Pistol gun laying on top of medical mask in concept for dangers faced by front line medical personnel. (Backyard Productions/Stock Images.) Courtesy of the Missouri Independent.
Whether driven to hang on to power, have access to money, or intoxicated by fame—when politicians say and do things that hurt and harm the people for their personal gain, it is greed of the most grievous kind.
Greed? Yes, greed. Greed has many faces and is manifested in many ways.
Whatever form of greed is in play, it fosters and protects selfish interests no matter what principles and laws are bent or broken, and no matter what negligence and harm are inflicted on others.
A pattern and practice of wanton and reckless greed can be seen in the actions of some politicians in the halls of Congress and in state capitols across America.
If greed of one kind or the other is not the driving force, what else explains the utter and unmistakable harm, even death, that continues to occur in two areas so critical to the health and safety of the American public:
- Getting the coronavirus under control; and
- Stopping preventable carnage and deaths by guns
How many more people need to suffer and die in both of these areas because of misguided legislative measures, or the absence of passing any meaningful legislation at all.
When did politicians gain the required knowledge to overrule what the scientific and medical communities have determined, based on facts and research, to be the best measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus?
Other than selfish political interests, what could motivate politicians to work against people wearing masks, getting vaccinated and practicing social distancing—even in the face of increasing rates of infection and death?
What audacity! What hubris! What dereliction of duty!
Furthermore, politicians are spending taxpayers’ money going to court to promote measures that will harm taxpayers’ health and wellbeing rather than protect it. It is happening in Missouri and in other states across the nation.
These same politicians see hospitals and healthcare workers unable to keep up with, or adequately care for, the unvaccinated COVID-infected patients crowding their emergency rooms and hallways, and families recounting the pain of losing loved ones. Have those politicians no conscience? Have they no shame?
But then, wanton greed has no conscience, nor shame.
For those politicians who persist in fighting data-driven science and good public health measures, what is the end game? Simply to get re-elected, to save their political careers.
How many more Americans need to fall ill, many with long-haul health issue for the rest of their lives; and how many more need to die? The current numbers of infections and deaths in the U.S. are staggering—more than any other country.
The people need to demand that politicians, who are fighting what is in the best interest of public health, stay in their lane. They should be passing public policies and measures that protect and promote public health, using the best facts and experts available do them.
Do you see scientists and medical professionals challenging or trying to undo state laws and the Constitution?
Politicians, please stay in your lane.
Then there is what seems to be the never-ending nightmare of random gun violence, where innocent unsuspecting victims are wounded or killed just going about their daily lives.
One would have thought that the all-too-frequent school shootings, where children are massacred by another child who gained access to a semi-automatic gun, would be a call to action. Whether the shooter has underlying mental health issues or succumb to a moment of rage, the paramount question is: How did he/she get access to a military style gun?
After the Sandy Hook school shooting that occurred nearly 10 years ago, many thought that the killing of twenty 6-year-olds would finally get politicians to pass meaningful gun control measures. The Columbine carnage that occurred more than a decade earlier had failed to do so.
Since both of those horrendous incidents, school shootings have become even more frequent. The most recent at a high school in Michigan, which highlights the loopholes in responsible gun ownership, and what happens when mental illness is present—a toxic and deadly mix that could have been prevented.
As a society we cannot come to expect school shootings or become numb to them. Since Columbine, there have been 305 school shootings—an average of more than one school shooting per month.
In addition to school shootings, random gun violence is perpetrated on shoppers in malls, grocery stores, even worshippers seeking restorative peace in churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Yet some politicians persist in using the Second Amendment to muddle the issue. They embrace and perpetuate campaigns to misinform and fuel public fears that there are efforts by the government to take away their right to own guns.
What is wrong with passing legislation that would regulate and enforce responsible gun ownership and usage nationwide? Other civilized and industrial nation have, and they do not have the same gun violence carnage as we do in America.
There are more guns in circulation—legally and illegally—than there are people in United States.
Some would argue there is more gun violence occurring on a daily basis in urban areas across America and that is the greatest problem. It is a great problem caused by many systemic and criminal ills. But that is no excuse for politicians not to do what they can to stem gun violence.
Politicians, passing gun control and safety measures is in your lane. Is your form of greed preventing you from doing so?
We elected politicians. Their number one priority should be to promote and protect public health and safety.
Whether dependent Americans continue to become ill and die because of misguided political interference when it comes to controlling and eradicating COVID, or whether unsuspecting Americans continue to be maimed or die by a crazed gunman with a semi-automatic gun, Americans continue to suffer needlessly.
What human costs are being inflicted because of political greed.
Will those politicians be held accountable? How?
This commentary was originally published by the Missouri Independent, an affiliate of the nonprofit States Newsroom, which include the Florida Phoenix.
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