A Congressional “moment of silence” for Orlando won’t do anything to end gun violence

On Sunday evening, shortly after I learned of yet another massacre of innocent Americans by a madman with a gun, I attended the Connecticut premiere of “Newtown,” a documentary chronicling the emotional aftermath for several parents whose children were obliterated by Adam Lanza and his AR-15 at Sandy Hook Elementary School…

Then I thought about how Congress would respond to the latest atrocity. There would be, for the umpteenth time, a moment of silence. To “honor” the victims. We did it five times just last year: Stop talking about sports and dinner and Donald Trump for about 10 seconds, put on our most serious faces, wonder if we’d turned off our phones. For 10 seconds.

Done. Over. On to the next thing.

Not me. Not anymore.

If the House of Representatives had a solitary moral fiber, even a wisp of human empathy, we would spend moments not in silence, but screaming at painful volume the names of the 49 whose bodies were ripped apart in Orlando, and the previous victims and the ones before them. We’d invite parents and partners and siblings up from Orlando, and ask them to speak, openly, rawly, honestly about their pain. We’d listen. And maybe, just maybe, we’d hear…

Instead of staying in the House chamber Tuesday night, I walked out of the moment of silence, joined by some of my colleagues. Other Democrats who remained in the chamber tried to get Speaker Paul D. Ryan to act on gun control legislation. To no avail.

Congress exists to reflect the will of the people. The vast majority of Americans support measures such as universal background checks, keeping people on the no-fly list from purchasing weapons and limits on how ferocious a weapon a civilian can own. But Congress offers only silence.

RTFA. Please. Nice to see Democrats paying more attention to the needs of real people. Growing a backbone and facing up to the stone-hearted pimps who represent their electorate in the name of the Republican Party.

Time to start trying for change, again.

3 thoughts on “A Congressional “moment of silence” for Orlando won’t do anything to end gun violence

  1. Meanwhile says:

    Surprising Progress in Newtown Families’ Suit Against Maker of the AR-15 Rifle http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/nyregion/in-newtown-families-suit-against-maker-of-the-ar-15-rifle-surprising-progress.html For two years, a group of families in Newtown, Conn., quietly laid the groundwork for a legal case against the maker and sellers of the assault rifle that on Dec. 14, 2012, claimed 26 lives — and shattered their own — in less than five minutes.
    …The legal challenge faces long odds, and a key hearing next week will determine its future. But the lawsuit has already progressed further than many had expected — a Connecticut judge has set a trial date and has ordered the defendants to turn over documents — and no matter the outcome, it represents a muscular campaign against the powerful gun industry.
    The lawsuit seeks to overcome the broad immunity given to gun makers and sellers under a 2005 federal law, protecting them from liability when guns are used in a crime. But there is a small window for holding companies accountable, including instances of so-called negligent entrustment, in which a gun is carelessly given or sold to a person posing a high risk of misusing it.

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