Jim Crawford: Ignoring the people’s will

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 7, 2023

Last week, on the heels of yet another senseless gun mass murder tragedy, our nationally-elected Republicans said they could do nothing to stop the brutal murdering of our innocent children, or that no laws would prevent what is an America-only murderous gun fixation. 

They are wrong. The truth is much simpler; Republicans have embraced their 2nd Amendment extremism over our babies’ lives, and that alone has prevented rational laws and restrictions from reducing these needless deaths. 

Nearly 80 percent of Americans want more responsible gun laws passed by Congress, but Republicans consider none — so the deaths continue, more families grieve the horrific losses and Republicans stand alone, offering “thoughts and prayers” while worshipping the gun culture in America. 

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It is a culture that provides two simple facts — the more guns, the more gun violence and the more gun deaths. The fewer restrictions imposed on firearms in the most “gun-friendly states” result in more murders per capita in those states.

If you want responsible gun regulations, if you want weapons of war out of the hands of civilians, then stop electing Republicans. 

On a wide host of issues across the political spectrum, your vote for Republicans is a vote to ignore the will of the people. 

But it is not just on gun laws that Republicans reject what Americans want and expect from their elected politicians. 

Consider the following: 

• On abortion: (Pew Research, 2022) 61 percent of Americans want abortion legal in most or all cases. Republicans in red states continue to make abortion a crime and further restrict women’s reproductive rights. 

• On Social Security and Medicare cuts: (Economist/You Gov/ 2023) 76 percent of Americans agree to increase taxes upon the wealthiest Americans to protect these programs. 70 percent oppose Republican plans to cut funding or boost the eligibility age. Yet Republicans reject these targeted increases in taxes to fund the popular programs. 

• On education: Republicans in states like Florida have once again decided that banning books in schools is a priority over educating our children about history, race and racism, criticism of the American experiment or knowledge of ideas Republicans dislike. In Florida, teachers may be fired if a student and parent complain about discussions on these “dangerous” topics. 

• On the environment: America has lost two decades of opportunity to protect the environment from carbon emissions, while Republicans denied climate change in the visible evidence of climate change. Only last year were Democrats in Congress, with modest Republican support, able to pass legislation that will encourage the development of wind and solar energy sources and advance battery technology. And still, Congressional Republicans argue, like their gun control positions, that we can do nothing to save the environment. 

• On gerrymandering: In Ohio, 75 percent of voters chose to end partisan gerrymandering only to have state Republicans ignore their votes and continue to gerrymander the state to their political benefit. Other red states, like Wisconsin, have made this practice a fine art, allowing minority rule over voter choices. 

On issue after issue, on the critical issues of the day, elected Republicans stand against the people and prevent the most impactful solutions of our time from becoming law. Only your vote can bring change. 

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.