The Houston Chronicle, a center right, mostly Republican friendly newspaper, has taken a very strong stand against gun violence in the U.S. Its scathing editorial followed the recent gun carnage in Orlando, FL. It did not spare the rod for any political shill for the National Rifle Association. The editorial went as far as to suggest the only mechanism left for change with our insane gun policies is to elect new leadership. Across the board. Vote out the enablers of gun violence.
This is a pretty big deal for a newspaper that endorsed Ted Cruz (though it later walked that gaffe back after it realized Cruz is little more than a self-serving jerk). It had an ongoing love affair with former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. It urged Rick Perry to come back and lead Texas with an iron fist after he made a fool of himself and the state while on the Presidential campaign trail in 2012. (Leading Texas with an iron fist means pay to play politics and crony capitalism to me.) I read the editorials daily because I want to know where the city’s newspaper stands in a very purple, mostly blue urban area.
To be fair, the Houston Chronicle’s editorial board has appropriately heaped well-deserved and biting scorn on Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for his far right political conspiracy theories, his appalling hypocrisy and his fear mongering hoaxes. It has also rightfully walloped Governor Abbott for his craven political cowardice and his knee-jerk pandering to right wing extremists and their Obama bashing hate tales. It has throttled Attorney General Ken Paxton for refusing to resign from office after being charged with felony indictments.
The editorial board has also fittingly shown its unbridled contempt for the political cowards and the willing indentured servants who blindly serve the National Rifle Association. Like the rest of us, it has had enough of lawless gun carnage. We are beyond sick of the cowardice that always follows a gun massacre. We are enraged by the powerlessness that the gutlessness engenders.
Thoughts, prayers, condolences and moments of silence don’t cut it. None of the above will stop the next shooting in which innocent victims find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, whether at school, church or an entertainment venue. Thanks to the ease with which a madman can buy a weapon of mass murder.
Indeed, many of the political hypocrites who routinely offer their thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families are on the NRA’s dole. All have blood on their hands.
But as the nation continues to mourn the 49 people gunned down at the LGBT club, Pulse, in Orlando, Fla., this routine decision is probably the most we can hope for while elected officials hide behind their own interpretation of the Second Amendment - one that conveniently ignores the phrase, "well-regulated."
According to the NRA’s pawns a well-regulated militia means the right for every sociopath to own a gun, no matter who or the circumstances. It is grotesque that those on the Terror Watch list can legally purchase a weapon of mass murder in the U.S. Meanwhile, you and I are screened at the airports.
The 9th Circuit has a reputation for liberal decisions, but even the late Justice Antonin Scalia held in the famous 2008 case, D.C. v. Heller, that the Second Amendment leaves room for all sorts of time, place and manner restrictions on gun ownership.
But don't expect to see serious politicians work within those constitutional bounds to make our nation a safer place. You're more likely to see them act like Abbott. Gun crimes consume our nation and our governor tweets out jokes.
Our courageous Governor had tweeted the famous Texas quote “come and take it” after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found no constitutional right to concealed carry in public.
But don't expect to see serious politicians work within those constitutional bounds to make our nation a safer place. You're more likely to see them act like Abbott. Gun crimes consume our nation and our governor tweets out jokes. No matter what Abbott thinks, law enforcement eventually will come and take it. They took the .223 caliber AR type rifle in the Orlando attack. They took the AR-15 that was used to kill 12 and wound 70 in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater and the AR-15 that butchered 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
The Republican Party refuses to lift a finger to curb gun violence in the U.S. All have cheaply sold their souls to the National Rifle Association and its campaign contributions.
Congress seems content to end its duties at a moment of silence, and our elected officials nearly failed at that. The House of Representatives erupted into chaos after a solemn moment Tuesday when Speaker Paul Ryan shut down an attempt by Democrats to ask when gun legislation would be considered.
The Republican Party continues to hide behind a perverted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Worse, during TV interviews following the Orlando shooting rampage, the gutless John Cornyn and Paul Ryan attempted to spin, twist and bastardize the notion of “constitutional rights” for mass murderers. Something to the effect: “We have to be very careful as to how we change our gun laws so as to not trample on constitutional rights.” I heard U.S. House Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) parrot the same talking points on NPR the other day. The NRA’s ventriloquists have well-programmed their puppets.
The NRA might have talented spin masters but after far too many violent assault weapons massacres most of us can see straight through the BS. We are instead enraged and insulted by the hideous and shameful word smithing. The NRA and its weapons carriers in the Republican Party are hopeless apologists for the unbridled and unchecked murder of ordinary citizens.
Congress didn't act after schoolchildren were slaughtered in Newtown. It didn't act after one of their own, Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head in 2011. And our elected officials don't seem likely to do anything different after the LGBT community was made a target of murderous hate in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
This isn't the fault of the Second Amendment. This is the fault of those in public office who worry more about bowing before the NRA than lowering their heads in mourning. Things won't change until someone else comes and takes their seats.
But a newspaper’s public thrashing of political cowards will not solve the gun rampage disease that pervades our society. This effort requires action from all of us.
What do we do?
We go to Open Secrets.org to learn how much the NRA contributes to our elected officials. We call our representatives in the U.S., state and local governments. We let them know that we know the NRA owns them. We sign petitions. We support and donate to efforts that strive to put the brakes on gun slaughter. We stay politically informed. We remain tireless in our efforts to hold the wimps and weaklings in public offices accountable.
