Phil: Immigration, guns and welfare benefits seemed to meld into one discussion in the aftermath of the terrorists attack in Boston. Do you think it’s time to amend the Constitution to address these matters?
Ethan: Not sure where welfare benefits enter the picture, but I am pretty sure we don’t need to amend the Constitution in light of Boston. Please explain what you are cookin’ here.
Phil: Sit down, and grab a fork. My thesis is that we have rights under our Constitution that appear to be irritating some liberals. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggests the Constitution needs to be interpreted differently to control guns. Both terrorist suspects were on Massachusetts welfare. Immigration laws are not being enforced, so we have no idea how many students have overstayed their green card.
Ethan: Whoa, Nellie! You are throwing a lot of meat on the table. First of all, no need for a new constitutional amendment on guns. Our conservative Supreme Court made that very clear. In terms of the suspected bombers being on welfare? Well, they both had noses, too, but that doesn’t correlate to killing people. In regard to people overstaying their visas, both had all their paperwork in order. Not sure what right-wing rags you’re reading, but these are not priorities from my side of the aisle.
Phil: Bloomberg told the press that the Supreme Court needs to reinterpret the Constitution in view of the Boston incident. Really? If the right to bear arms is the problem we faced on Patriot’s Day, why doesn’t he use his immense wealth to initiate a constitutional amendment?
Ethan: Well, if Republicans in Congress continue to fail to enact sensible gun legislation, and Democrats in Maine continue to do the National Rifle Association’s bidding by making public gun permits private, then he may very well have to spend his money. But it isn’t the Constitution he needs to change. It’s the elected officials.
Phil: You need to add pepper to the salt you just shook as a few Democrats in Congress also failed to vote for the present gun bills. Truth is, the present gun laws aren’t enforced, as evidenced by the fact that the terrorists possessed guns in one of the most restrictive gun states in America. Criminals won’t be dialing 911 when they operate outside of the law.
Ethan: Yes, isn’t it remarkable how easy it is for anyone, even a terrorist, to legally purchase guns? Stronger laws maybe?
Phil: Who said they got them legally? Here is another bite. The online publication Politico reported this week that Democrats are eager to pass the immigration bill, thus creating 11 million more Democratic voters. Surely you must take offense to the suggestion that voters are more important to Democrats than upholding America’s founding principles that have stood the test of time.
Ethan: You clearly need to stop drinking so much with that meal. Even Politico called their article an “inherently speculative exercise,” and people quickly debunked much of its speculation. That said, I hope Republicans do not block immigration reform because of speculation regarding future party affiliation. Reminds me of when Republicans tried to block service members from voting during World War II because they knew the troops supported Franklin D. Roosevelt. Republicans today should not be considering someone’s party affiliation before they allow them to pledge allegiance to the United States of America.
Phil: That’s the point. Most have already broken the law by coming to or staying in the U.S. illegally. Democrats see no problem with that, while Republicans want legal immigrants to be welcomed and want to help them assimilate by working, learning our language and living the American dream.
Ethan: Well, if Republicans really want immigrants to learn English, tell them there are hundreds of people on waiting lists at adult education! Now, please explain what welfare has to do with the bombing suspects and what law change you are seeking?
Phil: In this case, we the people provided them refuge, welfare, scholarship and, I dare say, a much brighter future than the one they faced in Russia. The least we should expect is that they use these life-enhancing gifts to pursue happiness, not inflict terror, horror, disability and death.
Ethan: We should expect that of everyone, regardless of whether they are poor. But again, what does their having earned a scholarship in high school and then allegedly bombing the marathon have to do with welfare policy?
Phil: I am not saying welfare was a cause of the bombing. I am saying that our welfare system, which is supposed to be engaged with helping people get back on their feet, missed something with this family.
Ethan: I am not sure that welfare workers should be blamed for not doing the job our Federal Bureau of Investigation is supposed to do. Just like Department of Motor Vehicle workers shouldn’t be expected to be Immigration and Naturalization Service agents.
Phil: Based on your reasoning, why are we having DMV workers also acting as voter registration agents?
Ethan: Touché, but at least I don’t blame them if someone gets a license and drives drunk.
Phil: My expectation is that every level of government — whether law enforcement, immigration or welfare workers — should understand that safety comes first, and those they encounter who won’t use their manners, so to speak, cannot stay for dinner (a.k.a. deportation). How’s that for putting a cherry on top of our dessert?
Ethan: Well, I am still not sure what we ate for dinner, but I am always game for dessert.