Monday, January 28, 2013


1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, honor a fallen brother with a 21 gun salute on Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora--posted in "Military & Defense" -- There are 4 to 8 million of these war weapons now in U.S. homes, according to one of its industry spokesmen.

Where did this come from?  It seems we are being blind-sided by a 21 States onslaught of laws designed to protect assault weapons, not the children and others who are being killed by them.  In the latest round of this reactive lawmaking, we have the “Michigan Firearms Freedom Act.”   The most recent mass killings in Newtown, Conn. have provoked a revulsion against military-style weapons in the public’s hands.  Even though there’s still no federal weapons control law to vote on in the U.S. Congress, the gun lobby is already mobilized.  This Michigan law, which has just passed out of committee for a vote on the floor, will prohibit any federal controls on guns and assault weapons “manufactured” [including factory assembled] in our state.  Yet since 2009, legislators in at least 21states have introduced their own version of the Firearms Freedom Act…”  As mass killings march on, the gun industry is all about legislative blowback.
ALEC - One of many legislation creators
Who’s responsible for the initiation and writing of this bevy of cloned laws?  State Senator Phil Pavlov is the primary sponsor named in this Michigan bill.  Where did he get this bill?  As a fellow Catholic, and supporter right to life, it wouldn’t seem he’d spearhead the cause of protecting assault weapons {the U.S. Bishops since 2004 have declared they should be banned}.  I hope to find a proper way to ask him.

And because this seems to be a mounting problem--laws written by think tanks [ALEC experience in New Hampshire mirrors ours] for mass production & distribution on many issues--we need to suggest a new law, state and national, as a remedy—the Transparency in Legislation Act. 

This act will require that the questions be answered: who, or what organization, initiated the bill, who researched it, who wrote its language.  The idea is similar to the disclosure of who sponsors the sports team, TV program, or advertisement.  The origin should be written plainly for all to see, and printed in the public record of the legislature, newspapers, internet.  Who are the corporate, foundation, institute, or union backers of our lawmakers and their laws?  Going further we’d require that that those who promote laws, expecting to be the beneficiaries, are made to state their strategies for a bill’s projected outcomes.  These can then be publicly debated and independently investigated.  And the question must always be asked-- Is this bill really meant to be enacted for a practical change in law, or just an advertising gimmick meant to energize / enervate the body politic, while distracting from essential moral and political issues?

he U.S. Congress has the Congressional Research Service which does some study of issues & legislation, but on a limited inside need-to-know or request-of-information basis.  State legislatures don’t have any consistent system for such investigation, while batches of laws are being pressed through by powerful interests.  Many times, not even the lawmakers themselves know the details of the impact these laws will have—and the public is being left totally in the dark. Maybe our members of Congress and Statehouse should wear jumpsuits emblazoned with names of their sponsors, as NASCAR race drivers do.
This system of corporations and institutes getting together to write our laws through proxy legislators has got to change, or democracy is dead.  Our standard must be, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn  8:32   Knowing the truth, in its completeness, is what gives Christians, and all Americans, the ability to choose life and real active freedom.
Pilate's question, "What is truth?"
Illumination by Kathy Brahney
Click on any blue above for links, and references below --
More on American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC—One of the sources of pre-written state laws, on a national scale.

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