Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 24, 2013

Senators could have stepped up, but backed down like cowards

This was a shameful day for America and a dark day for children, law enforcement, parents, and democracy.

The wishes of 92 percent of Americans and 74 percent of NRA members were simply ignored by a cowardly Senate, and arrogantly, selfishly and cynically trampled by the extremists of the gun lobby, who believe they have the right to decide for the majority of Americans how we should have to live our lives.

Today our best chance to have some positive effect on the appalling gun violence in this country was wantonly crushed by a handful of loud and paranoid fanatics who care only for their own selfish wishes and nothing for the opinions of the majority of Americans, for the statistics on gun violence, or for common sense.

The Senate has shown its true face as a bunch of timid sycophants who don’t have the decency to stand up to the screaming minority and say “92 percent of Americans want this measure, and so I will support it. It may be a baby step, but if it has a chance of saving lives, it is worth doing.”

The argument from the pro-gun lobby goes: “Gun control won’t do any good, because criminals won’t obey the laws.”

Does that mean we should have no laws in this country, because criminals won’t obey them?

Should we not bother to prosecute the guy who steals your car, or the woman who steals your identity and maxes out your credit card, because we know criminals don’t obey laws?

Laws are in place so that offenders can be prosecuted. The same should be true with gun regulation.

This country has taken another step backwards into an unenlightened and ignorant world, where firepower is worshiped and macho is king, and pushed further away the civilized society where voices speak instead of money, power, guns and cowardice.

Today the Senate should be ashamed. Today the gun lobby should be ashamed. Today I am ashamed to be an American.

Ellen McDaniel-Weissler

LaVale

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