I haven’t brought myself to write anything about the shooting in Newtown, CT because I’ve felt not only grief but a lack of faith that our elected leaders – and their constituents – will do anything to effectively deal with mass shootings in the United States.
There is today at least a glimmer of hope on the political scene. A senator who holds an “A-rating” with the NRA is calling for his peers to work on gun law reform.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, called for a bipartisan conversation on gun law reform when he spoke on Morning Joe today:
“Anyone saying they don’t want to talk and sit down and have that type of discussion is wrong.”…
“Seeing the massacre of so many innocent children has changed everything,” he said. “Everything has to be on the table.”
You may have heard that Diane Feinstein pledged to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons in both the U.S. House and in the Senate.
But let’s be honest: Diane Feinstein proposed it because she can afford to.
Incumbent Diane Feinstein has held her California U.S. Senate seat since 1992. She was ranked the nation’s 5th wealthiest U.S. Senator in 2003. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, California has the nation’s strictest gun laws.
I know this would not solve everything. It would be a start.
We know that because of the extensive power that the NRA holds, too many politicians are too afraid to touch gun safety laws. Doubtless those same cowardly pols also would not selflessly rush at a young man wielding a a Bushmaster .223 rifle, a 10mm Glock handgun, and a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun in the way that Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach did at Sandy Hook elementary school.
If a significant number of congressional politicians can not now muster courage enough to simply converse frankly about what’s happening with guns after seeing such exceptional heroism, then what little hope we had in their representation is lost. Then they will deserve our deepest, fullest contempt.
President Obama said at a Sunday night Newtown vigil “these tragedies must end”.