Thursday, February 15, 2018

Republicans Have No Solutions To Gun Violence; They Are The Problem

"[T]here are many reasons you might have for voting for candidates of one or the other party that have nothing to do with guns. But the fact is that one of our two parties has in recent years decided that it will stop any and all efforts to address gun violence, no matter how reasonable they are and no matter how much of the public favors them."  -- Paul Waldman
Nikolas Cruz legally purchased the semiautomatic AR-15 rifle that he used to kill seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.  He appears to have some connection with white nationalist groups.  But we're not going to hear anything from the president or his party about easy access to guns or the rise of those very fine people wearing white hoods.  Instead we get the usual meaningless claptrap:  thoughts and prayers, proclamations and half-mast flags.  We also hear that the problem is not that there are too many readily-available assault weapons but that there are too many mentally ill people (as if one somehow cancels out the other).  Imagine the response if the shooter had been an immigrant, or Muslim, or a person of color.  

  • The GOP has prevented the CDC from conducting gun violence research
  • The GOP has repeatedly stopped renewal of the ban on assault-style rifles
  • The GOP has refused to allow passage of a ban on devices that can turn rifles into automatic weapons
  • Bush signed a law shielding gun manufacturers from liability
  • The GOP opposes strengthening background checks
  • Trump rolled back a rule that would have made it harder for the severely mentally ill to buy guns
  • The Trump DOJ purged from the current background check system 500,000 “fugitives from justice”
  • The latest Trump budget calls for $12 million in cuts to the current background check system
  • Trump shifted focus of a government program designed to counter all violent extremism, including from white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups, to "Islamist" extremism
  • Trump also proposes cutting $625 million from federal mental health programs, and $1 trillion from Medicaid, which provides health insurance for the mentally ill.
We can offer thoughts and prayers. We can issue proclamations and lower flags to half mast.  Or we can do the only thing that has any chance of addressing gun violence in America.  Vote Republicans out of office.

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