The past week has been filled with the usual grandstanding that has come to define the behavior of politicians of all stripes in the last few years. In the wake of great national tragedies, Americans can always rely on top politicos to use the opportunity to chastise their opponents and claim the moral high ground.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) accused Republicans of being “complicit” in the gun violence epidemic plaguing the nation for refusing to pass a complete Democrat wish list for gun control legislation in the past. According to Blumenthal, the blame for legislative inaction on gun laws lies solely on the Republican side of the aisle, despite the nature of Congress. Rather than work with Republicans to craft, amend, and negotiate over potential gun legislation like the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2019, Democrats have found it easier to cry wolf when all their legislative demands are not consented to by Republicans.
Immediately after Senator Blumenthal’s remarks, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pounced on the Democrat’s accusation, calling it “ridiculous theater.” Feigning outrage over bipartisan solutions to the country’s issues has become the new modus operandi for politicians in Congress. Of course, in times of crisis, spectators are often oblivious to the unintended consequences that tend to result from hasty solutions.
Legislation proposed immediately after a crisis has a highly questionable track record, especially in the United States. The Patriot Act, passed in 2001 as a response to the September 11 attacks, paved the way for a mass surveillance campaign that decimated the fundamental civil liberties of Americans nationwide. Despite the heinous nature of shooting massacres and how seemingly prevalent they have become in the United States, forgoing proper legislative procedure and deliberation in the name of rash crisis management is a recipe for disaster.
The Second Amendment continues to be the greatest obstacle to gun control legislation Democrats face today. It should come as no surprise that most Republicans would naturally be opposed to any form of gun control that would diminish the importance of the Second Amendment to American society.
The tantrums being thrown by Democrat lawmakers over their inability to decimate and alter gun policy throughout the country unilaterally are signs of a more pressing issue. Having a Democrat president and Congress does not give one party the right to completely dominate public policy for that period. The nature of Congress, especially in the Senate, is to ensure that a tyranny of the majority is not ushered in under the guise of democracy. Rather than use the legislative procedure in the way it was intended, it seems the present crop of Democrats would prefer to pass their version of a gun bill and absolve themselves of any further responsibility. If they care about the moral integrity of policymaking in the midst of the alleged gun violence epidemic, they need to negotiate with honesty, not ultimatums.
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