Wednesday May 8, 2013

The recent, justified uproar over the undemocratic gun control vote in the U.S. Senate is significant. The obvious surface view is that the failure of this legislation cannot be accepted as it is a significant safety issue, not one of individual rights. We don’t have any rights that compromise public safety. More than this, though, it is indicative of systemic problems in the structure of the federal government.

In few other areas do we allow such skewed control of the majority by the minority. We should allow a complete airing of opposing views, and then a true vote. Objections should be the domain of the courts and/or congressional reconsideration. The undue influence of vocal and well-financed special interests, along with significant threats of the loss of power, must be derailed.

How is it that about 90 percent of the public and the majority of senators supported that legislation, yet it fell? That was in great part due to the control of minority Republicans and the paranoid followers (a majority) of the NRA, an owner of the Senate. The problem lies in several areas, with the filibuster, equal voting power for states with significantly lesser populations, and gerrymandering leading the way.

The citizenry of our country must intervene to rebalance our government. How can this be done? Some ideas include obvious procedural changes, term limits, publicly-financed elections, closer influence of the majority of the public, and in the extreme a Constitutional Convention.


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Any thoughts out there?

TONY CAFARO

Pittsfield