This year there have been an appalling number of horrific mass shootings that have weighed heavily on the hearts of the nation and brought untold grief and loss to the communities in which they occurred. These tragedies are even more gut wrenching when children are the victims, as they were in Uvalde, Texas.
Yet somehow America’s representatives in Washington can’t manage to take affirmative action to address this epidemic of senseless bloodshed. And the fault lies squarely on Republicans who are beholden to the NRA-theists, and unwilling to even compromise on reforms that they agree on in principle.
This resistance to advancing common sense solutions is ingrained in the GOP despite the overwhelming support for reforms in the populace at large. And that dichotomy was painfully illustrated in an interview on Fox News Sunday wherein Sen. Mike Lee of Utah degenerated into a babbling bowl of jelly as he struggled to justify his betrayal to his constituents. Fox’s Shannon Bream asked Lee about recent Fox News polling that “shows that there is a lot of strength behind some of these proposals at this time.” Bream then displayed a graphic of the poll’s findings…
seen on Fox News pic.twitter.com/OUza5WFiHm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2022
Then Bream gave Lee an opportunity to respond, pointing out that “There is a lot of momentum, at least among the public sphere,” and asking “Are you out of step with your constituents?” Lee awkwardly dodged the question with a reply that was even worse than merely being out of step. He said that…
“First of all, what’s important is that we look out for the rights of constituents. Constituents are asked poll questions, they are not asked questions about specific language within legislative text. It’s the job of the lawmaker to look out for the interest and the rights of the law-abiding citizens they represent. And so with each of those provisions — I understand how they can get high popularity readings when they don’t define them. For example, you talk about banning assault weapons. There is no universal definition of what an assault rifle is. […] So that text does matter here, because it is that text that will determine whether we are intruding unduly on the rights of the American law-abiding citizen.”
Presented on Fox News with polling showing that majorities are in favor of a range of gun control measures and asked whether he's out of step with his constituents, Mike Lee ends up stammering about how people don't actually know what an assault rifle is pic.twitter.com/aVQoAfUacH
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2022
To summarize Lee’s response, he believes the legislator’s job is to disregard what the public wants because they are too stupid to answer simple, straightforward questions in a poll. He even provides an example of how idiotic he thinks people are by asserting that they can’t form a coherent opinion about “assault weapons” because they don’t know what they are. Really?
Lee’s tortured doubletalk is just an attempt to evade the fact that he and his Republican confederates are purposefully betraying their constituents. The American people know what assault weapons are. They also know that legislation is written in legalese, but that that doesn’t make their opinions on these issues invalid. And they know that Lee is an arrogant horse’s ass who thinks he’s smarter than the dimwitted deplorables that he purports to represent.
For the record, the Fox News poll covered several aspects of the gun reform debate. And nearly every question revealed that significant majorities of the American people want substantive reforms. Here are a few of the poll’s findings…
- “In general, a 56% majority believes that having tougher gun laws would reduce mass shootings in the United States, while 39% do not.”
- “On specific gun proposals, voters are most supportive of requiring background checks on all gun buyers (88%) and improving enforcement of existing gun laws (84%).”
- “Another 8 in 10 favor raising the legal age to buy assault weapons to 21 (82%), passing ‘red flag’ laws that allow police to take guns from people shown to be a danger (81%), background checks on buying ammunition (80%), mental health checks (78%), and raising the legal age to buy any gun to 21 (78%).”
- “Seven in 10 favor banning high-capacity ammunition clips (70%), while slightly less (63%) support banning assault weapons.”
- “The only proposals tested that lack majority support are allowing teachers to carry guns at schools (48%) and encouraging more citizens to carry a weapon (45%).”
With poll results like this – and from Fox News yet – the smug superiority of Republicans like Lee, who think that they know better than the people, is all the more repugnant. And it’s all the more obvious that their allegiance is to the gun industry lobbyists and the ammosexual perverts, rather than their own constituents.
Until that bond is broken, the United States will continue to suffer the most mass shootings of any nation on the planet. And the most effective way to break that bond is to vote out every Republican at every level of government. Hopefully voters will recognize that that is the only way they are ever likely to get true representation on this issue, as well as so many others, including healthcare, the environment, fair taxation, reproductive choice, civil liberties, and even the right to vote at all.
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