Let’s not talk about the people - their bodies riddled with bullets from guns made to turn human flesh into Swiss cheese. That argument, apparently, is becoming cliche - written off quickly by people who brand you with a capital “L” and laugh at your naivete.
Let’s focus, instead, on the carnage that once was our political system and the mockery Bob Dole is making of it.
The 103th Congress passed a crime bill last year; it included a hard-fought provision banning specific assault weapons made to spew bullets with enough efficiency and speed to mow down dozens of people in a matter of minutes.
It was a crucial step forward, one that hurt no one. There’s not a law-abiding person who needs or will miss the banned guns. There could be people, however, whose lives will be saved because a crazy person bent on killing had to stop and reload. No one assumes the ban will mean an end to killing, but it may make it harder.
Overwhelmingly, the American public applauded this move. Poll after poll showed as much as four-fifths of the country favoring the limited gun ban. And a year later, the support hasn’t wavered.
Why, then, has Bob Dole?
The Senate majority leader wavered for money, power and influence - all the things voters decried as corrupt last November when they sent the strongest message in decades against businessas-usual. But despite giving the majority to Republicans, little has changed. Special interests continue their manipulation.
Kansas Sen. Dole, desperate to avoid a third defeat in his obsessive run for the presidency, will do whatever it takes to win in 1996. In this case, that means bowing to the power and money of the National Rifle Association.
And there’s the problem: a system that puts the interests of the powerful ahead of the masses. The NRA, which funneled $4 million into campaigns last fall, offers Dole a chance to look tough and earn millions of dollars in endorsements come election time.
Apparently, that’s more important than integrity. Dole would rather make backdoor promises to the NRA on last year’s issues than deal with the problems Americans are concerned about - welfare, the deficit, crime.
That’s pandering. From a would-be president, we expect leadership.
xxxx Ban is an assault on Second Amendment Con gun ban Weakens our rights
The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, EDITORIAL - From both sides CREDIT = Anne Windishar/For the editorial board