28 May 2014
Let's Go to Washington for Gun Control
A shooting rampage. Senseless deaths. Moral outrage. Opposing teams on their own side of the 2nd Amendment barricades. And then the vast, amorphous medium of nothingness swallows any hope of meaningful legislation. Until the next time, when those granted the blessing of time are robbed of their time by another outburst of powder, lead and steel.
We keep signing petitions. Tweeting our elected officials. Expressing our anger wherever we can. But you know what I know what we all know: Nothing happens until we throw the bums out. Remove from office those officials and representatives who will not have the courage to stand up for a proper and moral and historically accurate understanding of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. As Michael Waldman has been arguing in his description of the House debates of 1789--225 years ago!--"Twelve congressman joined the debate. None mentioned a private right to bear arms self-defense, hunting or for any purpose other than joining the militia." Individual rights, he noted, have trumped the public good of self-defense.
Truly Originalist readers of the U.S. Constitution know this. Paradoxically, it will rely upon citizens like us to restore the Framers' original intent in order to pass the laws necessary to save future lives that, with our unforgivable inaction, will continue to be lost.
Michael Bloomberg, upon leaving office as Mayor of New York City, has vowed to invest millions of his own personal wealth in the cause of removing from office those who won't pass strong gun control and replacing them with legislators who will.
Let's start with a March on Washington. Too young to be present for the 1963 March on Washington for Civil Rights, I was old enough to be present in 1987 with 250,000 others to help free Soviet Jewry. I occupied the state capitol in Madison to support divestment and end Apartheid in South Africa. A rally won't do it but it's a start.
Our synagogue in Brooklyn has 1000 families. That's more than 3000 people. I bet we could get several hundred people to spend a day Washington, DC, filling the National Mall, walking the halls of Congress, and standing on the steps of the Supreme Court and letting those justices and elected officials know that the time for meaningful gun control is now.
So what do you say Michael Bloomberg, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Brady Campaign, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence? Are my elected officials listening? If we need to come closer to tell you, we will happily oblige. My hand is on the phone. The buses are coming.
Are we doing this or not?
I'm ready. Are you?