What's It Going to Take?
Only nine days ago, after a mass murder in Buffalo, we posted a blog that began with the words, “It happens everywhere…there is no escape from gun violence in the United States.”
And here we are, revisiting the horror, after another massacre in Uvalde, Texas, this time made even more heinous because it involved the slaughter of 19 second, third and fourth grade children.
Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr, whose own father was assassinated in 1984, shunned basketball talk in his pre-game press conference last night to focus on the tragedy in Uvalde.
“When are we going to do something?,” a trembling Kerr shouted, fighting back tears. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
As someone who has written about, debated, and supported gun control for over 50 years, I’m tired, too. And I’m afraid we’re all getting numb to these tragedies.
If we couldn’t pass background check legislation after Sandy Hook, is there any chance we can do it now?
I remember Sandy Hook like it was yesterday. I was driving to San Francisco for a meeting of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl hospitality committee. And as I drove, the news reports on KCBS kept increasing the death toll. By the time I arrived, I was in tears, barely able to hold it together for the meeting with my volunteers.
That was almost 10 years ago.
Today, 90 percent of Americans, including gun owners and NRA members, support universal background checks. A solid majority wants to ban assault weapons. But we remain unable to pass common sense gun legislation because Republican Senators are in the pocket of the gun lobby.
What’s it going to take?
Worst Person in the World: This week’s nominee for Worst Person in the World is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of the leading proponents of gun rights, who just happened to receive $300,000 from the NRA last year.
Yesterday, immediately after the Uvalde massacre, Cruz had this to say: “Inevitably when there’s a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” Cruz also called for armed law enforcement in schools.
Sorry, Ted, politicians who support gun control aren’t trying to “politicize” murder. They’re trying to protect our school children.
As for restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens, that’s not true, either. The goal is to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. That’s why background checks and red flag laws are so important.
And, for the record, the Constitution never said anything about allowing weapons of war to defend your home or gun down school children. The right to own a musket was granted within the context of a “well-regulated militia.”
As for arming teachers and counselors—a convenient way for the gun lobby to sell more guns—that’s patently absurd. Sure, let’s have a second grade teacher trying to escort her students to safety, exchanging gunfire with a killer carrying an AR-15 and wearing body armor.
Several months ago, Cruz posted a video of himself cooking bacon by wrapping it around the barrel of a machine gun he was firing at a shooting range.
It’s enough to make you sick.