We never shut up. Newspaper editorial boards, journalists, TV news anchors, public servants, public figures, citizen bloggers must never let up on the NRA, aka Murder Inc. and it’s shameful marionettes in office.
A prominent journalist and writer, William Greider, rightfully took Chief Justice John Roberts to task for providing an assist to the NRA’s craven political stooges.
The Blood of Orlando is on John Roberts’ Hands
Our grieving over the Orlando massacre will have little or no effect unless we mobilize our sorrows into rage that targets all of the political culprits. Americans must mobilize a take-no-prisoners political anger that overrides the usual lamentations and legalistic excuses from politicians in both parties.
Don’t just blame crazed bigots or foreign subversives. This slaughter was enabled by our own elected politicians, with an assist from the US Supreme Court. They should be the true target of our rage.
Elections do matter. W.’s appointee Chief Justice John Roberts enabled the easy access to assault weapons.
We the people are confronted by a profound crisis of national security far more threatening than any of the far-flung wars the United States has engaged in the Middle East. I predict that if Washington will not act forcefully to halt the domestic violence, endangered citizens will feel compelled to take up their own self-defense.
The violence is a constitutional emergency subverting the civil order — a crisis the Supreme Court did not anticipate when it threw out the gun-control laws and rewrote the Second Amendment.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have blood on their hands. The Supreme Court has put guns beyond the reach of law.
Chief Justice John Roberts has blood on his hands. So do his right-wing associates who defended the “gun rights” trumpeted by the National Rifle Association. If my accusation seems unfair, tell it to the scores of families whose innocents were murdered without a trial. There will be many more of these victims — you can count on it — so long as the Supreme Court puts guns beyond the reach of law.
The country might have been on the way to a solution for this dilemma except for the unconstitutional intervention of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Republican Senate majority leader. With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama had the power to appoint a more liberal replacement, except McConnell preemptively announced that his GOP majority would refuse to consider anyone Obama nominated.
Mitch McConnell is a blatant bigot. Period. Senator John Cornyn, never failing to disappoint, backed up Mitch McConnell’s bigotry.
Let’s be blunt about this. McConnell has made a minstrel show out of the Constitution. Any lame-duck president in the final year of his term has the power to appoint a new Supreme Court justice — unless, it seems, that lame-duck president has a black face. Can anyone doubt that race was an important factor in the GOP’s refusal to even consider Obama’s nominee? Can we imagine a GOP Senate refusing to consider a nomination from a white Democratic president?
Mr. Greider criticized Senate Democrats for being too polite. All should have publicly berated Mitch McConnell for his racist intent in refusing to advance President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Scalia’s post on the U.S. Supreme Court bench.
Indeed, after Obama nominated a greatly respected (white) judge, Dems poured on criticism after the GOP refused to act. But it was telling that Democrats were too polite to accuse McConnell of racist intent; instead, he became constitutional scholar for a day. Democrats should have shut down the Senate until he respected regular order. That would have doubtless produced the gun-law reforms the nation so desperately needs.
We need gun law reforms but we are not going see any changes until we the people take a stand. The National Rifle Association is a very powerful body. Politicians are terrified of it because all pols know the powerful gun lobby will run primary opponents against them. I honestly can’t see why these anti-government conservative Republicans are so fixated on holding on to their seats. To the point that they allow the NRA to bully them into facilitating mass murder. Their behavior and knee jerk obedience to the gun lobby is beyond sick and twisted. It is downright evil and a danger to our personal safety. For? A six figure salary and two day work week with endless vacations?
Whatever the politicians decide, this crisis also demands direct action that confronts disgusting contradictions the elected politicians have usually tolerated. Who sold the guns to the Orlando murderer? People should find the store and shut it down. The local prosecutor could name the owner as an unindicted co-conspirator; such a move would make gun-store owners vulnerable to civil-damage lawsuits by families of victims.
And who made the guns that killed the innocents? Surround the factory too. Find out where the executives live.
And who elected the guys who enacted the laws that armed the sick deviants who killed so many people Saturday night in Orlando?
Do not wait for political leaders to find their strategy. Put them face to face with their failure.
Let’s give ‘em hell before some of us find ourselves killed by yet one more lunatic with an easily obtainable assault weapon. As Mr. Greider pointed out, we have gun rights, too. We have the right not to be slaughtered by a deranged psychopath with a weapon meant for war zones.
The ghastly shooting in Orlando, FL happened on the same night my husband and I encountered a homophobic and very angry UBER driver while in Washington, D.C. We had been on our way to meet with our son and soon to be daughter-in-law. We had decided to meet at a restaurant on 14th NW, not knowing the Gay Pride parade had been scheduled for that evening on the same street. In the past the parade had been held elsewhere.
So, while the UBER driver grew increasingly frustrated at the police blocked roads to our destination, our son texted us. “There’s a parade, you might want to get out of the car and walk. It will be quicker.” When I told the driver a parade was about to take place on 14th St. he asked what kind of parade because he knew of none. When I mentioned Gay Pride, the driver lost it. He cursed, he quoted bible verses against homosexuality and he railed against politicians who support gay marriage. The distraught driver pounded his steering wheel while praying to God.
His bible quotes reminded me of the time in which the religious right railed against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance last year.
Bigotry and hatred are especially ugly when cloaked by religious beliefs. A merger of God, bigotry and guns can be a potentially malicious precursor for forthcoming atrocities. Certain politicians are guilty of stoking the fires that divide and harm us.
Please make sure you are registered to vote in November.