtain), the NRA convinced just enough Senators to filibuster a modest background checks bill to death.

Senator Dean Heller (R-NRA) took part in that filibuster. Yet a month after he blocked that background checks bill (and his approval rating subsequently slipped), Senator Heller then turned around and claimed he voted for background checks legislation. He lied to constituents, and those constituents didn't appreciate that.

He's at it again. In a Vaseline smeared interview with the Las Vegas Sun's Amber Phillips, Senator Heller equivocated some more when he parsed over the language of background checks and the "philosophy of gun rights". Just like his patrons at the NRA, Senator Heller prefers debating theoretical language over discussing real policy.

It was all too convenient for Senator Heller that the Sun interview dropped yesterday. That's also when Everytown dropped its new ad in support of S 1290.

Remember the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)? Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) recently introduced S 1290 to strengthen VAWA by closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain lethal firearms. Yet despite Senator Heller's "No Labels" label and recent change of language on gun violence, he's remained cagey as to whether he'll even allow a final vote on S 1290.

Of course, Senator Heller's BFFs at the NRA are whipping hard against S 1290... Because, you know, it's so committed to "civil rights". And by "civil rights", the NRA means the right of LGBTQ folk to shoot each other dead. Way to go on "rebranding", NRA. Oh, and by the way, we've yet to see the NRA endorse any legislation that would actually advance LGBTQ civil rights.

There's rhetoric, then there's reality. The NRA loves to engage in "philosophical discussions on civil rights", yet it refuses to admit to the reality of gun violence. Senator Heller loves to debate the language of theories and "ideas", yet he's failed to actually support any real gun safety legislation... Yet. He now has a chance to change that, but means he must agree to drop the "philosophical" rhetoric and engage in actual reality.

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