From HUFFPOST POLITICS:
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) said he won’t be attending any more moments of silence on the House floor after mass shootings, arguing that they have become an excuse for Congress not to take any real action to address gun violence.
Himes’ tweet came Sunday night, after the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At least 50 people were killed in what is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Himes’ district neighbors Newtown, the town in southwestern Connecticut that had its own tragedy in 2012, when Adam Lanza gunned down 20 children and six adults in an elementary school. He has said he feels ashamed that Congress hasn’t done anything on gun violence.
Connecticut’s senators, Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, also put out blistering statements Sunday in response to the Orlando shooting, saying lawmakers’ inaction on gun control made them “complicit.”
I stand with Congressman Himes. People, including members of Congress, can have their prayers and moments of silence privately if it gives them any solace. However, prayers and silence are not in their job descriptions. DO SOMETHING!
If they want to have a moment of silence while they are supposed to be doing their work, they should use those moments to think about how they worry only about the profits of gunmakers instead of the safety of their constituents. They should take their hands out of the pockets filled with NRA money and look at the blood that coats them. They had their moment of silence when people were massacred when they went to see a movie in Aurora, Colorado. And then they did nothing. They had their moment of silence when babies were slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut. And then they did nothing. Now they had their moment of silence for innocents who went out on a Saturday night to unwind and have some fun. And they will probably do nothing. We will probably hear that old familiar phrase about how this is not the time to talk about gun control when we are so emotional. When is the time? A patient is told about surgery, radiation and chemotherapy when they are told they have cancer. The doctors don’t wait until the patient and their families are less emotional, because cancer spreads. Just because we are emotional, we can still think clearly. We know that automatic weapons exist only to kill the greatest number of people in the shortest period of time. If the people who are elected to represent us are unable to think as clearly as the average citizen in times of heightened emotion, they need to be replaced.
The Aurora shooter, the Newtown shooter, the San Bernadino shooters and the Orlando shooter all had different motives. We will probably never truly know what they were, because we can’t really know what anyone is thinking. But whatever their different motives might have been, they all had one thing in common that we know for sure–their weapon of choice. We can’t control what people are thinking, and we cannot magically make the insane sane. What lawmakers can do, if they forgo their moments of silence and take action instead, is ban the sale of automatic weapons. Insane or malevolent people shouldn’t have them, and law-abiding citizens don’t need them. It’s really that simple.
And finally, a word to the Republicans: Don’t tell us that you suddenly give a damn about the LGBT community. You have a candidate for President whose every word drips with hate. In order to distract voters, you cooked up some nonsense about transgender people being menaces in public bathrooms. You talk about the evil “gay agenda.” You stir up hatred in the worst of your misinformed constituents, and then you act shocked when hate crimes are committed.
Going to end my rant now, though there is much more to be said about homophobia, Islamophobia and the narcissism and hypocrisy of those who label themselves Christian, while nothing they do or say reflects anything that label is supposed to represent.
My heart goes out to the victims and the families of this latest tragedy, as well as to all the other victims of gun violence who go unnoticed. May they somehow find peace, and may the rest of us not sit silently.