During 2001 to 2013, 406,496 Americans were killed by gun violence … eighty people a day …3 people an hour … one every twenty minutes.
Is it worth it? It must be because yesterday the United States Senate, the GOP-controlled United States Senate, voted on four different gun measures and voted all of them down.
And so, to me, the blood of those half million Americans murdered, is on their hands as is the blood of every American about to be killed in this country due to gun violence. But that blood is on our hands, We The People, if we continue to send the same people to Congress who aren’t protecting us because they are in the pockets of the National Rifle Association [NRA].
The Senate’s first vote was for Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley's background check bill; the vote was 53-47, the only defector being Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois — who is up for reelection this year and trying to save his ass — who voted with Democrats.
Next up was GOP Texas Senator John Cornyn's NRA-approved waiting period for potential terrorists. The Cornyn Amendment, providing for a 72 hour waiting period on gun sales to individuals on the terror watch list, failed 53-47 also.
Seventy-two hours? Why is someone who is on a terror watch list, and therefore unable to board a plane, even allowed the right to purchase a gun?
The Murphy Amendment to expand background checks was the next to get a vote, but it too failed by a near-party-line 56-44 vote; Democratic senators Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, Joe Manchin, West Virginia, and Jon Tester, Montana voted with the GOP.
Last up was the Feinstein Amendment, giving the Attorney General's office the power to block gun sales to individuals suspected of terrorist ties. It fails 53-47. Senator Heitkamp again votes with the Republicans, while Republicans Kirk and Ayotte vote with the Democrats.
How is it possible that, in the days immediately following the murder of 49 Americans, and the wounding of fifty more, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, our elected leaders, most of whom have accepted as much as $10,000 in campaign donations from the NRA, sided with the NRA and against the will of the American people, 92% of whom are asking for stricter gun laws.
Who’s in charge here? We The People or the NRA?
The gallery in the Senate was filled with relatives of victims of past mass shootings and people wearing orange T-shirts saying #ENOUGH gun violence and yet with each vote the Republican Party turned and gave the finger to those people, and to the victims of gun violence.
I want to be surprised, I want to be shocked, but as I’ve seen and heard more times than I care to remember, when we watched as schoolchildren, children, were murdered in their classrooms, and then we did nothing to rid our Congress of the GOP-NRA goose-stepping monsters, whose fault is it really?
Sure, we can blame the Senate, mostly Republicans, who are in the pocket of the NRA, licking their boots and then voting to allow someone who is on a terror watch list to buy a gun.
Think on that; the same political party that uses terror as a campaign tool just voted to allow terrorists the right to buy guns; think on that.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, A Republican who has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the NRA over the years, said the Orlando shootings show the best way to prevent extremists' attacks here is to defeat them overseas — “No one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns" — but then said that the Democrats were using the votes "to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad."
Or maybe to save a few more lives the next time a lunatic wants to buy a gun.
We can stomp our feet and shake our fists and bitch and moan about this travesty, but that doesn’t solve a thing; what will solve the problem is going into a voting booth in November and voting out each and every Republican, and those few Democrats, who have blood on their hands; what might solve the problem is voting against every single candidate who takes money from the NRA.
What works is voting.
Congress works for us, and when the majority of us ask that they do something about gun violence and they proceed to do nothing, we are to blame.
Since Congress won’t so anything isn’t it time for a new Congress?
Lastly, I'll leave you with this, because I need a little something to cleanse my palate ... and what better way than with love.
What the world needs now.