Republicans Say it’s Too Soon to Talk About Guns After Las Vegas’ Shooting. How About Sandy Hook?

by Hunter –

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has some notions on when we should be discussing new legislation to deal with the nation’s now near-daily mass shootings.

Well that’s a shame. If it’s premature to talk about action after Las Vegas, though, perhaps we could instead use the opportunity to finally talk about legislative solutions to the Pulse Nightclub murders? It has been over a year since that day….. has enough time passed for the Senate to act?

Specifically:

McCONNELL dismisses talk of new gun laws after Vegas massacre: “I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions.”

What about the Umpqua Community College mass shooting, in Oregon? It’s been two years since that one, is it still premature? What about the race-motivated murders of black American churchgoers in South Carolina? What about Sandy Hook?

The Virginia Tech mass murder killed 32—that was in 2007. Surely, a decade is enough time? No? The Aurora, Colorado, mass murder, fifteen years back? The Killeen, Texas, mass shooting in 1991? Columbine? San Ysidro?

If now is not the time to talk about what we as a nation can do to limit the ability of a lone gunman to rapidly murder 59 Americans and injure hundreds—fine. We can oblige that. So let’s instead discuss what we as a nation can do to prevent the hundreds of other mass murders that have happened during 2017 aside from that one. Or during 2016. Or during 2014. We can pick any one of them and respond, as a nation, to that.

We can not only make speeches about how mass shootings are a failure not of our gun laws, but of our mental health institutions—we can hold hearings and craft new laws to patch those holes. We can not only mumble and burble about how the “laws on the books” need to be better enforced—the Senate can investigate why they persistently are not.

Rather than accompanying thoughts and prayers with sad musings that we will never be able to understand what makes a man purchase 19 weapons and go on a shooting spree, let us discuss how we might better understand what makes a man purchase 19 weapons and go on a shooting spree. Or, if that is too difficult for the House and Senate, lift the House and Senate-imposed federal ban on federal experts themselves researching why they might do that.

Let us discuss whether Dylann Roof ought to have had access to the weapons of murder. Let us discuss whether the daily event of toddlers finding loaded weapons in their parents’ closets or purses or nightstands requires some small technical fix that, like carseats or airbags or rules about the cords that hang down on the side of window blinds, could save lives on any given day. Let us sit down and have a national discussion on whether the obsession with arming police departments to deal with ever-more-militarized foes in their daily rounds could better be spent demilitarizing their foes to begin with.

In the time it has taken to discuss legislative solutions to the ability of domestic terrorists to acquire the weapons of mass murder, many of the legislators who took no action during the events have since left the House and Senate. The conversation continues to not happen because, at any given moment, a mass murder has occurred that has rendered the conversation too “emotional” and too “soon.” So let us instead set a date. Our period of mourning for the Las Vegas victims will last until November 1: After that we will discuss legislative solutions. No? Then next April. We will set aside next April, and come hell or high water we will discuss legislative solutions then.

Not to the Las Vegas murders, but to the Oregon murders. Or the Texas ones. Or California. Or South Carolina. Or Virginia. Or New York. Or Colorado. Or whichever mass shooting occurs tomorrow, or whichever occurs next December. Pick a date, Mitch McConnell, that you will choose to “discuss” it.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos