Nineteen fourth graders plus two of their teachers were murdered in a Texas elementary school by an 18 year old crazed man who was able to purchase an AK-47 automatic rifle without a background check a few days after his 18th birthday before the shooting as a birthday present to himself. Meanwhile, 50 U.S. Republican senators have steadfastly refused to even consider a bill that was passed by the House to require such background checks. So these “pro-life” senators were anything but pro-life. Quite the opposite: They are pro-murder and have contributed to the death of innocent children in our public schools.
The background check bill does not take guns away from anyone, as the NRA fears, but only prevents someone with a serious mental illness or a felony on his or her record from obtaining a gun. Ninety percent of the American public agree with the bill, including 78% of NRA members. That would expose the senators to a completely pecuniary motive for their obstruction strategy. For example, the NRA gave 30 million dollars to Trump’s 2016 election, more than any other group. So the entire caucus of Republican U.S. Senators is trading the lives of citizens who are murdered by mass killers who are able to easily obtain assault weapons for NRA dollars that are helping to keep them in office.
Pro Llfe? Far from it.
And what of the voters who vote these Senators into office? Pro life? They may use the euphemism but no, they are not pro life. They delude themselves into somehow thinking they are pro life, but when you stratch the surface just a bit you see the rot beneath the veneer. They offer their “thoughts and prayers” after each massacre, assuaging their own consciousnesses and returning to their own empty lives, full of empty rationales, and empty excuses, and empty memes and slogans.
So yes, the senators are scoundrels but the people who vote them in and absolve them of responsibility are scoundrels as well. Maybe more so. A representative democracy is only as representative or as democratic as the people who permit the representatives to act against their interests. In this case, it’s as obvious as a fox in the henhouse.
The young killer in Texas was lonely, bitter, angry, and vengeful from years of being bullied and taunted because of his stuttering. He was a shy, sensitive boy who had a drug-addled mother whom he fought with constantly. He did poorly in school and complained that he didn’t want to be there because of the constant harassment by other students. He was not scheduled to graduate with his class as a result and did not participate in the traditional parade of the graduates at the elementary school the day before the shooting. He had posted pictures of his rifles on Instagram, expressing pride in showing them off. No one alerted no-one as to his postings. He had received no mental health treatment during any of his childhood bullying, nor were there any apparent actions by the school to allay such bullying.
On the morning of the school shooting, he first shot his grandmother in the face causing serious injury. The grandmother apparently was able to call police but the die was cast. The killer headed to the elementary school in the small Texas town in which he lived and where he himself had attended elementary school, entered a classroom and shot and killed 19 kids along with two teachers. Police arrived and killed the killer after breaking into the classroom.
Why? We will never know, but a look at his history and you can put the puzzle together. It’s difficult to stop bullying. It’s difficult to identify mental illness and provide the right treatment. It’s difficult to intervene in domestic disputes and turmoil. It’s difficult to provide adequate security at schools, including the ridiculous right wing solution of arming teachers. But it is entirely reasonable to have enforceable laws on the books to make it difficult for those who should not legally own guns to not legally own guns.
Anything less is actually criminal, at least in my eyes. Yes, the 50 Republican Senators in the U.S Senate are acting criminally. The NRA hierarchy is acting criminally. The Supreme Court is acting criminally. And the voter who votes for politicians who acts criminally is acting criminally, not to mention unethically, hypocritically, cruelly, and immorally.
How will you vote in the next election?