Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Saturday, June 18, 2016

We've Been Here Before

I want to be very clear. I am speaking for myself. Right now. A lot of people are emotional for good reason, and that is valid. I'm not trying to say people are wrong for feeling the way they do nor for taking the political actions they are in response to Orlando LGBT attack.


As angry as people are right now they are not going to stay that way.

A reoccurring theme is this election is the tug between how the world should be and how it actually is.  How do the forces on the left reconcile those two things and accept the world as it is so they can then change what it is.

We've been here before. 

And the left which I believe this election for a lot of reasons are on the side of the angels can jump up and down about the NRA and the Koch Brothers but truth is that change is hard.

Behind ever issue I care about there is a decades sometimes century long story about people working in working as Sisyphus. The reason why gun laws don't get passed is because getting them passed would take time, money, political will and political capital.

All of which can be used elsewhere.

I am a pacifist. The idea that I or somebody like me could easily buy a gun, buy the power to at the pull of a finger take somebody else's life freaks me the hell out. And it freaks me out more so that when I walk around almost anybody could be legally carrying a concealed weapon.  I'll be honest when I think about the sanctity of the Bill of Rights my eyes sort of leap frog over the second amendment.

But there is a wide variety of other issues I care about, and I imagine if I were in the middle of it where I had to make choices and weigh all this stuff day in day out, with a bunch of people around me who I knew I could bounce ideas off of that list would be vastly greater.

Time in session is limited. The number of bills that can get introduced is limited. The number of bills that can make it through committee are limited.

Gun control is a big divisive issue probably as big as Obamacare.

As a guy on the left I admire how hard Obama has worked to make sure that his signature achievement was enacted and survived. I remember that.

And I remember the cost.

The 2010 seat swings. The token votes. Sequestration. All of it.

And I honestly believe it was worth it.

...But I'm just not sure I can say with a straight face gun control is worth doing it all again. Worth all of the stuff I feel is important getting put on the back burner. Because in order to get gun control, real meaningful gun control with teeth that's what's going to have to happen.

A part from the general exhaustion that the condition of being politically angry causes that is hard for anybody to maintain over time, the day to day business of government would be a continual chain of deals to get gun control enacted or rescinded.

I'm not quite ready for that but if people are, and know what it means it I can't tell them not to go for it. But be prepared. Because it's going to come down to what are people willing to give up.

Not just the day to day normal stuff, having uncomfortable arguments with friends, taking time to write letters though there is that too. But what are you willing to let wait even when it waiting has a real impact on people's lives. When a congressperson goes into locked door negotiations and its this or the other thing are we really prepared to consistently over time tell them it should be this instead of tax reform, prison reform, police reform, education reform, banking reform, immigration reform, a path to citizenship, scientific and social research, student debt, expansion of title IX, reproductive rights, environmental policy, drug policy, the funding of urban programs, refugee policy, basic income, veterans benefits, foreign trade, foreign aid, or the death penalty?

My point is if we really want gun control we have to sit down and figure out how important it is, what are we prepared to give up at least in the short term because it's not going to just be a matter of sending a letter to your congressman to say your in favor of gun control.

It's probably one of the most polled about issues especially in an election year.

That's not it. It's about how much you want gun control in front of everything else.

What are we willing to give up?

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