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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/19/13

The Failure of Universal Background Checks is a Finger in the Eye.

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There is a saying in the East, "when the sage points to the moon, all the idiot sees is the finger".   And in America, the other finger is poking us in the eye, so we don't even see it, let alone the moon.  

For those who may be challenged by metaphor, in spite of the fact that we have many sages (smart people) there are those (people with other agendas) who are distracting us by telling us to watch the finger (unimportant   issues).   Then they use another finger to poke us in the eye before we can see the moon (the moon being "the important issue").

I know, it's a long way around to say that we are being distracted from "what's really going on" by unimportant issues.   

As an example, how about a Senate elected by the people failing to pass a common sense law for background checks on all gun sales supported by 90 percent of Americans?

I see this as a symptom of what Andy Grove of Intel Corporation fame, called an "inflection point".   Think of it as a turning point. When a profound change is at hand.   Profound change can be positive or negative.

From a piece titled The Senate Ignored Us, from the ThinkProgress War Room, on April 18, 2913 : "To put this in perspective, Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi (R) and John Barrasso (R) both voted against the gun safety provision. Together, they represent a little more than half a million people. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D) and Barbara Boxer (D) both voted for gun safety. They represent over 38 million Americans. In other words, a voter in Wyoming enjoys 66 times as much representation in the Senate as a voter in California."

When the wishes of over 90 percent of the American people are ignored and those who refused to vote for the bill can offer no rational explanation, something must change. In this case, the finger is the failure of the Senate to pass a law. The moon: The current system no longer works. That's right. A Senate that empowers   a half million residents to out vote 38 million is dysfunctional in a representative democracy.

I voted for President Obama because I believed that he may have had the answers we needed.   I failed to take our dysfunctional system of government into consideration.   I missed the power that it had to resist any changes that he might have intended.  

And today, I admit I was dead wrong.   Not because I think Mr. Obama is anything other than what he claimed to be.   But because he too, misjudged the ethical contortions necessary to get even the simplest changes made in a system corrupted by the sheer power of money.

The national gun control debate that surrounds the second amendment is another finger pointing at the moon. The moon? We need to rewrite the second amendment to reflect modern times. An amendment written in a time when people couldn't even imagine the weapons of today and   allows over 30,000 gun related deaths a year is no longer relevant.

Our love of our guns comes with an enormous price. And while we distract ourselves with sensationalized unimportant issues, the carnage continues and the Washington game goes on uninterrupted.   We're losing and the background check failure is just the latest evidence that we really have no players in the game.

The power of money, GOP electoral vote rigging, two senators per state regardless of   population size, the swinging door between top corporate executives and high level governmental positions, and all the fingers pointing at the moon. Confused? Yep, me too. Still convinced we live in a representative democracy? No way!

Robert DeFilippis      



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Author, columnist, and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I've authored and published eight books: "You, Your Self and the 21st Century,"The Flowers Are Talking to Me," and "Faith (more...)

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