Bucks County Herald

Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox

Whisper sweet nothings

The text of the meeting between Donald Trump and U.S. senators, on gun issues, is available both on video and in written transcript, though it does require some digging.

Minutes of everything government does should be only a click away because it’s not easy to call fake news when one is watching the words come out of people’s mouths, but open discourse shouldn’t be a bashing. It should be a route to solutions, and America needs some major solutions right now.

The report stated that “Trump appeared to enthusiastically endorse several gun control measures, including a bipartisan gun control bill that failed to pass the Senate during Barack Obama’s presidency.” Pat Toomey, Republican U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, stated in the transcript, “President Obama did support it. ... There was a worry he wanted to go further, frankly, and that was a concern for some of our guys.”

We must wonder why our senators have “guys,” and who their guys are. We can hope he meant only other elected officials because it reads like something out of “The Godfather.”

Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut made a few amazing points, and shed quality light on whom our senator from Pennsylvania meant by “our guys.” I quote directly from the transcript; Murphy stated that: “… 97 percent of Americans want universal background checks. In states that have universal background checks, there are 35 percent less gun murders than in states that don’t have them, and yet we can’t get it done.

There’s nothing else like that ...

“In the end, Mr. President, the reason nothing has gotten done down here is because the gun lobby has had a veto power over any legislation on guns before Congress.” (Huh? The gun lobby has veto power?)

“I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. If all we end up doing is the stuff that the gun industry supports this isn’t worth it. We are not going to make a difference.

“And so I’m glad that you sat down with the NRA, but we will get 60 votes on a bill that looks like the Manchin-Toomey compromise on background checks, Mr. President, if you support it. If you come to Congress, if you come to Republicans and say, ‘We are going to do a Manchin-Toomey-like bill to get comprehensive background checks,’ it will pass. But if this meeting ends up with just sort of vague notions of future compromise, then nothing will happen. … Right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks.”

In all fairness, the president said he liked the responsibility and indicated that he thought it was, “time that a president stepped up,” disregarding the prior remark by Toomey that the bipartisan bill during the Obama administration didn’t get passed because some of the “guys” were afraid Obama would want to do more, which indicates that Obama had stepped up.

In actuality, what is being proposed, even by the senators who want to ease this problem, isn’t enough; what they propose isn’t near enough. Age limits, background checks … hogwash, pablum, baby stuff, a gesture at appeasing dead kids’ devastated loved ones. We must remember, even our senators are living under the oppression of their masters, shackled by a lobby consisting of those who profit from the bloodshed. I repeat the quote, “... the gun lobby has a veto power over any legislation on guns before Congress. … We are not going to make a difference …”

Veto power? A lobby? Really? I thought the elected officials worked for us. Where’s my veto power? I believe we the people should lay claim to that, and only we the people. The gun lobby? They have billions of dollars to lose every year if the wrong laws get passed and, obviously, they have paid to prevent that from happening. Is this America we’re talking about?

America, if we aren’t incensed, irate and feeling powerless, that we are nothing more than pawns to be sent to fight where “boots on the ground” (a heartless expression, as a human is not just a pair of boots) are needed for corporate gain, then we better check for a pulse.

Our elected representation is under the thumb of a lobbyist dictatorship, and we know the gun lobby isn’t the only lobby with veto power. Also repeat, “I’m glad that you sat down with the NRA ... .” A special interest group gets a tete-a-tete with the president of the United States.

The private citizens should have veto power and chats with Mr. President. We’d all like to get some of that. We are they who deserve it.

We are they whom our government is meant to serve.



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