My Letter To The Plain Dealer
Today I wrote a brief letter to The Plain Dealer (at the behest of Mayors Against Illegal Guns over at DemandAction.org, and using their site's tool to do so). I'm re-printing it here:
Earlier this year it was exciting to see Senator Rob Portman stand up for the right thing. In embracing marriage equality he set an important precedent, and likely led many Ohioans to hope that he intended to stand up for their values and not simply the ideologies of his party.
Unfortunately, with his shameful vote in favor of the gun-purchasing rights of criminals, Mr. Portman shattered that hope. Despite the recent horrors in Newtown, Aurora, Tuscon, and other cities across the country, and despite the desires of some 83% of Ohioans, the senator chose to protect is NRA rating, instead of his fellow citizens.
Mr. Portman should know that this vote will not go unnoticed in Ohio. We are cognizant of the fact that his vote was not only to defeat common sense legislation and massacre prevention, but it was a vote to do so using craven procedural means. He knew the overwhelming majority of Americans, and Ohioans, supported these measures. He knew it was very likely that a majority of the US Senate supported these measures. Senator Portman chose to cast his lot with those who filibustered life-saving legislation.
And for what?
To protect the profits of firearms manufacturers? To stay in the good graces of their feckless lobbyists in the NRA? I can't say why Mr. Portman voted the way he did, but I can certainly hazard a guess as to part of his argument: Rob Portman doesn't care what Ohioans want, and if that's the case then Ohio can choose to do better than Rob Portman next time.