|GOP victims - click image to enlarge|
In the wake of two high profile mass shootings - actually, one now happens every day somewhere in America - and a mass shooting in Savannah on the same day as the massacre in San Bernadino, Republicans have rebuffed any measures to change America's gun laws. So beholden is the GOP to the NRA and gun crazies in the party base that even a proposal to restrict gun sales to those on terror watch lists went down in flames. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malikmay have pulled the triggers at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, but they had accomplices in the GOP who likewise have blood on their hands. The photos of above are those who Republican intransigence against any form of sane gun control helped to murder. A piece in Politico looks at the Republican refusal to do anything to stop the carnage. Here are highlights:
Never mind that massacres in Connecticut, Colorado, South Carolina, and now, California have forced uncomfortable questions about the widespread availability of weapons in the United States. And forget the fact that the 14 dead in San Bernardino, California, drowned out an otherwise successful week for the GOP, in which Speaker Paul Ryan laid out his vision for the future of the party, after helping guide two major bills across the finish line.The reality is quite plain on Capitol Hill: There's still no appetite among Republicans for new gun laws.They say there are enough laws on the books as it is. Many believe increasing background checks is akin to trampling on the Constitution and that there are better ways to combat gun violence. And few Republicans are worried about the political risk of alienating a younger generation of voters that is growing up with a backdrop of almost weekly mass shootings.
A seemingly endless wave of violence has not scrambled the politics when it comes to more stringent gun laws.Democrats and Republicans are still living in alternate universes, a divide driven by culture and geography. The GOP is a mostly Southern and Western party, and its House districts are overwhelmingly rural. Democrats are increasingly concentrated in big cities.On Thursday, the Senate rejected a pair of gun measures, one from each party. A proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that would have barred people on the terrorism watch list from buying guns failed with just 45 votes.Some Republicans — such as New York Rep. Pete King — have suggested strengthening the background check system for gun purchases, and they have been rebuffed.In the wake of the California massacre, some are advocating for a law that would prevent people on the no-fly list from getting a weapon. It’s unclear that even that bill will get a vote.
"I don't think we have a gun problem in this country," said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee. "I think we have a problem with radical Islamic terrorism. And every indication of this latest incident, it's exactly that.”
Note that for the GOP it is preferable to fan the myth of a war between Christianity and Islam that plays well with the GOP's lunatic base than it is to say no to the NRA and gun nuts. Yet another reason I am no longer a Republican and have no plan to return to the party.