Members of Congress have been hearing that line plenty of times plenty during the August recess, and since those horrific mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
Now that Congress is back in business, the volume has been turned up a few notches for representatives and senators to “do something” to end these senseless mass shootings and make our country a safer place.
Trouble is, there’s no clear consensus over what can be done — or whether a government solution is even possible. The creative thinkers on Capitol Hill — who can’t seem to agree on the color of the sky on a given day — have yet to figure out a way to effectively legislate against crazy. Killing people is against the law, but the crazies ignore that, too.
“We’ve gotten some of these calls (to do something), and people are crying out,” said Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher. “Everybody hurts when these shootings happen, and I hurt too. If I felt confident that I could solve it, or we could solve it, then I’d be all in. But it’s more complicated than that.”
There is no simple solution. During a recent visit to Washington, I asked Idaho Sen. Jim Risch if he could draft such a bill. “I’m not a magician. I couldn’t do it, and I don’t know anybody who could,” he said. “We have a constitutional provision, and it was so important to our Founding Fathers that they included it in the Bill of Rights.”
Idaho’s congressional delegation is hardly the place to start talking about gun control. All four Republicans are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment, and an endorsement from the National Rifle Association is like money in the bank in terms of getting votes. They win elections by healthy margins partly — if not largely — because of their views on guns. The members might be open to a watered-down measure that makes it appear that Congress is “doing something,” but not at the expense of bruising relations with the NRA. That’s no criticism of the congressional delegation … it’s just Politics 101 in Idaho.
But there is one area where Idaho Republicans can line up with the gun-control advocates.
Author: Chuck Malloy
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