The cowards I refer to are not the shooters. The cowards are the politicians living in such fear of the NRA they are unwilling to respond to the majority cry for background checks, sensible regulation of access to guns in the United States.
Barack Obama put words to the desperation of millions of Americans – and the despair of the rest of the world – after another mass shooting at a school in Oregon on Thursday, the latest of nearly 1,000 since his reelection in 2012.
“Somehow,” the president said, “this has become routine.
“The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it,” Obama trailed off, at once frustrated and spirited at the White House. “We’ve become numb to this … We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg; after Tucson, after Newtown; after Aurora, after Charleston.”
The words mark a long list of tragedy. Since Obama’s reelection to a second term in November 2012 – which itself was followed by the shooting of 26 people including 20 children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, just a few weeks later – there had been 993 mass shooting events in the United States . Thursday’s attack, at Umpqua community college in the town of Roseburg, was No 994. Almost 300 of them have occurred in 2015.
The numbers go deeper than the statements, as the president said…
…The number of firearm homicides in 2013, the last year for which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has statistics, was 11,208. The year before Sandy Hook, it was 107 fewer than that.
That’s just intentional homicides. Firearms are the cause of death for more than 33,000 people in America every year, according to the CDC; a number that includes both accidental discharge, murder and suicides, which are on the increase, especially in states with lax gun-control laws, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
That means guns kill more people in America every six hours than terrorist attacks did in the entire year of 2014.
On top of that, in 2010 more than 73,000 Americans were treated in hospitals for firearm-related injuries, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Eloquence means nothing. Republicans revel in the wash of bloodshed. Every murder, every child killed by accident, every drive-by shooting means the stupid vote stays solid for Republicans. They know Congress hasn’t the courage to act, to lead.
Eloquence means nothing to Blue Dog Democrats invested more in cowardice than courage. They fear the stupid vote will be rounded up against their potential corral of sensible voters. They fear that even more than losing their share of blood money doled out to every politician who says “how high?” whenever the NRA says, “JUMP”.