What is Preventing Congress from Passing Sensible Gun Reform?

Who is Congress (Collectively Speaking) “Beholding to?”

By DL White

First, let me define the word “Beholding” in the context it is being used in. 

Beholding is an “idiom,” meaning it is a phrase/word not found in the dictionary or encyclopedia, however, it is word used often and commonly by individuals of past generations and era’s (1890s – 1930s).

If you have a grand or great-grand parent that lived in the South, or possibly even the mid-west they would understand this word and would have said something like, “Not to be beholding to anyone!” (Not to be indebted or obligated to anyone).

Beholding in that far-gone era, meant, not being obligated. The term might have been used to show appreciation as well, following a kind act, ie, “I am beholding to you.” Or in the form of a warning as noted, “Now don’t you go off and put you in a position to be beholding to anyone,” a parent or elder might have warned.

That brings us to the point, and begs the question, “Who is Congress” or more specifically, “Who is the GOP ‘beholding to’ that they do not have the courage to pass sensible gun reform?”

America has an issue that is too often associated and acquainted with mental illness. America is not the only country with individuals experiencing mental illness; however, America does have more guns and assault weapons per capita than three other countries combined. While there has been numerous campus shootings from the 1960s Texas Clock Tower shooter on the University of  Texas campus; to the merciless shooting of students at Virginia Tech to the many high school shootings across the country, nothing seemed to stir the consciousness of the often majority GOP House and Senate.

Then came Sandy Hook (2012), when an individual entered the Elementary School in board daylight with an assault rifle and pulled of numerous rounds leaving 26 individuals dead (mostly third & fourth graders) along with six teachers. President Barak Obama, known for keeping his cool in the midst of GOP and ultra-conservative banter during State of the Union speeches or at other times, became livid.

“Every time I think about those kids I get mad, angry, that we (speaking collectively) have done nothing to address gun reform in this country.” Obama said, wiping away tears.

Again, this begs the question, “who is Congress ‘beholding to’ that Senator Mitch McConnell, in his role as the Majority Whip or Minority Whip, will not support sensible gun reform?The immediate and quick response is the NRA (National Rifle Association). A strong lobbying group that has changed the outlook of gun ownership in America over the past 30 years.

In March of 1981, a Secret Service agent by the name of James Brady shielded then President Ronald Reagan from an assassination attempt, Congress moved swiftly to enact the Brady Bill. In 2018, Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, was the scene of a deadly attack as a student equipped with an AR-15 and pipe bombs, lashed out killing (17) students and injuring an additional (17) before being taken into custody.  No doubt the 2016 deadly attack at the Pulse Night Club, coupled with Parkland stirred the consciousness of many. As a result of the public outcry and student protest, then Florida Governor Rick Scott and the legislature moved to enact “Red Flag” laws strengthening gun reform in the state, raising the age for an individual to purchase a gun and calling for stiffer gun laws. 

Fast-forward to May 24, 2022, at approximately 11:27 am (MST) the often quiet and quaint community, the birth place of television star and University of Texas No. 1 fan Matthew McConaughey, was interrupted by a lone-gunner, who enacted shear horror on unsuspecting third and fourth grade student’s only days before the final day of school.

It appears this senseless act has stirred Congress and the nation to act. 

In Texas, a rural Red state quick to pass Abortion laws telling women what they could and could not do with their own bodies, and which opened quickly during the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and who’s Governor often speaks out on any sensible reform, a change was in the wind. A pro gun/Second Amendment group called on the Texas legislation to enact stricter gun laws (in Texas) and to support gun reform nationally.

Senator Cornyn, who is the chief negotiator for the GOP in gun reform talks flatly stated, “It is not going to happen!”………..Wait Senator, your constituents are speaking up. Cornyn, very much like his colleagues on that side of the isle knows who butter and toast his bread. The GOP actually understands who gives them the bread…….Shameless!

Elected officials should be “Beholding” to their constituents. While congressional and legislative district are often large and diverse, once elected, the Congresswoman or man (same for the Legislature) should be “Beholding” to all of their constituents…….

The GOP/Republican party for the past 25-30 years has made it a point to refute and not discuss at any length gun reform. They have their marching orders from the NRA, and they have quivered and done nothing. Nothing after Sandy Hook, nothing after church, and school shootings from the east to the west and north to the south, nothing. 

However, now in 2022, following the brutal and senseless murder of children yet again, Congress is standing (somewhat) to address the issue as noted by Democrats and Republican caucuses. There are still those “Beholding” to the NRA and attempting to stone-bag the attempt. In one session, a Republican voiced the usual talking points, “Gun reform infringes on the Second Amendment Rights of US Citizens,”…….. Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, responded, “You want to know who the lack of Gun Reform infringes on? All of those defenseless children murdered, and butchered in their classrooms by someone caring an assault weapon. Stop with all the BS, it is past time to do something!? 

Will Congress finally act sensible gun reform? It depends on who they are “Beholding to?”

 Next: The real power lives in the VOTE! If Congress is “Beholding to” the NRA, Vote’Em Out!!!

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