Sunday, July 10, 2016

Who's Afraid Of The NRA? Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio And Most Republicans-- But Not Alan Grayson


I remember April 16, 2007 because it was my sister Michelle's birthday. 32 families remember it for another, more gruesome reason: 32 people were shot to death-- and 17 were injured-- when a Virginia Tech student opened fire on the Blacksburg campus over the course of two hours. A few months later a 19 year old decided to commit suicide in Omaha but apparently didn't want to die alone so, on December 7, 2007, he went down to the Von Maur department store and opened fire in the mall, killing 8 random people and wounding 4 others. Two months later-- welcome to 2008-- Steven Kazmierczak got up on the platform in a Northern Illinois University lecture hall in Dekalb and opened fire on a geology class, killing 5 students, wounding 16 and then taking his own life. Less than 2 months went by before a man shot up an immigration services center, in Binghamton, N.Y., killing 13 and wounding 4 before shooting himself. Then came Fort Hood in Texas-- 13 shot to death, 32 wounded when an Army psychiatrist, with terrorist connections, opened fire randomly. That was Nov. 5. February 12 we had a rare instance of a woman mass shooter in Huntsville, Alabama when Amy Bishop, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama shot and killed 3 people at a biology faculty meeting. That August (2010) in Manchester, Connecticut, a disgruntled employee shot up his workplace after he left a disciplinary hearing, killing 8 and wounding two before committing suicide.

2011 kicked in for the NRA on Jan. 8 when a 22 year old shot up a Gabby Giffords meet-and-greet in a Tucson supermarket parking lot, murdering 6 people and wounding 11 including the Blue Dog congresswoman, who was pro-NRA until then, having signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court to support the overturn of a DC law prohibiting possession of handguns. Many people the attempted assasination of the conservative congresswoman would finally move her colleagues on Capitol Hill to wake up and smell the roses. They were incorrect. Congress failed to do anything.

October of that year a 41 year old man in Seal Beach, California, pissed off about a child custody dispute, shit up a hair salon his former wife worked in, killing 8 people and critically wounding a 9th. April of 2012 a former student at a small Christian fake-university, Oikos, in Oakland, opened fire in a classroom, killing 7, wounding 3. Three months later, the NRA excitement moved to Aurora, Colorado where 24 year old James Holmer shot up a movie theater, killing 12 and wounding 58. Two weeks later a white supremacist in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Paul Ryan's congressional district. shot up a Sikh temple committed suicide after murdering 6 random Sikhs and a police officer responding to the shooting. The following month a disgruntled employee shot up his workp[lace in Minneapolis, killing 6 and wounding 2 before committing suicide. 3 weeks later an ex-Marine walked into a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin (in Waukesha County, in NRA fanatic Jim Sensenbrenner's district) and shot 3 women to death (including his ex-wife) and wounded 4 others before committing suicide. NRA celebrations for 2012 still weren't over and in mid-December a deranged 20 year old gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 first graders and 6 staffers before killing himself. This would surely move Congress, everyone thought. Everyone was wrong.

Since Sandy Hook, there were mass shootings in Santa Monica (5 dead), DC (12 killed 3 wounded), Ft Hood, again (3 killed, 16 wounded), Isla Vista, CA (6 shot to death, 7 wounded), Charleston, South Carolina (9 killed in a racist mass shooting in a church), Chattanooga where a terrorist shot 5 and wounded 3 at 2 military recruiting centers, Roseburg, Oregon (9 murdered, 9 wounded), Colorado Springs (3 murdered, 9 wounded by a right-wing terrorist and Fox News junkie at a Planned Parenthood clinic), San Bernardino (14 murdered and 22 wounded by 2 terrorists), Orlando (50 murdered, 53 wounded in a nightclub), and, last week, Dallas (5 policemen murdered).

What do they all have in common? One thing: military assault weapons. So, while Congress dithers and conservatives collect their bribes from the gun lobbyists, Alan Grayson wrote and introduced the Freedom From Fear Act , which is meant to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban which Congress allowed to expire in 2004. Grayson:

It was the weapon that made this possible. You can’t always know what is in people’s heads, we can’t always know what’s in people’s hearts, but we can know, and we do know what’s in people’s hands. That’s why I think we have to go back and re-institute the assault weapons ban.

The Freedom Form Fear bill reinstates two sections of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that lapsed in 2004. One section restricts the manufacturing and possession of certain dangerous semi-automatic weapons, while the other lists the semi-automatic weapons included in the ban.

The Assault Weapon Ban was effective. Specifically, the use of assault weapons in mass shootings declined by more than two-thirds, nine years after the 1994 weapon ban was in place. In fact there were zero "mass murders, committed by lone-wolf terrorists, who had a foremost religious, racial or political background" in the U.S. the ten years the law was in effect.
Ryan is making sure Grayson's bill will not ever get to the House floor. Ironically, when Ryan tried to put up an NRA substitute bill last week, one that would do nothing to stop the epidemic of gun massacres, written by NRA lobbyists for Ryan, Republican extremists wouldn't even allow that to get to the House floor!

Thursday night, the NRA responded to Grayson's bill banning military equipment in the hands of civilians by endorsing one of their shills, Marco Rubio, for the Florida Senate seat. "We already knew," said Grayson, "they’d be coming after our campaign after I filed a bill to ban assault weapons, in an effort to prevent more tragedies like the one we experienced in Orlando. But we didn’t know they’d be coming after us so soon."

Do you want to stop gun massacres? Do you think there should be effective background checks on people buying guns? Do you think suspected terrorists should be banned from buying guns? Do you want to see military style guns banned for the general public? Then stop voting for conservatives. Help elect Grayson and the other progressives who are working too end this national NRA-made catastrophe:
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