What happens when they’re not aiming at the target they say they are?

2 targets
Arrow shooting, a photo by screenpunk on Flickr.

The other day I was having an email back-and-forth with a political analyst.

In the last email I sent, I pulled together some of my Facebook rantings from the last couple weeks:

On gun control and other legislative adventures, here is what I propose as the standards for Congressional action.

If you’re Congress and you’re thinking of passing a particular piece of legislation, ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Is it constitutional? (If not, stop.)
  2. Is the problem you’re seeking to solve a) a federal issue or b) more effectively solved by the states? (If “b,” stop and defer to the states.)
  3. Is it necessary? (If not, stop.)
  4. Will it work (will it actually solve the problem you’re claiming you want to solve)? (If not, stop until you have something that will work.)

Politicians are addicted to appearances. It is far easier for them to pretend to accomplish things than to enlighten voters. They love to be seen as acting to solve some crisis and for their opposition to be seen undermining solutions.

In my (very ardent) opinion, any law passed that is either unneeded, won’t work, or has unintended consequences undermines the Constitution whether the Constitution technically allows it or not.

In this case, no champion of the various legislative solutions offered yesterday claimed any of them would have prevented Newtown. Especially in the area of background checks.

And since Newtown was the catalyst for this “national conversation,” and preventing another Newtown was the supposed purpose of this debate, then the whole thing was a sham.

Which is bad for representative democracy and undermines the Constitution.

What do YOU think? (Not so much about the issue at hand—gun control—but the whole idea of what Congress should and shouldn’t be working on.)


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