Last week, the night before the horrible tragedy I asked the question, “How many more tragedies will it take?” I asked it several times, in a confrontational manner and I juxtaposed the tragedies we’ve experienced to the NRA’s lobbying power.
The next morning, I stared in horror at the television. Children brutally murdered, and a seemingly safe town left shaken in the wake of a massacre of their most innocent.
It appears my question, to my dismay, has been answered.
Our collective problem as a nation is our short-term memory. A large part of the problem is a lack of focus by the media, with the current 24-hours news cycle. The pain and turmoil of tragedies is often forgotten.
Only a few months ago, the Aurora tragedy slowly faded away. Now, with this terrible atrocity, it seems that there will actually be a change in how we handle and discuss gun control and regulation.
Right-wingers and those who cling to the 2nd Amendment attempted to demonize those who quickly started discussing gun control, saying, “This is not the time.” The time, for them, would be weeks from now maybe months, when the outrage would undoubtedly fade and the public support for increased regulation would be indifferent at best.
I’m proud to say, the American people, did not fall for this tactic, instead the pressure was exerted and the call for “more guns” and “arming school officials” or the illogical argument that there is enough control, was scoffed at with disgust and a realization was made: Enough.
Yes, of course, no matter how strict, no matter how rigorous, there will always be violence. There will always be an isolated tragedy. We will be saddened and shocked again.
But I do not, we do not, accept that as a reason not to try.
President Obama recently announced the creation of a special task force on gun violence, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden.
“If there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have an obligation to try,” Obama said. He also echoed what I said earlier, that there is now set of regulations that can prevent every “senseless act of violence.” Focusing on one of the major aspects of this discussion he also stated, “We need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun.
He also addressed the common perception of these government commissions, explaining that this task force will be proposing a set of policy proposals that will be sent to Congress. With a majority of Republican legislators bow to right-wing gun rights lobbying groups like the NRA, which failed to release any statement in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. The NRA had to take down various social media pages due to the backlash received because of their actions. It made its first comments on Tuesday, four days after the tragedy, saying it will offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
I highly doubt it.
Some of the proposed legislation from the task force will most likely include: a ban on assault weapons (which was previously enacted but expired in 2004 and the GOP refused to renew it due to NRA lobbying), limits on high capacity magazines, closing the gun show loophole on background checks.
Like I stated in my post The Killing Routing, the NRA represents 1% of the American people, and they have had the power to continuously shut down legislation that the majority of American people support.
Yet, even in Pennsylvania, my home state, where I worked within the state legislature I experienced the vastness of the political spectrum and sheer absurdity of some members of the GOP. One in particular, the Chairman of the State Government Committee, Representative Daryl Metcalfe, who is the proud owner of ten brain cells, explicitly stated there will be no new state legislation on gun control. That’s it, period. Even with children being laid to rest just a few hundred miles north of his legislative district, murdered from a weapon of war, he responds so arrogantly and definitively. Not even a discussion, no voice of dissent, just closing the door or in this case, the casket.
So, its imperative that the federal government stops cowering from the NRA. There already has been a measurable shift within some of the gun-rights ranks; however, there are still those within the GOP, like Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert who said on Fox News Sunday that this all could have been averted if the principal had an M4 rifle to “take his head off.” Ok, so he might be a far right example, but wait, even Newt Gingrich agrees.
What this represents is the NRA’s answer to a proposed legislation that would REGULATE not BAN firearms more rigorously, put more guns in the hands of more people.
Even the highly trained officers of the NYPD are immune to accidental shootings. Recall that nine bystanders in August were shot by NYPD officers who were firing at a gunman at the Empire State Building.
So, they want to arm teachers too?
Republican and hard right-wingers have no response, because they can no longer defend themselves with their fallacious logic and ridiculous assumptions when they have the crushing pressure of the American public coming down on them.
Maybe that’s why on Meet The Press not one of the 31 pro-gun Senators responded to discuss the shooting.
I’m horrified the question I asked last week was answered so soon and of this magnitude, but it appears we have finally had enough. I urge everyone and anyone to keep up the support of the reforming this broken system of firearm regulation and oppose the ridiculousness of the propaganda the right-wing and the NRA will undoubtedly publish.