Stephen Anderson makes a very valid argument in his May 10 letter. As Mr. Anderson describes it, the NRA’s “no-holds-barred shutdown of any thoughtful gun regulation” may backfire on civilian gun owners by failing to seek compromise on sensible gun-control measures. I agree with his conclusion and see it as a very plausible outcome.
A key contributor to the NRA’s bold position is the malleable character of our elected officials.
The NRA, Planned Parenthood, the National Education Association and other large lobbying groups are emboldened by the behavior of elected officials that adopt these lobbyist’s extreme positions. Compromise and sensible legislation take a back seat to filling re-election campaign coffers.
Most people I speak with agree that there are areas to close gaps in existing gun regulations and also agree that abortion is a painful tragedy and not healthcare.
Most people I speak with agree that rules around teacher tenure hamper a school administrator’s ability to remove poorly performing teachers, leaving students to suffer the consequences. While the average citizen can see common sense solutions, our elected officials are unwilling to reach across the aisle for fear of losing lobbyist dollars and ultimately their re-election.
Until voters have the courage to elect candidates that are both willing to seek compromise toward the common good and have the ability to resist the temptations of lobbyists money, we will fail to achieve common sense legislation.
We must demand higher character and better behavior from our elected officials if we have any hope of breaking out of the malaise that we are in.