Q. How can the NRA yield so much power? Is it possibile that American people can witness silently monthly shooting of kids?
A. Alberto, the biggest dilemma with the republicans now is that after the 2010 elections they gerrymandered all the districts to give them advantage in winning with die hard base voters who are pro guns, white republican base and largely rural and uneducated. But this is a double edge sword because while the are now largely safe in their districts they cannot go against the gun lobby as they would be primaried by more extreme right wing candidates. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place with immigration, health care and gun control. And the base is so uneducated and stupid that they continuously vote against the basic interests. This is the primary reason for the polarization on all issues and why republicans cannot support more centrist legislation. In more balance demographic districts it would be easy to go against the NRA. While it is a strong lobby that helps fund elections, that is not the main issue as you see that republicans cannot go against their base support. They have developed their own quagmire. But they will fall on their own sword when democrats take control in 2018. The Supreme Court is already reversing the arbitrary boundaries of congressional districts and hopefully the congress will start to function again. It is interesting that gerrymandering is seldom discussed as the primary reason for why government does not work, and only focuses on tangential issues.
Q. GOP will lose the elections in 2018 in spite of gerrymandering?
A. Yes, there are many districts there are still up for grabs, especially in California,- that will give democrats the majority in congress. special elections are showing that the tide is turning.
Q. So Republicans have locked in many districts also thru gerrymandering, but they are not enough to guarantee majority?
A. Many districts will never vote democrat. There are mostly rural, white and uneducated. But there are many and enough to swing the election that are in contention in 2010.
Q. If any GOP takes a centrist position he loses the primary in his district although in many cases he does not stand a chance to be elected, right?
A. Since the republican party is now in majority, and paul ryan the speaker, he will not put legislation to a vote that does not have majority republican support. So while there maybe legislation for gun control that could pass on bi-partisan bases, that legislation will not be taken up unless he changes the rules of congress.
Moreover it’s more than the NRA. Of course the NRA is a powerful lobby that contributes a lot of money to politicians and that conducts large and powerful advertising campaigns. But these are particularly effective tools because of a wide spread and deeply felt anarchism among a lot of American citizens. A speaker at any event who opens his remarks by saying something like: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” is sure to get a laugh. The notion that government is the enemy, that it wants to strangle individuals and suck their blood is nourished in movies and in much of the media. Think of the audience of Fox News. It’s the biggest news audience. Fox actively promotes the notion that “guns don’t kill people. Rather people kill people.” It argues that the government wants to take your guns away from you so that it can impose more stupid regulations and control your life. Think of Clint Eastwood movies, particularly his cowboy and western movies. There couldn’t be a Clint Eastwood without guns. You act like or make yourself feel like the star of a Clint Eastwood movie without guns. Then marry that kind of emotion and thinking with a highly diverse and economically unequal population that has virtually no social safety net and that has mostly lost a Christian faith that served both as a unifying and pacifying element, and you have a breeding ground for continual violence. Having said that, I do have some hope that this latest incident might be the last straw. The reaction so far to this last massacre, is much stronger than anything I have seen before. And we have an election coming up in the fall. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there might be some hope for change. I’m wondering if Obama and W (Bush) might team up to force some strong change effort. Anyhow, keeping fingers crossed.