I watched a remarkable interview from American TV the other night. A guy called Lawrence O Donnell on his own show was interviewing the Republican Senator for Arizona a Mr. Franks about the shooting of the Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot along with others including 6 killed in Tucson Arizona by a mentally disturbed young man called Jared Loughner. The interview took an extraordinary and fascinating turn when O Donnell either in a planned way or inadvertently asked the Senator the following. "Would you have preferred this shooting incident to have happened in 2003 or today in 2011" he asked this question no less than 4 times and could not get Republican Senator Franks to answer it.
His refusal to answer such a simple; albeit slightly unusual question on such a grave and current incident caught my attention; I did some reading on this to try to see what was going on.
In 2003 the Democrats passed a law which made the maximum number of bullets which could be fired from an automatic weapon such as that used by the gunman 10, the Republicans later changed that law to increase the number of bullets from 10 to 31 so, Mr. Franks was being asked in a roundabout way "would you prefer the gunman to be able to fire 10 or 31 bullets?" a question which we in this country call 'a no brainer' yet the senator could not answer, the reason for his inability to answer?
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a hugely powerful organisation with massive political influence, they can make life very difficult for anyone who gets in their way and that includes politicians. They lobbied the Republicans to have the number of bullets increased because it would make them even greater profits for selling their guns (why kill 10 when you can kill 31, get your 31 shooter from us) they also enticed (bribed) them with money, they bought the votes of the Republicans and no doubt some Democrats as well. The wretched Senator Franks is one who has been bought by them and he therefore was unable to say that it would have been better had the incident taken place in 2003 rather than 2011.
Put another way Republican Senator Franks of Arizona was unable to say that when a deranged gunman opens fire in a crowded shopping centre it is better if he fires 10 rather than 31 bullets. This is America, today: right now! This is Capitalism red in tooth and claw, the scourge of the Planet Earth, is there hope for the future? A lot is riding on Obama.