Bullies use words to harass those of a different sexual orientation, of a different race, or a different gender. Some fragile kids even kill themselves because of the relentless abuse. So now, as common sense dictates, there are federal civil rights laws that protect our children from this kind of sadistic behavior.
Between 1987 to 1996, hundreds of children were hurt or killed riding bicycles without helmets. Today, 37 states have helmet laws to protect these growing bodies from unnecessary harm.
There are 22 FDA regulations placed upon companies that make baby formula. They, of course and rightfully so, protect our smallest from putting anything untoward into their rapidly developing bodies and brains.
In 1982, the Reagan Administration recognizing a drunk driving epidemic responded responded to the crisis by forming a commission that put forth 39 recommendations ultimately resulting in a change of the age in which it was legal to drink from 18 to 21. It is estimated by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) that over 21,000 lives have been saved because of this law.
Imagine would you...just imagine what our country would be like if our Federal Government in these instances didn't step in and demand, require, regulate what is right and necessary to keep its citizens safe, whole and alive. I mean, imagine it. No, really. I want you to picture someone from Congress standing up from his or her comfy seat in the Capitol Building and saying something like, "Stuff happens. We can't stop people from harassing other people who happen to be different! There's freedom of speech you know. They can hurl epithets as much as they want. And well if it kills a few here or there...we can't do a thing about it!
Or how about this: Hey...How about we let the automobile industry make cars out of plastic made in China! Think of the MONEY they will save in manufacturing! Aww..WHO CARES if a few die here or there! Do you know how much campaign contributions those car companies give us!?? Let's thank them by allowing them to make substandard cars!
And what if those state lawmakers said that helmets would infringe on the their constituents' rights of the pursuit of happiness. Can you just picture the idiocy? "Ahem, friends, I think that forcing a 12 year old to wear a helmet may cause him or her to throw a mighty fit. And well, we don't want the parents of those children to have to deal with that!"
I think it would be laughable, just unheard of, if that Reagan commission analyzed the horrific data that accompanied the wide-spread DWIs of the time and said, "Well, there is unequivocally nothing we can do. Yup. We are just going to go with status quo here. Change is not necessary. In FACT, maybe just maybe the solution might be that we encourage MORE drinking by our young. Yes. Now that we think about it, that makes a whole HELL of a lot of sense. That way, if someone drunk comes at us with a car, we'll be drunk TOO and we can hit them back!
Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Stupid. Just plain stupid. Who? Who in their right mind would ignore harmful, murderous things? Who would do nothing when there are common-sense solutions to be had? Who indeed?
No one could possibly be that unfeeling. No one could possibly be that callous. No elected official could be that apathetic!
I am not well-versed in the politics of the 80's and 90's, and so while I am sure there were a smattering of congressional members that tried that "aw shucks there's nothing we can do" move for the above laws and regulations, I am positive that it wasn't the majority. How do I know? Well, those things mentioned above got done. The votes were cast to make changes for the betterment of the American people. Laws were past to keep families safe. And for that I am grateful.
Unfortunately, it seems that lately the opposite is true. That stupidity and nay-saying reigns supreme. That the majority of our elected officials are apathetic asshats that care more about the mighty dollar than the safety of their constituents, hell, than the safety of their country's children-- especially when it comes to gun safety.
Cases in point: When asked about the Oregon shooting, Jeb Bush in an interview at Furman University actually boasted about Charleton Heston saying, "(He)gave me a gun on stage in front of 15,000 people. That was pretty cool, to be honest."
He then went on to say that the impulse in Washington is to take people's civil rights away from us, and it won't solve the problem."
Really!? What would solve the problem?
He continued to speak about the Oregon tragedy by saying, "It's very sad to see, but I resist the notion--I had this challenge as governor--we have--stuff happens, there's always a crisis, and the impulse is to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."
And then there was Carly Fiorina who said, that Obama's response was premature!! What Carly?? Premature? Well my dear presidential candidate, how many mass shootings and deaths of children do we need to experience for the idea of change to be a MATURE thing? How many? She also said that it was an "unfortunate politicization of this tragedy."
My dear Carly, Jeb...I have news for you...politicization is the only God-damned power we-the-people have, and you can be very very sure that the people will rise up to do what's right. I have to believe the American people do not reflect the majority. I have to believe that unlike the far right, the NRA, and the Republican presidential candidates, that we, the people, have empathy, have common-sense, and would go to the ends of the earth to keep our children safe. I don't underestimate the smarts of this country, I can't. This gun issue is too important, it's to pressing.
If, thirty years ago, Congress reacted the way I have delineated above, I would hope that we would have been outraged enough to kick them to the curb. In fact, history shows that that is indeed what happens to the naysayers. They get kicked to that imaginary curb. They are over thrown in the most democratic way. They are removed from their cushy office to make way for someone that reflects the times and the culture and the majority.
Civil rights were a given. Seat belts and car safety were obvious. Helmets keep children from unnecessarily dying while joy riding to their local playgrounds. Common sense told us to feed our infants safe and nutritional formula. And when facts showed that their was a drunk driving epidemic, those in charge--those put in charge by the very people at risk of being harmed by that drunk driving-- stepped up to make solid changes.
If you are reading this, I urge you to do a common sense litmus test on the politicians you want to vote for. Let's only populate our the seats in our government with those who are empathetic, logical, fact-driven, and who will look in your eyes and tell you that it's time to do the obvious, to bring back common sense, to stand up for our children and promise to change the gun laws in our country.