Veronica Roberts

Are you as sick of our politicians in Washington as I am? I have a feeling you are if Congress’ low approval rating is any indication. So what are we going to do about it?

Americans can effect monumental change, and we have the history to prove it. We can whip the powers that be into shape when we want to. If users can scare social networks like Instagram into backpedaling from attempting to sell their pics without their consent and for a profit, then we are capable of demanding better from our politicians.

If a verbal stampede as well as real boots-on-the-ground marches and protests can push President Barack Obama to finally visit violence-torn Chicago, where the death toll from gun crimes after teen Hadiya Pendleton was killed in January reached about 550 in just 13 months, then we have more power than we know or use.

If the masses’ outrage at Rutgers coach Mike Rice’s abusive treatment of basketball players can get him fired, as well as cause others culpable to step down, then we can catapult change in other areas of our society.

If we can get riled up over certain issues like Instragram, why can’t we let our politicians in Washington know we are disgusted with their inaction, partisan and special interest pandering and downright ineptness?

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is not only patting himself on the back for his drones filibuster, he has used it to help him with fundraising. Some have even called the stunt a sham based on lies.

Now 14 other Republicans, impressed by Paul’s holding his bladder for an impressive amount of hours while pandering to C-SPAN over something that was a non-issue, are planning their version. They are threatening to filibuster any and all gun legislation.

What exactly do these politicians think the people hired them to do—grandstand and fight for special interest groups? Our lawmakers have gotten so drunk on limitless power that they now think the purpose of Congress is to play party politics, work for their rich campaign donors and lobbyists and secure their careers.

While a few states are trying to work on gun reform in the wake of the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary, Congress is working hard to keep the status quo.

A ban on assault-type weapons is all but dead in the Senate, and though a variation of it was passed, universal background checks are out the door as well. They have not even raised the issue of “big pharma” and their cocktail of psychotropic drugs being an explosive part of America’s mass murders by guns.

However, even if we take the disturbing massacres out of the equation, it is the reasonable solution to have background checks on anyone who wishes to purchase a weapon. We have to go through hoops to purchase and operate a motor vehicle, but gun nuts like NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and some Republican lawmakers think it is inconvenient to know who is purchasing a gun.

Parts of the Second Amendment are being used to bolster the National Rifle Association’s argument of gun rights and parts are being conveniently ignored because it defeats the disingenuous rationale of gun reform equaling infringement on our rights.

The Second Amendment as passed by the Congress said:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

As ratified by the states and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Which part of “well-regulated” is ambiguous or hard to understand?

So this myopic aversion of the NRA and fellow gun advocates to gun reform and background checks is baffling. Unless, of course, control, power, avarice and money are at the root of the insanity.

Which brings me to the heart of the matter: Why do we keep insane, greedy, power-hungry politicians in Washington?

Our political system has given too much power to our elected officials. For the people, by the people, of the people is no longer working effectively, because it has slipped into “of the politicians, for their special interest groups, by the lobbyists and the very powerful and rich.”

Again, what are we going to do about it?

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