Editor: It is almost unspeakable and it is not politics — it is unconscionable mischief. I guess we should not be surprised that the Republican majority in Congress would use its power to defeat Democratic bills and ideas. Recall that party members took a “sacred” anti-Obama vow back in 2009. Still, it would seem that the House and Senate majorities, elected officials — parents, uncles and aunts — might rise to the occasion of enlightened action when gun violence reaches tragic proportion. But the modus operandi continues to be majoritarian mischief.
On June 17 there was a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. On June 22, a sit-in was staged in the House. Is civil disobedience the only possible means of communication between the parties? We all have witnessed political rivalry before. It comes with the turf. But so do debate and conciliation. Note that the Democrats in both houses were asking for a vote — not a victory.
Mischief can be found in the schoolyard: pranks, bullying and injuries caused by irresponsible playmates. But majoritarian mischief is being playfully harmful with the fate of our nation. Gun violence, some ideologically inspired and some not, has reached an alarming level in this country. It needs addressing by whatever means we have — and we do have means. We have elected men and women to represent us in Congress. They have the power and the responsibility to make laws and change laws for the good of the country.
The vast majority of Americans are in favor of us making potential weapons of mass destruction — guns in the hands of mass killers — more difficult to get. Yet the majoritarians don’t see that as a priority — even though they have families who are as vulnerable as the rest of us and even though they live in and represent a country that aims at justice, equality and security for all.
SCRANTON TIMES TRIBUNE, July 3, 2016