For me, Groundhog Day is Punxsutawney Phil … or the classic Bill Murray movie that has become the symbol for endless repetition. But this year it took on some frustrating new meanings. I see Phil and I think of Congress. An ominous black shadow labeled National Rifle Association falls over the Capitol dome — and our terrified little senators and representatives cower in its wake.
I think of Bill Murray’s movie and I am reminded that it has been 420 days since Newtown. Which means Congress has had 420 chances to act to make our children safer. When it comes to endless repetition, how can we top Congress’ failure to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally disturbed by doing a simple thing like expanding background checks? (By the way, this would do nothing to interfere with a law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment right to own a gun.)
In the 420 days of congressional gridlock since Newtown, another 33,000 American lives have been lost to gun violence, and more than 200 of them were children under 10. And we have had 36 more school shootings. Isn’t it time to rewrite the script? Maybe if we all call our senators and representatives every day we could convince them that our children’s right to life is more important than a criminal’s right to own a gun!