AS IF we needed more evidence of how ineffective the United States Congress has become, its vacuous standing has been manifest since high caliber bullets powered by a semi-automatic military style weapon riddled the bodies of 20 small children and six adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
It goes way beyond the fiscal cliff. This is congressional rock bottom.
There is much that law enforcement hopes to uncover in their ongoing investigation into the chilling events of December 14. However, the emerging portrait of Mrs. Nancy Lanza, also murdered that day and to whom the deadly instruments were registered, does not suggest a mother that would purchase rapid-fire weapons of mass destruction had they been prohibited by law.
President George W. Bush was prepared to sign and renew that prohibition in 2004. Congress never passed it.
So powerful are these semi-automatic rifles, capable of firing a round per second, that a single bullet from one will instantly reduce a watermelon to miniscule bite-size pieces.
These WMD's can deliver an uninterrupted fire hose of ammo using large magazines (clips) that hold 30 to 100 bullets. Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance investigating the Sandy Hook crime scene stated, There was a lot of ammo, a lot of clips.
Cowardly mass murderers tend not to enter schools and theaters carrying a six-shooter. Such a sidearm may not have even disabled the newly installed security apparatus at Sandy Hook.
These hateful killers prefer rapid-firing, military-style weapons such as the Bushmaster AR15 and large capacity magazines holding dozens of bullets.
Congress needs to outlaw these unnecessary weapons and the large magazines that feed them. They also must close a loophole in federal law that allows someone to purchase such weapons at a gun show without the usual background checks.
The legislation is drafted and has been collecting congressional dust for years. Congress could adopt it tomorrow, 10 days after Sandy Hook, but it won't.
Will Congress act before there is another domestic massacre?
The American people have an abiding concern for the safety of children everywhere. Yet, far too rare are the moments when voters rise up against inaction.
Time passes, empty counter arguments are made and your attention wanders. It's a measurable fact. Many members of congress are counting on it to happen again.
Ten days after Sandy Hook members from both parties expect that your concern will wane, so they need not incur the wrath of the moneyed special interests that own them. Roadblock.
Our U.S. Constitution did not contemplate the legislative branch of government established under Article I being wholly incapable of action. It is a constitutional crisis. With each passing day congress makes clear it has hit rock bottom.
It is a crisis requiring citizen action. The children of Sandy Hook present all Americans with a very stark test. Voters will have to demand that congress get up off its knees and pull back from the brink. It can be done. Are you up to it?
One week after the agony in New England the Earth's entire Northern Hemisphere started to fight its way back from its deepest declination of 23.5 degrees away from the life giving sun.
Friday morning our ponderous planet said no to darkness and began a lumbering process to sink no further, struggling to avoid the brink, to come about, ever reaching for the warmth and light of the sun. Less darkness and more hope. Our days are getting longer.
Can congress act before the next domestic massacre?
A score of angelic spirits have inspired a call to action. Their young earthly lives ended far too soon provide the impetus. Answer them, and the sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar, that tomorrow, there'll be sun.
Kevin Blaum's column about government, life and politics is published every Sunday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org