A letter was sent to US Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) regarding The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. That legislation has little to do with defending or protecting the rights of law abiding citizens. It is about the union of an appalling political strategy, that for decades has successfully exploited racial conflict for votes, and corporate profits. An agenda that will, perhaps sooner than later, exact a price at the polls.
That some lives matter more than others is evidenced when the well-documented shortfall in African-American life expectancy is translated into millions of premature deaths. The loss of life to grossly disproportionate gun violence in the African-American community is but a minor contributor to the broader effects of racial discrimination. With our current knowledge of factors that adversely affect health and thus life, has the plight of our African-American community crossed the threshold of being declared a crime against humanity?
With two separate human rights committees declaring this year that rampant gun violence in the United States constitutes a violation of our government’s duty to protect life, gun violence finds itself as being but one member in a family of related disorders in our country. It is beyond coincidence that all disproportionately affect the same victims and that all are fostered by the same hateful and discriminatory ideology held on the political right. Although other members of this family claim far more lives than does gun violence, it is the dramatic and highly publicized nature of major gun violence events that raises public outrage as well as tens of millions of dollars in funding. Our country now has the demography to weaponize human rights in our political process. And gun violence prevention, with its resources and political connections, can accomplish much more than just its own cause, and far more quickly, by simply changing its focus.
The GOP’s decision to reinstate tax cut policy in 2001 exposed their hand. It was not about deficit reduction, growing the economy, or job creation. It was about ideology and, no doubt, special interests. It was a backdoor approach where government revenue was cut in an attempt to curtail spending on popular programs they otherwise could not take head-on. This while obstructing the work of Congress, spinning a web of deceit about the benefits of their policy, and weakening our country’s financial standing. It’s time to play hardball during ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and force them to be specific about what spending cuts they are talking about to offset the tax benefits they wish to preserve for the wealthiest. They wouldn’t have the nerve.