Saturday, March 24, 2018

Six Minutes And Twenty Seconds


What you see in the video above is Emma Gonzalez reading the Parkland victims’ names, crying and taking a six minute and 20 second pause, the amount of time Nikolas Cruz was shooting in the school. Pennsylvania Avenue was completely silent, save for the shutter of cameras and distant sirens. Students on stage and in the crowd began chanting, “Never again.” And she persisted.

How compelling has the narrative been around the March For Our Lives weekend? Well, compelling enough for several career-long congressional Republican NRA allies to try to glom onto the energy that swept the whole country yesterday. Their hands dripping in innocents' blood, Rodney Davis (R-IL), Steve Knight (R-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE), Mike Bost (R-IL) and John Rutherford (R-FL) are trying to pretend that they're part of the solution rather than complicit in the problem. And who ever would have thought the Trumpanzee Regime and his twerpy little Attorney General would ever do anything right? This is the press release Sessions sent out Friday about banning bump stocks as people were descending on DC:
Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, clarifying that bump stocks fall within the definition of “machinegun” under federal law, as such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.

In making the announcement, Attorney General Sessions made the following statement:

“Since the day he took office, President Trump has had no higher priority than the safety of each and every American,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “That is why today the Department of Justice is publishing for public comment a proposed rulemaking that would define ‘machinegun’ to include bump stock-type devices under federal law-- effectively banning them.  After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence that is in keeping with the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress.  I look forward to working with the President’s School Safety Commission to identify other ways to keep our country and our children safe, and I thank the President for his courageous leadership on this issue.”

On February 20, 2018, the President issued a memorandum instructing the Attorney General “to dedicate all available resources to… propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.” This NPRM is in response to that direction, and would make clear that the term “machinegun” as used in the National Firearms Act (NFA), as amended, and Gun Control Act (GCA), as amended, includes all bump-stock-type devices that harness recoil energy to facilitate the continuous operation of a semiautomatic long gun after a single pull of the trigger. If the NPRM is made final, bump-stock-type devices would be effectively banned under federal law and current possessors of bump-stock-type devices would be required to surrender, destroy, or otherwise render the devices permanently inoperable. The comment period for the NPRM is 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
The kids behind the march know that ultimately it's going to take defeating NRA allies to end NRA dominance-- and yesterday there was a lot of pushing to voter registration aimed at ousting incumbents with records like Rodney Davis, Steve Knight, Don Bacon and Mike Bost. Hopefully they've figured out there are Democrats who are every bit as bad, from incumbents like Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN) and Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX) to shit DCCC candidates like Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Anthony Brindisi (NY) and Elaine Luria (VA). If a politician can't say that semi-automatic weapons shouldn't be manufactured or sold for civilian use, they should be defeated, regardless of party and regardless of "circumstances" and electoral calculations.

How many people showed up Saturday? Estimates ranged between half a million and over a million-- and there were 900 "sibling marches" around the country and in other countries as well. Paul Clements told us he was at one of the 30 rallies in Michigan alone, the one in Kalamazoo. "I am so proud of these brave students," he told us yesterday, "who have turned their personal tragedy into inspiration for the world. As a congressman, I pledge to work with this growing movement to renew the assault weapons ban, to expand background checks, and to reduce gun-related suicides. The students are pulling off the blinders we’ve collectively used to turn away from the suffering inflicted by gun violence in America-- no more."

In Dallas Lillian Salerno was marching in solidarity with the students in DC. "As a mom, my heart breaks for the victims and their families impacted by the epidemic of mass shootings and daily tragedy of gun violence in our country. I am sick to my stomach that this keeps happening, and is sure to keep happening until we put the lives of our children and families over the profits of the gun lobby. That’s why I am participating in the March for our Lives today in Dallas. I stand with our students who are raising up their voices in Dallas, Parkland, and across the country. Once again the children are leading the effort to improve their safety at school and our safety as a nation. Will we listen? I refuse to accept one penny from the NRA and the gun lobby. Pete Sessions, on the other hand, has an A+ rating from the NRA and has stocked his campaign war chest with their funds."

Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) told us he "marched in Tucson with students and teachers, parents and neighbors, and members of our community to declare enough is enough. We need to take action to stop the gun violence epidemic in our country. For too long, politicians in Washington and in state capitals across the country have been bought out by gun manufacturers and the NRA, putting the bank accounts of gun industry executives over the safety of our children. In the weeks since 17 students lost their lives at school in Parkland, there have been at least 10 school shootings. In 2018 alone, over 3,000 people have lost their lives to gun violence. But I am hopeful about our ability to challenge the gun lobby for the first time in a long time. The organizing by the students at Parkland and in schools across the country has inspired the nation to act. Big change in this country only happens when a whole lot of people come together to demand it. Today, we’re seeing what that kind of movement looks like. Change will not happen overnight. But if we persist, if we keep pushing and refusing to stop in the face of challenges from the NRA and the gun lobby, we will put an end to the gun violence in this country...This movement and this work is only just beginning. Together, we can make this country a better and safer place to live."

The Parkland students and teenagers nationwide, many of whom have just turned or are about to turn, old enough to vote, are vowing to remove from office all lawmakers who refuse to vote for gun control. This isn't a good time to be Marco Rubio. Amanda Petrusich wrote for the New Yorker that "many had orange price tags dangling from their wrists: $1.05, the amount the National Rifle Association donated to the Republican Senator Marco Rubio, divided by the number of students in Florida, the state he represents. A massive sound system broadcast pop songs: Kesha’s 'Tic-Toc,' Britney Spears’s 'Toxic,' the Killers’ 'Mr. Brightside.'” The mood was celebratory, but determined."

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At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see. But... where the fuck was this after Columbine? I mean, the only one who did anything after that was Michael Moore.

Saw a stat that since JFK was killed (I think) 630,000 americans have died via gun violence.
So... I guess the straw that broke the camel's back might have been the 629,999th one???

It's always good to know one's tolerances.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

A masterful rendition of speech making by Emma Gonzalez. Very few, if any, professional speech makers would be able to stand in silence for the period she did and to equal effect. In fact, the current 'POTUS', for all his experience in the spotlight, would never be able to give that speech.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Hats off to Emma González she's a fighter bold brave & a hero.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only Emma Gonzalez were born 30 years earlier.


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