We Shall Overcome, or Nah?

Feigning Outrage on the Floor of the House

John Lewis & Democrats in DC have been staging a sit-in on the floor of the House in the name of gun-control. The Civil Rights icon that once braved the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday” is now engaging in a much less dangerous protest in attempts to push for a vote on legislation that would require more comprehensive background checks, as well as prevent citizens from buying guns if their name was on an expanded “no-fly” list comprised of “potential terrorists.” It all sounds pretty legit if you’re a supporter of #gunsense, but unfortunately it’s not quite that simple when it comes to these “watch lists.”

First, what determines whether the Government puts someone on such a list? Could that include anyone who questions the Government? Anyone with an Arabic name? Anyone with brown skin that Google’s ISIS? Muhammad Ali? Black Lives Matter activists? Progressives? Libertarians? Anarchists?

The Orwellian nature of a “watch list” in America has always been duplicitous since the days of McCarthyism, and in more recent years is one of the filthy remnants of the Bush/Cheney era, along with the creation of the Big Brother-esque Patriot Act. But the surveillance-state is not limited to Republican control and much of the spying apparatus has been expanded during the Obama administration.

As much as I’m sick and tired of hearing about another mass shooting in America, I’m just as disgusted by the fact that our system is so corrupted by money that we’re continually being told to choose between the lesser of evils.

While I certainly do not want mad men getting their hands on AR-15 rifles, the great majority of mass shootings in America are not committed by “potential terrorists” nor men with dark skin or Arabic names, but rather more consistently mentally ill white men.

I’m not saying I’m against Democrats demanding…

– better mental health care

– smarter background check systems

– longer wait periods to buy guns

– elimination of gun-show loopholes

– *banning of semi-automatic rifles w/ extended capacity ammunition and options for automatic modifications

But, the majority of these elected Democrats have long sat on their hands in regards to the illegitimacy of the Iraq War invasion, the Trillion-dollar bailout of the banks, the torturing, spying upon, and extrajudicial killings of American citizens, so it seems very strange that they’ve now chosen to suddenly “take a stand” for the American people in regards to a “watch list.” They claim they are doing this now because they believe they can get Republicans to support a ban on gun sales to people on these Terror-watch lists.

But is this really about fighting Terrorism?

If Democrats truly wanted to reduce the likelihood of “potential” terrorist attacks, they would stop unquestionably supporting “Regime Change Wars” in the Middle East. The best example of this hypocrisy is their current “presumptive” nominee, Hillary Clinton, who appears to be strong on Gun Control but is one of the most aggressive promoters of Weapons and War in the Middle East. Basically, the rhetoric is “let’s try to prevent future Sandy Hook’s” but if we are bombing innocent men, women, and children in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, or Iraq, that’s simply “collateral damage” and the cost of doing business.

While Republicans are certainly very accomplished War-mongers and stooges of the NRA, both sides of the aisle have long been promoters of draconian surveillance expansion and Endless War. Certainly, both sides are also beholden to crony-capitalism and corporate special interests. If the Democratic party really wanted to defeat the NRA and quell Terrorism, they would support the elimination of corporate money from the political process. They would work for campaign finance reform and overturning #CitizensUnited, and they wouldn’t unanimously support a Clinton machine which is funded by Special interests, Big banks, and the War industry. In a moment when Americans should seemingly be proud that their elected officials are finally taking a stand, it’s hard to believe that this anything more than political theater. As much as I’m sick and tired of hearing about another mass shooting in America, I’m just as disgusted by the fact that our system is so corrupted by money that we’re continually being told to choose between the lesser of evils.

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