It’s going to be the ugliest, most vicious presidential election ever. That’s what the pundits are all saying now that the two major party’s “presumptive” candidates are in place: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Rage and polarization are much on the expert minds of Mike Gerson of the Washington Post and Washington University Law Professor John Inazu. They met recently at Washington University to discuss Inazu’s new book, “Confident Pluralism.”
Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, who introduced the professorial pair, noted Inazu’s book is a call for us to be more tolerant, willing to listen and to respect those with whom we disagree.
Inazu said we should seek areas where we can concur and find common ground, such as everyone’s right to clean water. Really? We can agree on this? Can you say Flint, Michigan?
I know folks now who don’t trust or expect government to provide clean water. They only drink bottled water from private companies. If you can’t afford to filter your water or buy it bottled, well, “them’s the breaks.”
I would like to believe we can find agreement on water purity and other issues. Then I think of what our state legislature foists on us annually with its fealty to the gun lobby.
I can recall when my Republican friends in the statehouse overrode Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of a concealed weapons bill. They assured me there was no cause for alarm. This was all that would be passed – and all that was needed – to satisfy those feeling a need to be armed for safety sake.
Since then, our lawmakers have had bills for open-carry, for arming teachers, for carrying guns on college campuses, for prohibiting any gun restrictions by local jurisdictions and for nullifying all federal gun laws.
Common ground? Good luck with that, especially in Missouri.
Kudos to the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. On June 2, they rallied for common sense and common ground on guns at Art Hill in Forest Park.
The Moms protested Missouri Senate bill, SB656, the latest atrocity that decriminalizes carrying weapons into places where guns are prohibited; that allows lifetime concealed-carry permits; that expands the right to use weapons over perceived threats.
The latest mass murder – this time in Orlando, Fla. – puts another item on the Moms’ agenda besides SB656 in our own state legislature. When will our U.S. Congress act to keep high-tech guns out of the hands of those with troubled, low-tech minds?
Americans favor more background checks on gun sales and an end to sale of assault weapons by a wide margin. There is real common ground. If you want to know why lawmakers don’t act on our behalf, go look at their gun lobby gifts at nracongress.com.
If you want common sense on guns, go to the Moms meeting at 7 p.m., July 7, at the Webster Groves Public Library. But forget going to our state or nation’s capital if you are in search of common sense or common ground.