Will it change their views on guns and civil rights?
It is my hope Congressman Scalise (R-La) and the others who were wounded in the shooting in Alexandria, VA. fully recover. But after praying for their lives, one must think about the brave Capitol Police officer, Crystal Griner, who herself was wounded, and the other officer David Bailey, who saved him and the lives of the other Republican members of Congress on the playing field that morning.
Gun violence is epidemic in the nation and now for the second time in seven years a member of Congress has been shot. This time Republicans, some viciously anti-gay and opposing any common sense gun control, were saved by an African American Lesbian police officer. One has to hope if Scalise survives his life-threatening injuries he might just change his mind on some issues.
Yet listening to Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the most right-wing venal members of the House, one has to wonder if anything rational can get done. According to the Washington Post “Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) — was not present at the time of the shootings, but he traveled to the scene and spoke with reporters. King blamed “the left” for the shooting, even before authorities had released any details about the shooter or his political views. King said he saw the shooting as connected to the large protests that happened after President Trump’s election.” He blames Americans who have demonstrated peacefully against the Republican efforts to injure them by taking away their healthcare; and curtailing the rights of immigrants, minorities, women and the LGBTQ+ community. This is the same Steve King who, when he opposed Obamacare, told people if it passed to “Riot if the bill passed.” Speaking of Washington D.C. in a Huffington Post interview in 2010 he said “Fill this city up, fill this city, jam this place full so that they can’t get in, they can’t get out and they will have to capitulate to the will of the American people.”
So I don’t hold out much hope the words spoken by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) after the latest shooting will have much impact. Speaking to members of the House he said “We are united in shock and anguish” adding “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us”. One has to wonder that he doesn’t think the attack on the children at Sandy Hook was an attack on all of us; or whether shooting of 49 innocents at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, one year ago this past Monday, wasn’t an attack on all of us.
Yet nothing has changed. Ryan asked the house to “come together in humanity” but where is the ‘humanity’ in what they are doing now or when nothing changed after other shootings. It appears the National Rifle Association continues to buy the votes of members of Congress with the fifty two million dollars they spent on lobbying last year.
That money clearly robs them of any ‘common sense’. Because common sense says we should not allow assault weapons used in war on our streets in America. Common sense says a person on a no-fly list because we think they are a terrorist should not be allowed to buy a gun. Common sense says those convicted of a violent crime should not be allowed to purchase a gun. But it has been clear up to now common sense is lacking in our Congress.
Once again we hear the gnashing of teeth and see the crocodile tears of Republicans. Then nothing changes. They do nothing to curtail the spate of gun violence in our country. Will they continue to be devoid of any common sense? Will they continue to misinterpret the intent of the Congress in 1798 which passed the second amendment? Can anyone with a lick of common sense actually believe the intent of that amendment was to allow assault weapons in the hands of every American? Members of that Congress must be turning over in their graves at the stupidity of some of today’s politicians.
Is it possible the heroism of those Capitol Hill Police officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, will not have any impact on the Republican members of Congress whose lives they saved? The answer until proven different seems to be yes. They will continue to vote to deny Americans like those who saved their lives full civil and human rights.
If nothing changes Americans who believe in decency and real ‘humanity’ must speak out. We can do that now and must do it in 2018 by voting. Voting out the bigots; and voting out those who oppose ‘common sense’ gun control. If we do that America will be both safer and greater than it is today.