The working people headed home on the commuter train from NYC that fateful day in 1993 never anticipated that some of them would never make it home. Six people didn't, their families were never the same, and Long Island and the nation were rattled. Congress' only response then was thoughts and prayers. Even when one of the victim's wives was elected to Congress, she was rendered powerless by the conservative cowards in both houses from doing anything to prevent these incidents from reoccurring.
Six years later, two students armed with guns left the halls of a Colorado high school strewn with bodies. Young lives were ended way too soon, the nation mourned, but Washington offered nothing but thoughts and prayers. Instead, more students in other schools are shot over the years, and the Colorado town becomes an empty rallying cry for gun control that, like the victims that day in 1999, has never seen the light of day.
The beautiful, young faces of twenty first graders murdered in a Connecticut elementary school in 2012 weren't enough to cause change. Just thoughts and prayers, and so many tears. We all went home, cried, and hugged our own children, but still Washington did nothing. The president begged the lawmakers to act, but the NRA won the battle in their war to protect their gun rights at all costs. And those costs have been high. Thousands have died from guns.
Students on college campuses across the country became targets of killers armed with guns. Virginia Tech, Oikos U, Umpqua CC, Northern Illinois U, U Arizona, the list goes on and on. We cry, fear that much more for our children as they go away to school, and Congress does nothing more than pray.
American military personnel are killed in mass shootings on their own turf in places like Texas, Washington, and Tennessee. Washington thanked them for their service, offered prayers and military funerals, but dishonored these same men and women by again failing to keep the American people safe from future such shootings.
A Congresswoman barely survives a bullet to the head in Arizona. Others died that day in 2013. But crickets from her conservative colleagues in Congress.
A Colorado movie theater became the scene of a tragedy more frightening than any movie script could ever be. But the sequel to that day was again nothing but thoughts and prayers.
The veil of sanctuary in a church in South Carolina was torn away as a man pulled the trigger, and the lives of beautiful, loving, God-fearing people were ended. The conservatives in Washington paraded the same thoughts and prayers.
And the slaughter of so many people in a Florida bar that catered to people in the LGBTQ community was certainly not going to get the gun rights activists and the conservative politicians they bought to budge off their irrational construction of the Second Amendment. Some of those same conservatives barely even offered thoughts and prayers.
Workplaces, shopping malls, you name it. No place has become immune from gun massacres. Still it has not been enough to get the NRA mouthpieces to pass any measures to control the proliferation of guns and these mass shootings.
Fast forward to this past week, when we saw a man brutally use thousands at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas as shooting targets. Fifty nine American lives were extinguished,and hundreds were injured. A man who was able to amass an arsenal, and convert those weapons into killing machines, all permitted under the current laws, used the Vegas strip as the scene of the worst mass shooting in modern American history.
What has occurred since then? Guess what, Congress offered its thoughts and prayers. Oh, and we hear that the NRA, hence the conservatives in Congress, may allow for the ATF to regulate bump stock devices of the type that the Vegas shooter used. That's it?
As I sit here this morning watching Congressman Scalise, who, himself, barely survived a shooting this year, state that the Second Amendment cannot be limited and pretty much tell us that we have to accept the status quo, I have reached my limit. I vow to do everything I can to make sure that every member of Congress who has voted against reasonable gun control measures over the years be voted out of office. And I will assist in any way to fill those seats with smart, courageous, compassionate men and women who truly care about the American people and will honor the memories of the victims of gun violence with real solutions. That is the only way to make America safe again.
Originally posted in Lindenhurst Patch, https://patch.com/new-york/lindenhurst/s/g900q/if-all-washington-offers-thoughts-prayers-lets-change-washington?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_term=local+voices&utm_campaign=autopost&utm_content=lindenhurst
Photo via AP Photo/John Locher