Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., is the woman who got her seat in Congress when Jesse Jackson, Jr., got hauled off to federal prison, and one of her primary concerns as a member of the House of Representatives has been firearms.
She has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress when it comes to the need for federal restrictions on firearm ownership and combating the idea that the Constitution’s Second Amendment was intended to be an outright entitlement to all the arms one wishes to bear.
OF COURSE, THE Congress in recent years has been controlled by Republicans who actually believe the opposite and are prepared to fight off any efforts to impose sensible restrictions on deadly weapons.
Which means Kelly, from suburban Matteson, has been screaming into a vacuum, being ignored outright. That is, when her political opposition isn’t taking actions intended to show just how irrelevant they believe Kelly to be.
So it is in that context that I view the sit-in that members of the Democratic minority of the House of Representatives held this week to express their outrage with business as usual when it comes to laws regarding firearms.
Kelly wound up being one of the people who organized the tactic often used in the past to protest wrongs being done. Although it usually wasn’t members of Congress themselves who were able to see the wrong itself!
OF COURSE, PERHAPS it is the 300 people who have died in Chicago due to urban violence just this year alone (consider that we’re not even halfway through the year 2016 yet).
Although I found it intriguing that Kelly brought up before Congress the name of Ben Wilson. He was the Simeon High School basketball star who would have been the star of the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois back during the mid-1980s when I was in college.
Except that he got shot and killed during a street confrontation.
It’s as though this problem is a long-running one, and which we ought to be ashamed of ourselves as a society that we have allowed it to last for as many decades as it has.
“WHO HAS TO be shot, and how many have to die, before we do anything,” was the question that Kelly put rhetorically out to the Congress.
Which makes the comments of one member of Congress (from the South is all I’ll say of him) seem particularly dink-ish.
I’m talking about the one who said he’s proud to have a record in Congress that constantly supports opposing any restrictions on firearms, and how he’s inclined to respond to the sit-in by going home and buying himself a new weapon.
In the end, Congress wound up voting to go home for the Independence Day holiday. A break so they can hear and see all the explosives going off in the sky as a gesture of how much we supposedly love our country.
EVEN THOUGH IN some places, the very use of fireworks is a criminal act in and of itself.
But this is an issue that is bound to come up again after the holiday break, and could very well refuse to die off until after Election Day.
Which may be the ultimate goal of the Republican partisans – hold off on doing anything until after people vote.
The only problem is that the death tally due to irresponsible twits who feel compelled to take out their tantrums with firepower isn’t likely to decline anytime soon.