Monday, April 1, 2013

(Politics) Leslie Graham on gun bill: Why Republicans are about to square up against 90% of the country

Republicans have gained a well-earned reputation of  being the ‘party of no’  to its detriment and with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham stating his opposition to universal background checks , it may be become terminal.

Graham and indeed the GOP voting or filibustering universal background checks represents bad political strategy and near assured political suicide as according to a poll carried out by CBS and the New York Times, “ninety-two percent of Americans favour background checks for all potential gun buyers”[1]. The support for universal background checks is widespread crossing “party lines” as  “89 percent of Republicans and 93 percent of Democrats and independents were in favor, as well as 93 percent of gun households and 85 percent of those living in a household with a member of the National Rifle Association.”[2]

There is rarely, if ever, this extent of agreement on any issue in American politics or anywhere else in the world but the GOP look set to fight the Democrats and indeed the nation as universal background checks will be part of a gun bill to be introduced to the senate this month a number of Republicans have already stated their intent to oppose.

Graham stated the reason behind his opposition to the widely popular gun control measure on CNN citing that he thought that current laws in place were not being “enforced” thus the introduction of new laws buffering them would be unnecessary[3]. Graham also revealed his preference for further debate regarding “improving the system” but in light of pain still fresh from the sandy hook massacre that took place at the tail end of last year, many feel the time for talk has met the water’s edge of substantial legislative action[4].

While Gun control legislation will grip Washington this month, the larger debate that will have to take place is why a major political party is prepared to take on over ninety percent of Americans and answer is simple, there is a lot of money to be made in the sale and distribution of guns.

With the US gun industry being worth $33 billion and the employer of an incredible 220,000 Americans, Guns are going nowhere anytime soon as along as it has a demand so high the world’s largest gun manufacturer (United States) has to import guns to meet it[5]. If these numbers weren’t enough spell out why the GOP are prepared to stand against the whole country is that guns are more cultural artefact than anything else. It is hard to imagine an America were guns are properly regulated as even supporters of a gun control solution own guns as well as their opponents.

In sum, while Republicans will be committing political suicide by squaring up against the democrats and the majority of the country on universal background checks, The GOP can take solace in the fact that the proliferation of guns in America will continue whether they are against gun control or not.

[1] S.Dutton et al, 2013,  9 in 10 back universal gun background checks,
[2] Ibid
[3] J.Easely, 2013, Graham:senate gun bill ‘going nowhere’,
[4] Ibid
[5] G. Hall, 2013,  Stubborn Facts: The Gun Industry employs twice as many Americans as GM (and that’s just the beginning),

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