It’s been an eventful few weeks for America. Our nation’s worst mass shooting took place, killing 49 gay/lesbian people at a nightclub in Orlando.
Of course our leaders did the right thing and immediately passed laws that would make it harder for dangerous people to get guns. Our leaders, in the figures of mostly Republicans, refused to act to do something to make it harder for dangerous people to get guns. The Democrats and a few Republicans and Independents decided this was not the way things were going to go this time.
Not after this mass shooting.
Not after Sandy Hook. Not after Aurora. Not after Tucson.
Not after Umpqua Community College.
Not after San Bernardino. Not after Santa Monica.
Not this time.
Australia acted after its’ country’s worst mass shooting. There have been no more mass shootings since 1996 when gun laws were strengthened there.
The Senate took a vote (after a successful Democratic filibuster) on whether or not we should allow those on the terror watch list to be able to buy guns legally.
And it passed. It was blocked by the bought and paid for Republicans a few scared Democrats. Then they took a vote on whether or not it was OK for a felon, domestic abuser, someone adjudicated mentally ill, a fugitive or another such person to buy guns without background checks. And it passed. It was blocked by the Republicans and a few scared Democrats.
Then something happened in the U.S. House of Representatives. An unprecedented sit-in happened to get a vote on whether dangerous people should be able to buy guns legally. They sat for 25 hours and had help from some of the Senators who days earlier had made their stand with a 15 hour filibuster which led to the no votes.
They used their own photos and a video app called Periscope to feed their speeches to the public through the Facebook platform and C-Span. Never before had this been done. But then never before had 49 Americans been killed in one place at one time except during war time.
And Speaker Paul Ryan called a vote to protect us from the next mass shooter.
Civil disobedience has a way of calling attention to something the leaders don’t want us to know, see or hear about.
What next? What now? More civil disobedience?
More no votes?
For surely the shootings will come until we decide that they shouldn’t and decide we can actually do something about them without fearing that the corporate gun lobby will interfere and “call the shots.”
The public understands what is happening. The public will vote in November and they will not forget that some of our leaders are not interested or care enough about the many victims of shootings to sit with the victims’ families and look into their eyes and tell them that they just won’t do anything to stop more people from ending up like their own loved ones. They care more about being re-elected and maintaining the power they got largely through special interest lobby groups whose money speaks.
Who will speak for the victims?
Lack of courage is not a good feature in a leader. Lack of empathy and conviction doesn’t work out well when representing people who need help and support. Lack of ability to stand up for what’s right even though a powerful lobby is telling you you can’t do it is shameful and spineless. Lack of the backbone to tell the gun lobby to take a hike because they are not representing the Americans who want you to do something, anything, to stop this carnage- these massacres, is not only unbecoming, it’s inexcusable.
There are no excuses. Lack of common sense leads to bad decision-making for the good of the people.
There are no excuses. No. Rights will not be taken from someone who deserves them and is law-abiding.
Not everyone gets those rights. They are not God-given and sacrosanct no matter what the gun lobby has deceived people into believing. And the second amendment does not say that we can’t infringe on the rights of dangerous people to have guns. That is total nonsense.
If a conversation can’t take place and a bill can’t be marked up to deal with what is staring us in the face, we can’t even try to deal with language that will make sure someone whose name may be on the no-fly list by mistake can address the problem and correct it. A bill was floated by Senator Susan Collins that would give people 14 days to get their name off the no-fly list after being told it is on the list and that they can’t buy a gun. It was a bi-partisan effort and
it passed, of course. From the linked article:
“The Orlando shooting provides perhaps the clearest example of why this provision is so important,” Collins said ahead of the vote, referring to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Surely on an issue of this importance we should be able to come together and work for common sense solutions,” Collins said of her bill.
Afterwards, she said she was “uncertain” what happens next — though she claimed momentum, arguing she was “pleased” with the “strong vote.”
The bill drew more bipartisan support than previous measures, and defeated the procedural vote aimed at tabling it permanently. But in the end it fell victim to same ideological splits that have prevented any movement on guns in the past few years.
So there you have it.
In the name of common sense, if someone is so desperate to buy a gun that we can’t wait for 14 days to see if they actually are a terrorist or someone who shouldn’t have one, then we have lost our ability to think through what is best for all of us.
More from the article about the House sit-in:
“I tremble at the thought of what” Republicans will do next, Pelosi, (D-Calif.) said at a press conference.
“We need actions, not words,” Pelosi, visibly exhausted, added, referring to empty calls for thoughts and prayers following mass shootings.
“We cannot stop until we get a bill,” she said. “It’s not about politics, it’s not about elections, it’s not about campaigns, it’s about the safety of the American people.”
What next Republican leadership? Who will you represent? Who will you protect?
Who will you sit-in for or stand up for?
Whose sons or daughters or sisters or brothers or uncles, aunts, nieces, grandchildren will be next on the list of victims of mass shootings?
Who will listen to the voters and the public during the election?
Who will take money from the gun lobby to do their bidding to make sure as many Americans are armed as possible and will go to the gun stores to keep profits coming?
How many more AR-15s and other such assault type rifles ( and other guns not needed for self defense) will a minority of crazed and fearful Americans buy to protect themselves from their own government?
How many more people who shouldn’t be able to buy guns will buy them anyway and commit acts of mass murder or everyday shootings while our Congress refuses to sit down and stand up for victims?
How many more private sellers will sell guns to people who are too dangerous to own them because a background check is not required for private gun sellers?