REPUBLICANS: “DEMOCRATS USING ORLANDO TRAGEDY TO PUSH THEIR POLITICAL AGENDA”
YEAH. GOD FORBID THAT DEMOCRATS WOULD PUSH FOR STRICTER GUN CONTROLS AFTER THE NATION’S WORST MASS KILLING AND ATTEMPT TO SAVE LIVES
Republican members of Congress are angry that Democrats are using the Orlando atrocity for the political purpose of doing something other than just praying as Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) suggested as the best thing we could do after 39 men and women were slaughtered at a gay night club in Orlando. I mean how atrocious; how dare Democrats actually try to stem the flood of AR 15’s and Sig Sauer MCX’s across the country and into the hands of killers. Have Democrats no sense of propriety that now is the time for condolences, candlelight vigils and words of sympathy? And, as history has amply demonstrated, after the prescribed period of mourning, (Three days? A week? Two weeks? A month?) Congress will do nothing because apparently the NRA is some force of nature that they simply have to let destroy America. Or is it that the NRA has threatened to kill House and Senate member’s families with assault rifles manufactured in the USA? Because absent such a dire threat, I cannot for the life of me figure out why Congress continues to do NOTHING.
I don’t know what the properly prescribed period of collective mourning is after a mass killing even though we’ve all been through this so many fucking times before, but if history is any indication we will see a few hundred more news reports on cable television over the next few days – until the funeral services, let’s say - for the 49 men and woman killed and 53 injured and then we will “move on” letting this latest affront to rationality fade to black in our collective consciousness. Until the next time.
But there is a ray of hope as Republicans continue to accept that mass killings by religious fanatics, lunatics and disaffected young high schoolers are simply the collateral damage of modern life. And it comes from the parents of our last “record breaking mass killing” before Orlando: Sandy Hook. Do we all remember the day when we turned on our televisions with the overhead views of a Connecticut elementary school surrounded by two dozen police cars and dozens of fire trucks and ambulances, thinking “What the Fuck?” I remember it very well. And I remember thinking “Damn! What is going on with 60 police, fire and hospital vehicles surrounding this school?” It was maybe an hour later that we all leaned why: 20 young children and 6 adults had just been slaughtered by 20 year old Adam Lanza with an AR-15 purchased by his mother whom he also murdered. And just, like after Columbine, Aurora, and Sandy Hook, our Congress will do nothing.
This faint glimmer of hope – a faint one – that might be able to achieve what our elected officials can not. Yes. Apparently the parents of the 20 young children Adam Lanza slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, aren’t satisfied that we have done enough to prevent future mass killings. And, of course, Orlando proves that they are correct. A group of parents have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the AR 15 (there are many) based on the novel idea that a gun designed and manufactured for military use should not be marketed as a sporting rifle and poses a danger to us, the American population. The AR 15 is the “civilian” model of the M-16, the gun that our soldiers used all throughout the Viet Nam War between 1964 and 1975. Just last week a judge in Connecticut ruled that the case could continue wending its way through our court system despite vigorous objections from the gun lobby. The current ruling is based on a technicality and judge has until has until October to decide whether the case has sufficient merit to be heard. The lawsuit also cites the 2005 Congressional law that holds harmless gun manufacturers from being held responsible should their “product” cause injury and death. This law is the only one of its kind in existence. Unlike any other product – drugs, automobiles, vacuum cleaners, for example – manufactured in the United States, gun manufacturers cannot be sued for deaths and injuries their product causes. This is the bill that Bernie Sanders voted against and Hillary Clinton voted for.
So between now and November, every time we are sitting in church or temple, each new movie release we’re watching with a couple hundred other innocents in your favorite movie theater, gathered together at your next office birthday or retirement party and on every trip to you local shopping mall, how about we each think about how vulnerable to mass killings we are, that at any time, in any place, at any moment you too might momentarily feel the momentary sting of the bullets from an AR 15 or Sig Haeur MCX entering your body just before you loose consciousness. And if you happen to survive until November 8th 2016, remember which party actually worked to protect you from this senseless means of death.
NOTE: And in some perverse exclamation point to my “moving on” theme, as I flip through my TV channels at 9:00 AM this Wednesday, The Today Show is giving us a demonstration on how to make flavored salt, CBS This Morning is presenting some nerd talking about some new cellphone app, Good Morning America is giving us a preview of Michael Strahan’s revival of The Price Is Right and MSNBC’s Morning Joe folks are talking about Donald Trump.
And, as predicted, the media has more or less dropped whatever glimpse they might have had that Omar Mateen wasn’t a “radicalized domestic religious terrorist” but a conflicted, troubled, closeted gay man at war with himself.
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As “We Pivot Away From Orlando” I suppose we should be grateful that it wasn’t you or me. Until next time, anyway.