Guns Kill People - Congress Protects the NRA
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
"And the National Rifle Association says, "Guns don't kill people, people do,” but I think the gun helps. I think just standing there going, "Bang!" isn't going to kill too many people, is it?" Eddie Izzard
Almost hidden amidst all the brouhaha over Rove, Roberts and Plame is a far more dangerous threat, not only to our rights, but to our very lives.
It's a little thing called the Gun Immunity Bill, sponsored by Idaho Senator Larry Craig and supported by none other than the NRA's Best Friend, Senator Bill Frist. It protects such upright citizens as the makers and distributors of illegal Saturday Night Specials and other Weapons of Individual Destruction.
Senate Bill S.397 (aka the "shield bill"), seeks to stop municipalities and victims of gun violence from seeking legal remedies against gun manufacturers and sellers over illegal or unethical distribution of weapons -- and would torpedo dozens of existing nationwide lawsuits against them as well.
Frist made it such a top priority that a test vote of the bill steamrolled (66-32) over the $491 billion defense bill, putting off any action on it until the fall. I'm no fan of defense spending, but that defense bill contains provisions to provide better supplies and protection for our soldiers in Iraq.
Apparently not a priority to the Right Wingnuts in Congress. Frist and Company would rather support the NRA's right to sell arms without penalty than assure our military men and women a shot at improved safety from those wielded by the enemy. I gotta tell you, at this point I'd like to pick up a gun myself and mete out some frontier justice to all the bozos in Congress who've been so neatly corralled by the gun lobby.
So let's get this straight: if your child is killed by an illegal and/or faulty gun, its manufacturer is safe from accountability. But if your Ford Explorer rolls over, you're in luck, you can sue. How much more skewed can our priorities get?
Here's a hint: take a guess how many gun regulation bills are out there right now, just hanging in limbo. More than fifty. 50! Five-oh. It's staggering. Unbelievable. Deadly. While we're dithering over ValerieGate, RoveOver and RobertsMania, over fifty bills introduced in 2005 to regulate the sale and manufacture of lethal weapons are stalled in committees.
Yet what did Congress manage to find time to pass this year? A bill rescinding the ban on assault weapons. For all those Good Old Boys who need an AK-47 to kill Bambi. Or their noisy neighbors. And now they're locking and loading on passage of the Gun Immunity Bill ASAP -- to protect gun dealers from any legal consequences of their actions.
Here's a short list, read it and weep:
H.R. 1931: To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to extend the firearm and ammunition prohibitions applicable to convicted felons to those convicted in a foreign court. (Introduced; May 22, 2005) (also S. 954)Look at those last two alone. Improve the safety of firearms. Prevent children's access to firearms. Let's ask Senator Frist, the Good Christian, why protecting NRA gun dealers comes before safeguarding our children.
H.R. 1415: To improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and for other purposes. (Introduced; May 9, 2005)
H.R. 1423: To ban the manufacture, sale, delivery, and transfer of handguns that cannot be personalized, and to provide for a report to the Congress on the commercial feasibility of personalizing firearms. (Introduced; May 9, 2005) (also S. 683)
H.R. 1168: To ensure that the national instant criminal background check system provides the Federal Bureau of Investigation with information on approved firearms transfers to persons named in the Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File. (Introduced; May 9, 2005)
H.R. 1136:: To protect the Nation's law enforcement officers by banning the Five-seveN Pistol and 5.7 x 28mm SS190 and SS192 cartridges, testing handguns and ammunition for capability to penetrate body armor, and prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, or purchase of such handguns or ammunition by civilians. (Introduced; May 9, 2005)
H.R. 654:: To ban the transfer of 50 caliber sniper weapons, and otherwise regulate the weapons in the same manner as machine guns are regulated. (Introduced; Mar 2, 2005)
S. 935: A bill to regulate .50 caliber sniper weapons designed for the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and components of the Nation's critical infrastructure. (Introduced; Apr 27, 2005)
H.R. 165: To improve the safety of firearms. (Introduced; Mar 2, 2005)
H.R. 246:: To prevent children's access to firearms. (Introduced; Mar 2, 2005)
The bottom line: Guns don't kill people. Lobbyists with checkbooks kill people.
Labels: Political Polemics