What happens when those with power lose any claim to moral standing?
Is that not what we see all around us?
I watched what I could of the accounts of the sit-in in the House of Representatives and I wondered?
Paul Ryan when confronted with a demand for a vote he would have surely won said no and turned out the lights and turned off the cameras. But I wonder who is really in the dark.
His problem was not the threat of losing. He wasn’t going to lose. His problem was that people after the greatest mass murder in this country’s history who thought they should be heard talking about that murder and asking for a vote to at least make it harder for the next murderer to put a gun in his hand wouldn’t take no for an answer. His problem, the problem of the man who wants to promote his idea of “a better way”, the problem of the man who wants to take away the insurance of millions of people, is that people wouldn’t stay quiet when he told them he would not let them be heard.
Power is based on the acceptance of the idea “that is just the way it is and you can’t do anything about it.” John Lewis said it doesn’t have to be that way. Chris Murphy said it doesn’t have to be that way in his Senate filibuster. For as long as I can remember the NRA has been the biggest elephant in the room. It has been a fight no one could afford to make. It has become one we can’t afford to not make.
Over the last few days I have had a lot of people tell me I am wrong. One guy told me I didn’t have the right to take his guns. I told him I didn’t want his guns and as far as I knew no one did. I told him I would have liked to have made the guns of the shooter in Orlando at least a little bit more difficult. I told him I didn’t think he was going to stone anybody to death. And then I made him really mad. “If you make it easy for dangerous people to get weapons whose only purpose is to kill lots of people real fast then do you not on some level bear a measure of culpability for their actions? Would we accept a bartender telling us he didn’t know the drunk was going to drive? ”
I think the NRA can still buy the votes. I am still astonished that the leader of the Republican party dismissed the call to vote on commonsense gun control as a publicity stunt. I am even more astonished that he thought turning off the cameras would make it go away. Does he really believe saying “we are not going to talk about it anymore” matters? Does he really believe his recess solved anything?
The NRA may, at least for now, control the votes. They can no longer enforce the silence.