On December 14, 2012, 26 lives were lost in one of the most horrendous acts of terrorism America has had to endure. The terrorist was not of a different nationality, nor did he speak with a foreign accent or have a ‘different sounding’ name, he was a home-grown, middle-class suburban white kid. He did not strap on a bomb and blow himself up or detonate a truck bomb. He merely picked up a Bushmaster military style assault weapon and stormed into a Connecticut elementary school and slaughtered 20 children and 6 of their brave heroic teachers.
In the wake of the attack, politicians all across America spoke out against allowing certain types of high-capacity military style assault weapons in the hands of the general public. Yet, the news out of Washington is that the United States Congress is now questioning a prospective ban on military assault weapons.
What could have happened in the three months since the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary school? What happened is the NRA. That is what happened. The National Rifle Association went on stage and informed every member of Congress they would not take kindly to members of congress endorsing any measure that would infringe upon rights under the 2nd amendment to the Constitution — and in those 90 some odd days the legislative leaders of America have been reduced to stumbling fools controlled by yet another corporate entity that does not place the vital interests of the American people first and foremost.
In the 1990s, the people of Scotland and Australia were subjected to similar acts of terrorism but, instead of fearing the loss of their political jobs, the members of their respective parliaments enacted laws that protected the citizens against future acts of domestic terrorism by banning certain types of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Neither country has had a single attack on a school since the measures became law.
In John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” Kennedy cites instance after instance where brave Americans stood up against mighty forces to help America become a better place for to live and prosper for all Americans. What’s happening today in our nation’s capital is nothing short of cowardice. Once again, politician after politician, sent to Washington to represent the people’s interest have lowered themselves to the role of political whore, afraid of their pimp’s power and bite.
Many experts have testified before both houses of Congress, and many reasons for attacks such as that which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary have been explored. In their testimony, the overwhelming sentiment, whether from police chief or parents of the dead, was that the 1996 assault weapons ban kept the deadly devices out of the hands of people set out on death and destruction.
In the next couple of days, you will hear from Washington the reasons why the assault weapons ban was not reintroduced before both houses of congress. You will hear politician after politician attempt to explain why they failed to protect all of America and not just the interests of corporations and lobbyists. But, in the end, the American people will suffer yet another attack on its people by yet another domestic terrorist, and the country will cry over the loss of life and the trauma inflicted by another person who had access to weapons of mass destruction.
The names of the victims will change, but the story will remain the same. The story will never change — in fact, the American story will never change until the American people realize the politicians of this land care more about their own political survival than they do the for the survival of the American people — and that it is up to the people to use their power to change the political landscape of Washington. Currently we face what we’ve seen before: the U.S. Congress has failed the American people on this issue, just as it has on many more issues where power and wealth have more influence than the people who make up America.
Image: New York Daily News