Twenty-six people are dead and 20 wounded, mowed down in a Texas church by a shooter armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle. What is the response? More of the same: thoughts, prayers, and political attacks on those who dare to suggest that access to deadly assault weapons must be curtailed. Here is a sample of what our leaders are saying:
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy: “My heart breaks for Sutherland Springs. Just like it still does for Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Charleston. And Aurora. And Blacksburg. And Newtown. Just like it does every night for Chicago. And New Orleans. And Baltimore. And Bridgeport. The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something,”
Kellyanne Conway: “The rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn’t help the victims, and it’s disrespectful to the dead.”
President Trump: “This isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.”
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal summed up my views when he said, “None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America. It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.
“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets. Ask yourself — how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents?”
When will we ever learn?