On a day that should have been reserved for thought, reflection, and praying for the repose of the souls of those killed in that school in Connecticut, certain gun prohibitionists just couldn’t resist the temptation to call for more gun control. Never mind that gun control has never stopped any madman in a officially gun-free zone, the siren call proved too great for some of them.
In proof of the saying that money can’t buy class comes this statement from Mayor Bloomberg:
“With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still
almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten
class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners
learning their A,B,Cs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too
soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After
Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For
every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of
them were five-year olds. President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt
condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to
send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful
action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the
rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the
White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a
national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest
sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my
determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.”
His erstwhile colleague in the Illegal Mayors, Boston’s Thomas Menino joined in the fray and included automatic weapons in his call for more gun control:
“As a parent and grandparent, I am overcome with both grief and outrage
by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. This unspeakable act of violence
will forever imprint this day in our hearts and minds. My heart goes
out to the families impacted by this senseless tragedy and the many
others we have recently witnessed across the United States. As a Mayor
who has witnessed too many lives forever altered by gun violence, it is
my responsibility to fight for action. Today’s tragedy reminds us that
now is the time for action. Innocent children will now never attend a
prom, never play in a big game, never step foot on a college campus. Now
is the time for a national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out
of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods and the
tragedies like today out of our future.”
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Washington, DC—We can only imagine the scale of the human tragedy that has unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut as reports continue to emerge about the massacre committed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There are many parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and others who will now never see their loved ones again, never again know the warmth of their presence, never see their potential realized over the course of their natural lives. While shockingly familiar, the nature of this tragedy has left those of us at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence feeling shaken to our core, physically and spiritually sick that this could happen in a civilized society in a place of learning for children.
Our elected leaders, in the coming hours, will issue the typical platitudes to those who have seen their loved ones gunned down in cold blood, telling them, “Our thoughts and prayers with you.” Then, if the pattern holds, they will immediately retreat into silence and refuse to engage in any meaningful debate about America’s catastrophically flawed gun laws, which directly facilitate one gun massacre after the next.
To people of conscience, this should not be acceptable. After today’s horror, Americans must demand immediate action by our President and Congress to reform our gun laws. This must include legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, strengthening those background checks (particularly in terms of mental health and substance abuse screening), and renewing the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. We expect President Obama—as a man who has seen first-hand the devastation that gun violence inflicts on families and communities during his time as a volunteer in Chicago—to be a leader in this process and to speak out boldly and directly.
If we’ve reached a point where our children cannot attend school without fear of being gunned down by a homicidal maniac who has obtained easy access to firearms, then the freedom we cherish as citizens of the world’s greatest democracy is at risk of extinction.
More than a dozen children were massacred in a kindergarten classroom today. If elected officials cannot find their voices now and call for change—if NRA campaign contributions and threats continue to dictate their decision-making, taking priority over the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—what will it say about them?
Moreover, if we allow them to remain silent, what will it say about us?
Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign was more reserved on the surface though I have heard reports that fund-raising e-mails went out yesterday.
Like all Americans, our hearts are broken by this terrible tragedy. We send our thoughts and prayers to all those directly affected. Across the country, we will be giving extra strong hugs to our kids when they come home safely from school. But in the name of those who didn’t and in the name of the eight children and teens that die from guns every day in our nation, we cannot let it end there. We have to take terrible moments like this and use it as a catalyst to demand the sensible change in our nation that is too long overdue. We are better than this.
Please go to WeAreBetterThanThis.org and sign the letter of condolence to the families of the victims in Connecticut We all just want to live in a safer nation.
One wonders how soon after sending the “letter of condolence” will you be put on a mailing list for fund-raising purposes. I’d wage sooner than later.
The Violence Policy Center seems to have no official release on the matter. Nonetheless, on their links to the stories about the tragedy, they can’t resist noting that Newtown, CT is also home to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. How subtle.
It would be too much to expect that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) remain silent and I was right.
GARDEN CITY, NY – Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4) issued the following statement on today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut:
“Our hearts go out to the victims and families from this horrific tragedy, especially during the holidays when kids should be thinking about presents and having fun with their families and friends, not America’s deadly problem with gun violence.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but one thing is clear – there’s too much gun violence in our country. These shootings are becoming all too common, and it’s too easy for dangerous people to get the weapons that help them perform mass executions like today’s.
“Leaders in Washington from both parties, and groups like the NRA, all say that now is not the time to talk about how gun safety laws can save lives in America. I agree, now is not the time to talk about gun laws – the time for that conversation was long before all those kids in Connecticut died today.
“We owe it to our children to work harder to reduce gun violence. The Second Amendment is the law of the land but it was never intended to allow murderers to take the lives of innocent kids. It’s our moral obligation as policymakers and as parents to do more to save lives.
“I hope the President’s words about taking ‘meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics’ stay true as we continue down this road again.”
I’m sure there are more statements such as these but I can stand only so much. It goes without saying that there will be more calls for gun control and “meaningful action” in the coming days. The Newtown tragedy is, and I hate to say it, tailor-made for the gun prohibitionists’ purposes. It reads like something out of a Matthew Bracken novel in terms of its utility for more gun control legislation. We need to be prepared for it and get ready to act to stop any of this misguided legislation.