We have to do something about this. There are some commonsense things that most gun owners and most non-gun owners actually agree on, and we haven’t been able to get it done. Why? The gun lobby.
Arguably, the greatest barrier to making progress on so many issues comes down to the power of the special interests. Think about what the oil and gas industry have done to stop efforts to tackle climate change, or the power of Big Pharma on drug prices. The gun lobby is arguably the most powerful of all special interests.
The gun lobby’s mere ability to stifle any reasonable efforts toward tackling the epidemic of gun violence is the greatest obstacle we face in dealing with gun safety and strong policing of existing laws. When it is able to implement a 22-year long freeze on the CDC’s ability to study the problem from a public health standpoint, it is preventing us from even having an informed starting point for discussions.
As a nation, we desperately need to have a conversation about guns. Beyond common sense measures Congress should have enacted long ago, like background checks, we need an honest conversation about what we are willing to tolerate as a nation. We also need senators who have some credibility from both sides of this debate, who haven’t sold their political soul to the special interests, and who respect rural culture and its unique relationship on this issue.