My representative in Congress, Jason Smith of Missouri's 8th, sent out a newsletter this week that was so full of self-serving hooey that it merits mention. The very junior Republican member of the House has been in office just three short years, yet in that time he has amassed nearly a million dollars in donations, much of it from lobbyists and corporations with vested interests in how he votes on various issues.
$3,000 of that money came from the 2014 donating cycle of the National Rifle Association.
Congressman Smith's newsletter led off with his disgust over this week's sit-in by Democratic members of the House as they tried to draw attention to the issue of easy access to guns in our society. Smith referred to the sit-in as a stunt and "polical theater," and he said that he was ashamed of the protest. He parroted his party's line about the problem being "radical Islamic terrorists," rather than guns.
What the Congressman failed to say - and where he missed the mark - was that one of his benefactors, the National Rifle Association, is fighting efforts that would prevent "terrorists" from acquiring guns. The NRA, which represents gun manufacturers far more than it does individual gun owners, wants everyone to be free to buy all the guns they desire: the good guys, the bad guys, and even the terrorists. Those show-boating Democrats sitting on the floor of Congress felt that people who are on the government "no fly" lists - people considered by the government to be potential terrorists - should be banned from buying guns.
Is that so radical, Congressman Smith? If you are truly incensed about "radical Islamic terrorists," as you claim to be, then why don't you man-up and put forth legislation that would ban potential terrorists from being able to buy guns? "No fly, no buy" Congressman.
Of course if you did that, the NRA would probably want its money back.