A Christmas List from Don Rose
It’s probably been more than 75 years since I wrote you last, but things have come to such an impasse that I figure it couldn’t hurt for this good Jewish boy to renew your acquaintance.
I was really quite happy with the early Hanukkah gift that I and 51 percent of the country received on November 6th. (Okay—47 percent of the nation found it a lump of coal, but that’s the breaks.) Nice as the gift was, I soon found myself discontent, along with millions more whose holiday season was spoiled—whichever holiday they celebrate.
We’ve been treated to the disgusting sight of legislators who won’t legislate and negotiators who won’t negotiate, all the while Kabuki-dancing on the edge of that mythical fiscal cliff. To make matters worse, the week before last a demented, lunatic kid slaughtered 20 little children and 7 adults including his mother.
The country was universally sickened, except for the demented, lunatic head of the National Rifle Association who told us that we need more and more guns in the schools, armed teachers and guards and, well, more mental health.
I’ve got nothing against mental health. Some day I hope to commit it myself. But the thought of more guns continues to sicken me and many others, so I thought maybe a guy with your talent might help out—assuming that at the North Pole you and your elves aren’t into concealed carry.
So here’s a little list of things that might bring joy to the world if you can deliver on any of them.
First, comprehensive gun regulation, beginning with the requirement that every gun buyer at the “shows” be subject to a complete background check. Of course the feds will have to update and tighten the National Instant Criminal Background Check system and registry of assorted types who should not own guns. (There’s your mental health clause, NRA.)
Then make it illegal to manufacture, sell, purchase or publicly display any automatic assault weapons—except for the military or law enforcement. Ditto for clips or magazines holding more than 10 bullets.
As long as I’m wishing, how about ending or drastically limiting the filibuster in the U.S. Senate? It’s rarely used for anything useful. Democrats have the ability to fix it, so leave a note in their stockings.
Also, please bring us an independent, nationwide commission to redistrict the Congress fairly and squarely—completely eliminate the gerrymandering that both parties do. Look, when one party gets 55 percent of the congressional vote, as the Dems did, but win less than 45 percent of the seats, you know there has been undemocratic foul play by many legislatures. We can all stand a little more democracy.
Then leave a note in some Supreme Court stockings ending the Defense of Marriage Act and using the California case to declare same-sex marriage a human right.
Hey, Santa—I’m asking a lot, but if you can deliver any of the above, rest assured that I and numerous others will believe in you again.
Yours truly, Donny from Chicago.
Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer