Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

Twisted Round
AJ Robinson

Recent actions by Republican lawmakers have me all twisted around, as they don’t make any sense. See what you think. Several states have passed the single most Draconian laws regarding the regulation of voting rights. Yet, there is no need for these laws. Some lawmakers and conservative pundits claim the reason is very simple: there’s widespread voter fraud and it is undetected.

I’m sorry, but that’s an oxymoron. If something is undetected, then, by definition, no one knows that it is taking place. If that’s the case, then how can they claim it is widespread? Now, I’ve heard of complaints of voter fraud, and the investigations into these allegations. Based on independent studies, there is something like a one-hundredth of one-percent incidents of actual voter fraud. Seems to me, this is not a problem needing much attention.

If anything, voting should be easier to do. Why in the world would anyone worry about fraud? Even assuming people would engage in voting fraud, if they could, think about what would be involved in doing it on a widespread basis. It would require one of two scenarios: either a small group of people would have to have a great many phony IDs or a huge number of people would have to have a couple. Either way, does anyone seriously think a group could pull off such a stunt? Would the staff at the polling places not recognize the same people coming back, repeatedly? Ah, of course, they’d wear disguises! Oh, or maybe they’d travel across the state voting at multiple polling stations.

Does that sound remotely feasible?

Yet, there’s another issue crying out for regulation: guns and this is what gets me all twisted around. While voter fraud is virtually non-existent, rampant gun violence has become almost a daily event. Poll after poll shows many people, even ardent gun owners, want some basic common sense guns laws.

None passed. If anything, the laws are laxer, all at the urging of the gun industry. Then, every few months or so, we get a new tragedy, a new mass shooting at a school, movie theater or some other place. I have friends in other countries, thank goodness for the Internet and they remain mystified by our nation’s attitude toward guns. The recent shooting of an Australian baseball player has saddened many of them, as they see it as just one more example of the unbridled violence of America.

It really is a pity we can’t get the politicians to twist things around the other way. Would that they put as much effort into gun control as they do voter control, we might all be a lot safer. I know the gun nuts go on and on about their Second Amendment rights, but I’ve always believed that responsibilities come along with rights. It would be nice to see them exercise them!

Let’s not forget, we also have a right to vote. So, why is the trampling of that right considered okay, while the tiniest limits placed on guns seen as virtual heresy?

As I said, twisted round are out priorities.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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