Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Politicians keep promises

Jerry Stratton, March 23, 1996

The Ugly Gun Ban repeal made its way through the House of Representatives yesterday, and is on its way to an ignominious death in the Senate or by the Presidential veto pen.

The news media, of course, are calling for an end to civilization as we know it. The NRA Gun Lobby has taken over the pristine halls of politics.

What the media seem to honestly not realize is that the “NRA Gun Lobby” is nothing more than three and a half million voters. The politicians do know it. Politicians don’t fear guns. Politicians have their own armed guards, and whenever they write gun control laws, they make sure their armed guards are exempted. What politicians fear are informed voters.

That’s why the newspapers and the politicians are running scared. The Internet is running an end run around their stranglehold on information. They are used to control, and they know they’re losing it. Fortunately for us, they don’t know what to do about it, so they’re resorting to the same old tactic of fear. This tactic loses its power when folks from the hinterlands can talk over a cup of coffee with folks from the inner city.

We saw them running scared earlier this year with the “Communications Decency Act”. The omnibus “Telecommunications Reform Act” didn’t pass in spite of the Internet censorship provisions. It passed because of it. The Internet promises to make newspapers as useful as a hole in your head, and it promises to bring politicians back under the control of the people they’re supposed to be serving.

There’s little question that the Ugly Gun Ban will remain in force. You never know, of course: three and a half million voters can do quite a bit when they put their mind to it; and neither Clinton nor Feinstein support banning guns. They support staying in power, first, and gaining power, second. They’ll take whatever steps are necessary to do so. If that means supporting the second amendment, they’ll find some other way to suck power towards themselves. But it takes longer for the Senate to adapt than for the House to adapt, and the Senate is still trying to live by the old rules.

You can see how scared they are of the voter when you listen to them speak of the National Rifle Association. The newspaper editorials today spoke in derogatory terms of the vote as a “payback” to the NRA, of representatives forced to “keep a promise” to the Gun Lobby.

When did keeping promises to voters become a bad thing?

The NRA is three and a half million voters. If you’re not a member, a close friend or relation is. When’s the last time your representative actually kept a promise to someone you know? This is a new era in politics.

Even the politicians who kept their promise are going to do their level best to make sure they never have to do that again.

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