Congress' actions should reflect will of the people

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 12, 2013 

I don't know what -- if anything -- our dysfunctional Congress is going to do about gun control, but I do know that a recent Quinnipiac University Poll found that 92 percent support background checks for all gun buyers and 56 percent support bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

It should be a no-brainer. In our great democracy, our government should reflect the will of the people.

Wikipedia describes democracy as "a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally -- either directly or through elected representatives -- in the proposal, development and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination."

Unfortunately, our democracy is broken. In the 2012 election, President Barack Obama won the popular vote by almost 5 million votes in spite of Republican efforts in many states to suppress the Democratic vote. In the vote for the House of Representatives, Democrats received 1.4 million more votes, yet Republicans won control of the House by a 234 to 201 margin.

It happened because Republican-controlled state legislatures used gerrymandering to concentrate Democratic-leaning voters so that Democrats win a few districts by large majorities, but lose many more by smaller majorities.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

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