About 88% of all Americans support background checks for buying guns over the Internet and at gun shows, as well as not allowing anyone on the Terrorist Watch List to buy a gun. This includes 83% of Republicans. You probably can't get 88% of Americans to agree on almost anything, including liking sandwiches. Yet for "some" reason, Republican legislators have long believed these were controversial issues to be blocked. And so more and more and more innocent human beings die. Or are massacred.
In this case, "some" reason will be herein defined as wanting a high NRA rating and endorsement, as well NRA campaign donations.
The thing is, the only reason a politician wants a campaign donation is because they want to be elected to office. But eventually, it would seem to kick in that when 88% of Americans are for something you're not for, then you might find that that NRA rating and endorsement will actually be a negative and the cause of you losing, no matter how much money the corporate-owned NRA gave you. Making that endorsement, rating and money useless, other than as an anchor.
While it's touching to see Republicans finally allow for "a vote" on these proposals, their long history of blockage and the resultant deaths is a reminder of the burden these GOP legislators bear. And while I'm sure that much of this action to allow "a vote" is meant to be seen by the public as a noble response to the Orlando mass shooting, I suspect more of it is due to there being an election coming up and the deep fear of losing, in the face of an outraged electorate. Not any great concern over the deaths. Besides, there's no guarantee that any of the proposals will even pass the Republican gauntlet, merely because they're allowing "a vote."
And as much as this paltry minority of Republican elected officials might try to make the Orlando mass shooting about Muslim terrorism -- forget for a moment all the other serious questions that have been raised about many motivations: just remember one thing, that this mass shooting -- horrific and gut-wrenching as it was -- was only one of three events in simply the past six days that involved notable gun deaths.
(To be clear, I am specifically only referring to "notable gun deaths." If we included all gun deaths during the past six days we'd be stuck in a quagmire.)
The Orlando mass shooting was on Sunday. But lest we forget, only the day before -- and also in Orlando -- singer Christina Grimmie was shot to death after a concert for no known reason, by someone who traveled there specifically and solely to do the galling killing. And then yesterday, in England, Member of Parliament Jo Cox was shot to death and stabbed by a right-wing fanatic over the issue of whether or not England should stay in the European Union.
Yes, I realize that England is not in America. But Ms. Cox is still dead and shot to death with a gun. That's the point. People with guns kill people. It's not only an American issue. It's just mostly an American issue. But when someone is shot to death, wherever they are, it shows the reality of what a person with a gun can do.
And in both these other two prominent shooting deaths, there is no wisp of hint of Muslims involved, or ISIS, or terrorism. Zero. One cannot in any way try to make them about anything other than gun deaths. Just as you can't in Sandy Hook or Columbine or Virginia Tech or Umpqua Community College or Charleston AME Church or an Oklahoma movie theater and on and on and on and on and on.
The point is guns. People with guns. People with guns killing other people. And as much as the gun manufacturer-owned NRA might try to convince people otherwise, that's only because this outlier fringe group is basically a terrorist organization itself, trying to instill fear in everyone about why you all need a gun.
If only other people in that nightclub had guns, Donald Trump cries repulsively. Well, sorry, as long as we're going to play "imagine," then imagine first if the mass murderer didn't have a gun.
Now, imagine if he didn't have a semi-automatic.
And then imagine if half the people in a crowded nightclub had guns -- and started shooting.
And as much as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) desperately tries to save his troubled re-election by screeching about President Obama having "direct responsibility" for the Orlando massacre because if ISIS, as the senator pockets his NRA campaign donations, his own subsequent actions show his shameful lie. Never mind that ISIS was formed as a result of Saddam Hussein's army being foolishly disarmed during George W. Bush Administration. Just look at Mr. McCain himself -- first, backing away from his earlier statements with some incomprehensible gobbledy-gook, and then running away with a Tweet that he "mispoke." No, it wasn't mis-speaking. Audio tape and video tape is utterly clear what he was saying. He was lying. He was being wrong. He was pandering. He was shameful and despicable. And it will likely hurt him in his campaign, which he is behind.
This is about guns. It is always about guns. And guns don't kill people -- people with guns kill people.
They kill Christina Grimmie. They kill Jo Cox. They kill 49 people at a nightclub. And they keep on killing and killing and killing and killing and killing and killing and killing...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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