Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I think the rationale is a bit unclear...

This just proves that the gun industry and the gun lobby care nothing about law and order, but only care about profits. Not that it was ever assumed before, I guess, but individual advocates of the second amendment and supporters of gun rights often use the argument that upstanding citizens should have no fetters on their rights to own and carry a gun. Okay, so let’s assume that gun owners keep them for going to ranges and shooting targets and/or for self-defense. I guess I’m not really sure how this law “would unfairly focus on legal gun owners when most crimes are committed with illegally obtained guns.” A rational person would say that this is the precise reason why this microstamping would be necessary, because it gives police detectives a starting place to look for the weapon used in a crime. Just because police come to your door asking about a weapon used in a crime does not mean they’re implicating you in the crime, it simply means that a gun that you once owned (or still do, but has been stolen) was used in a crime. This could be very helpful in tracing the gun to the last legal (or illegal) owner, and eventually help to solve the crime.
So why are the major gun companies and gun lobby against this legislation? Hard to say… Some say that it is a money issue; the gun industry says that it would add as much as $200 to each gun, but the State of New York – who is trying to pass a law requiring microstamping – not only says the price would be much lower, the law they’re attempting to pass would actually mandate that the increased cost would be no more than $12 per gun. I guess another reason why they’re opposed to it could be because the gun manufacturers are away that their products are purchased by criminals and/or stolen and used for nefarious means, but they would rather make massive amounts of money than actually protect the lives of the citizens of this country – or at least make it easier for police to find the guilty party when a crime has been committed.

FYI - The US gun and ammunition manufacturing industry includes about 300 companies with combined annual revenue of about $6 billion.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The chickens will come home to roost...

How is it that we allow the same states to create a mockery of our democracy over and over again? As Republicans continue to alienate Hispanic voters in Florida and throughout the country, the number of Hispanic voters in Florida and other border states in the Southwest continues to grow. So what is the Republicans’ response? Not to actually change their policy and perspective, and try to reach out to Hispanic voters, but instead to simply change voting laws to make it more difficult for minorities and impoverished people to vote.
This is what is happening right now in Florida. Not only have they changed their voting laws to make voting difficult for people, but they’re literally removing voters from their rolls (even though they have no justification for doing). The state has been ordered by the Justice Department to stop this practice until they’ve had time to review, but the Florida Secretary of State has defied the Justice Department order and vowed to continue the purge of voters.
Florida officials in support of the purge continue to espouse the idea that their voter purge is important to curb voter fraud in their state. However, as we’ve seen in numerous past elections, the voter fraud always seems to be coming by way of voter disenfranchisement, rather than ineligible voters squeaking through. I mean, as I’ve talked about in a previous post, our voting turnout is only at about 60%; I don’t think there is a whole lot of worry about people who are not eligible to vote doing so when we can’t even get people who ARE eligible to vote to do.
This is all a tactic at disenfranchising ELIGIBLE minority voters, often immigrants, who may not fully understand voting laws, and are easily tricked into thinking they’re not eligible. Another tactic is requiring expensive identification, which poor voters are wont to pay for, when they have obviously chosen not to shell out for it already because they can’t afford it. Strategists have also found another way to keep voters from coming out - and this is truly devious – basically by misinforming them about when, where, and how they can vote. During the Wisconsin recall elections, robo calls were sent out to voters telling them (misinforming them) that if they had already voted for recall, they did not need to come out to vote in the recall election. That is an outright lie, and THAT is voter fraud.
What does all of this tell us about where our country is going? In a weird direction. As the old, wealthy, white voters continue to die off, Republicans are unfortunately going to become more and more desperate for ways to continue to be politically viable. And instead of evolving their views and adapting to a changing society, they are going to turn to deception, trickery, and voter suppression to keep the people they have been discriminating against for years (and continue to do so) from voting. A sad, sad state.

P.S. I don’t mean to demonize the Republican Party; there are rational Republicans out there, but they seem to be the minority these days, and are being pushed out of the party as heretics and liberals.