Yay, Congress! You brave, brave fighters for America!
The outcry from Congress is deafening. They WILL protect Americans, dammit! They DEMAND that the government take steps to keep our country safe! They don’t care how inconvenient it might be to some people, they don’t care if there is an impact on business, they. do. not. care. if it costs a lot of money to do the right thing! They are Congress, and they want everyone to know that they will not sit idly by while the US Government refuses to take active steps to keep every American safe.
You Go, Congress! Go get ’em, Michael Burgess, Republican Representative from Texas. You will not sit idly by while people conduct business or travel back and forth with West Africa. You demand a travel ban! So what if this would represent government interference with international business? You know what’s right, don’t you? And good for you, brave Marco Rubio and Dennis Voss. You don’t intend to let the government continue its laissez faire attitude in the face of such a terrible threat. You insist that we deny visas for travel between the US and any of the affected countries in Africa. You make us feel so well protected.
And let’s not forget Rep. Tim Murphy of Texas, who wants to go even further. He wants to impose a mandatory quarantine, for three full weeks, on anyone who has been in the hot zone. His words, “I don’t care if its inconvenient!”
They sure do want to keep us safe, don’t they? They are willing to restrict basic rights like freedom of movement just to prevent the spread of a disease that has so far infected 5 out 316,000,000 people in the US. And which has killed one.
Makes you feel pretty sure that the same guys would be stepping up to deal with a threat that has killed about 32,000 a year for the past five years, right? I mean, they don’t care if safety precautions are inconvenient! They don’t care if those precautions interfere with business practices or with profits. They certainly wouldn’t balk at the imposition of government regulations that might save thousands of lives, right?
So I wonder why Tim Murphy has an A rating from the NRA? Probably because he voted to prevent people from suing gun makers or gun owners in the event of a homicide. Probably because he opposes any laws to impose background checks for gun sales.
And, gee whizz, I have to wonder why Marco “We must protect Americans” voted against banning high capacity magazines of over 100 bullets? I wonder why he adores the Constitution when he thinks it means that anyone can own any guns he wants to own, but doesn’t think much of it when it insures freedom to move around the country and to carry on business?
Maybe Congress just isn’t very good at math. More people have married Kim Kardashian than have caught Ebola in the US, but 32,000 of our countrymen die from guns every year. One Ebola death causes a panic, but 32,000 gun deaths cause a big yawn.
My chances of catching Ebola in my classroom are so minute that I can barely represent them here. They are about 1 in 13.3 million, according to NPR. My chances of dying in a car crash in the US are about 1 in 9,100.
My odds of dying from a gunshot in the US are about 1 in 300, according to the website MedHelp.
We demand that you restrict the rights of Americans because of an epidemic with a 1 in 13.3 million chance of death. We demand that you preserve the rights of Americans in spite of an epidemic with 1 in 300 chance of death.
Oh, the hypocrisy.