The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the NRA still has a strong hold over the government. This was proven earlier this week when the senate voted on two proposed bills aiming to expand gun control laws under the broad umbrella of proposed “common sense” gun laws. Although polls estimate that 90% of Americans want the “gun show loophole” closed or to expand background checks.
The Orlando Pulse shooting is the 133rd mass shooting of 2016, when we were only 164 days into the year. Many people are frustrated with Congress’ lack of legislature in regards to common sense gun laws. The NRA has blocked much of this legislature from passing due to their fear that their guns will be completely taken away. 93% of Americans support background checks, while 58% of Americans support a ban on assault-style weapons, according to Quinnipiac University research.
This gunman was investigated by the FBI numerous times (some reports say two, others say three), and was convicted of domestic abuse to his ex-wife, yet was still legally able to buy a gun. As Obama said the weekend after the shooting, “I can put someone on the no fly list, but I can’t ban them from buying a gun” (sic). Many NRA activists also insist that Obama wants to completely take their guns away, but he insists “at no point have I ever, ever proposed confiscating guns from responsible gun owners. So it’s just not true.”
After Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes’s walk-out during the moment of silence for the Orlando victims (in which he stated that silence “mocks the victims”), and Senator Chris Murphy’s 15-hour filibuster this weekend, gun control activists saw a glimmer of hope. After the most recent mass shootings, legislature has been proposed, but it has always been shot down. With the most recent mass shooting in Orlando, in which a gunman killed 49 and wounded 53 at gay nightclub Pulse earlier this month, the nation waited with bated breath for what the government would do. We should not have been surprised.
The proposal regarding expanded background checks was shot down 44 to 56. The terrorist watch list proposal failed 47 to 53. They would have needed 60 votes to move forward. Senate Minority leader Harry Reed, a democrat from Nevada, expressed his disdain for the pattern of inaction, stating “it’s always the same. After each tragedy we try, we Democrats try to pass sensible gun safety measures. Sadly, our efforts are blocked by the Republicans in Congress who take their marching orders from the National Rifle Association.”
Hopefully there will be something done soon to stop this terror. Recently, the New York Times put together a list of America’s deadliest mass shootings from 1984 to now, and just scrolling through that list makes one feel the weight of America’s mass shooting epidemic. Something needs to be done, and soon. We can’t keep “praying” for lives lost. We need to step up and do something.