Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility
Today, Sen. Diane Feinstein introduced a bill, more than a year in the making, that would ban a range of assault weapons and ammunition magazines larger than 10 rounds, saying that we “need to stop the sale of military-grade weapons for mass murder.”
Knowing that the bill faces an uphill battle and stiff opposition from the NRA (which contributes to many politicians), Feinstein appealed to the people to back the bill by calling, emailing and organizing their representatives to back it.
At almost the same time, President Obama appointed Mary Jo White as the permanent replacement for Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, thereby putting one of the toughest prosecutors of white collar crime in charge of Wall Street.
You can’t win big battles by pussyfooting around, and both the NRA and Wall Street lobbyists have been working relentlessly to ensure that Washington never mounts a serious challenge. To their twisted thinking, an assault weapon in every hand is a security blanket, and Wall Street executives who manage to bend the laws to steal from the rest of us are merely playing by the rules.
What isn’t mentioned in this argument is that the rules have been warping in favor of the NRA and Wall Street for many years, in spite of mountains of evidence that they are causing irreparable damage to our nation, our economy, even our children.
When the ruling class makes the rules, everyone loses.
But if we, as a people, work together in loud support of our President and our more enlightened representatives, we can put an end to the twisted fear games of the NRA and Wall Street. We can make our streets safer and our homes more secure.
We’re trying to get to a place where children can go to school and get an education without ever having to walk past a military-grade weapon; where average Americans can work and live in prosperity, without fear of an economic meltdown that will take their jobs and their homes, only to enrich the wealthiest few individuals in the nation.
And in order to get there, you and I have to stand together with the President, with the majority of Congress, against the monied and powerful interests of Wall Street and the paranoid delusion of the NRA.
But if we are silent, if we lose the will to stand for peace and prosperity, we will have – at this very juncture – allowed our nation to slip into a tyranny of violence and organized financial crime. A tyranny that will, by its very nature, split our nation into those who have, and those whose very lives are at risk.
And do not be fooled by your own imaginings. Unless you are the vice president or better of a major company, unless you have to keep a private phone number so recruiters will stop calling, you’re just not among those who have.
Yes, there will always be risk.
But you cannot move toward a better society by falling back in fear of those who would peddle weapons to criminals and madmen.
A nation in progress moves forward, never back.