Guns are now the leading cause of death for young people in America, “land of the free.”
On the first anniversary of the Uvalde,Texas mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) condemned the inaction of the Republican caucus, saying this bloodshed is a choice, and beseeching her colleagues to “have mercy on this country” by turning thoughts and prayers into actions and solutions.
“One year later, I rise in mourning. I mourn the souls taken from their families in Buffalo. I mourn the children and teachers murdered in Uvalde. I mourn the thousands of Americans who have been shot to death in the year since,” Clark said after mentioning other mass shootings, including the white supremacist terror attack in Buffalo, New York.
Clark detailed several stories of just a few of the slain Americans whose lives were cut short by “weapons of war,” in an effort to humanize the numbers.
Clark condemned the inaction of the majority party, “Mr. Speaker, this bloodshed is a choice. To my colleagues, have mercy on this country. If you care about public safety, let’s vote to get these tools of carnage out of dangerous hands.
“Let’s turn our thoughts and prayers into actions and solutions. If you really care, let’s put an end to this daily calamity.”
Sometimes, it’s the appeal to humanity and morality that resonates more than the statistics and even the grim reality. We have tried everything else. Nothing seems to move the Republican Party off of their belief that guns should have more rights than children, than women, than human beings.
The school shooting generation has led the way on how to fight back against the entrenchment of the Republican Party on guns. March for Our Lives writes, “In 2022, Gen-Z voted at historic rates in the midterms to protect our future. March For Our Lives held 450 marches worldwide, leading to 20+ new state laws to curb gun violence, and the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first federal legislation on guns in 30 years.” This group formed by young people has as their mission what should actually be the responsibility of the people being paid to provide it, “We aim to create safe and healthy communities and livelihoods where gun violence is obsolete.” That should be the job of the lawmakers the people pay to “represent” them.
The focus on the immorality of the refusal to take meaningful action on unfettered access to weapons of war is a strong weapon because it reaches people who aren’t “political.” It can move the dial on elections.
Republicans have always understood the power of emotion and appeal to morality in moving public opinion, perhaps Democrats are catching up. But in this case, public opinion is already on the side of Democrats and it’s really the corruption of the political process through gerrymandering and other means that has enabled the NRA to prevail over the Republican legislative platform.
A country that allows its children to be slaughtered and traumatized while in an institution of learning is not a healthy democracy. This fact is a call to action for all citizens who want to protect our children.
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