USA Today Religion Reporter Oddly Suggests Elderly Have No Powerful Lobby Group

April 11th, 2011 4:11 PM

Clearly annoyed with conservative moves to cut the federal budget and, I suppose, with the success of conservative voters and the gun rights lobby, USA Today religion writer Cathy Lynn Grossman penned an odd entry entitled "Budget battles: Granny, get your gun," excerpted in full below:

Fresh from a budget showdown that pivoted on social policies for women's health/abortion (pick your language choice as per your point of view on this) Congress and President Obama are taking aim at entitlements.


And it appears the poor and particularly the elderly poor, are going to take a hit. One reason: They're defenseless. So, is it time for "Granny, get your gun?" After all, then they could enlist a powerhouse lobby like the National Rifle Association.


They aren't without defenders now. I expect my inbox soon will be filled with righteous messages from the church leaders and interfaith groups who have been drumming for a moral focus on the budget. They argue it is all our obligation (particularly the wealthy among us) to care for the least.


But are they successful? Are the Tea Party. 2012 potential candidates or Congress listening to their voices? Evidence?


When lobbying doesn't work, there's always public pressure. People who swarm to the capital with colorful signs and traffic-stopping numbers will at least get some media coverage. But the poor and the elderly are the least able to charter a bus to DC and march on the Mall.


So, what would get lawmakers' attention?


Gun rights!


Think about it. Grannies and babies and struggling parents could figure out a gimmick for tying their needs for food, medicine, preventive health services, shelter and education to, say, an inability to have enough money to buy a gun and carry it everywhere from playground to nursing home.


Isn't it un-American and discriminatory for only the prosperous to be able to bear arms? Gun rights never lose in legislative fights these days, do they?


Since folks who say they must have guns -- to protect them against God knows what -- the poor and elderly, whose religious champions are politely acknowledged and ignored, could have the biggest weapons in lobbying on their side.


So, Granny, get your gun.


This is, of course, ludicrous. But still, you have to wonder, when so many politicians will pay homage to the National Day of Prayer next month, why the last, the least and the lost, so often mentioned in those prayers, will have no voice on the budget.


WHO DO YOU THINK ... should sacrifice for solvency, now and in the future?

Recipients of Medicare and Social Security don't have a powerful left-leaning lobby for punishing politicians for daring to tinker with Medicare or Social Security?! Don't tell me Grossman hasn't heard of the AARP.