Pretending To Do Something Is Better Than Doing Nothing At All
A handful of House Democrats staged a protest in the well of the House Chambers on Wednesday to demand action on gun control measures that Republicans say would violate due process rights.
Nearly three dozen Democrats, our own Bill Keating among them, staged a sit-in in the well of the House of Representatives to demand a vote on a controversial bill that would ban weapons sales to individuals on the terror watch list. Republican and some Democrats argue the bill is a violation of due process rights. When the group's mics and the TV cameras were shut off they got off the floor and stood for a while longer before dispersing.
The Democrats have seized the attack on Pulse in Orlando by a radical Muslim to advance their case against gun ownership rather than focus on the real problem of how the attack was able to occur in the first place. The attacker, 29 year old Omar Mateen had been on the FBI's radar screen for a while yet was able to legally buy a gun when the agency dropped the ball, despite warnings. It also detracts from the fact that Attorney General Loretta Lynch concedes that law enforcement has lost track of Mateen's wife, who was quite possibly a collaborator in the attack. Nobody thought to bring her in for questioning or at least monitor her whereabouts.
Had the bill in question been law Mateen would not have even been on the watch list as the FBI had already lost interest in him. And that leads me to this question, who decides who is placed on the "no fly, no buy" list and how do you get your name removed if you are not a terrorist?
This legislation as well as the sit-in are about showmanship in an election year. The Congress, whose approval rating is at an all time low with the public, should focus instead on ways to make the public safe by giving authorities the power they need to prevent future attacks rather than grandstanding...or sitting as the case may be.