Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Democrats & Doctors Launch Attack On Gun Violence

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy filibusters
It's about time.

With Connecticut Democratic Senator Christopher Murphy's filibuster procedure taking over the floor of the U.S Senate to call attention to Senate Republicans refusing to act on gun control legislation or initiatives, we're finally seeing a Senator voice the will of the majority of the American people on gun violence.

The list of horrific mass shootings by demented AMERICANS reads like a bloody road map of unimaginable terror. Columbine High School and the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

The Emanuelle African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the worst of them all recently at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. (To name a few.)

It's not enough to agree that the majority of American people have had enough, to me the question to consider is this:

A pastor comforts two people in Orlando
After all the latest memorials, remembrances and funerals are done, and the media packs up and leaves Orlando and begins to allow the community to begin to heal and try and return to a sense of normalcy, can the current public outrage over the epidemic of mass shootings of innocent people be sustained to the degree that it can be translated into a long-term, organized grass roots movement by American citizens to demand that politicians begin to regulate the availability and sale of firearms in this nation?

Senate Democrats like the above-mentioned Christopher Murphy and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker stepping forward to call out Republicans for doing everything possible to appease the NRA by doing nothing about enacting sensible gun control legislation is a positive first step.

Gun control advocacy groups that gather data on gun violence (23,763 incidents of gun violence in 2016), provide news updates about shootings and information on legislative efforts to oppose or support gun control legislation  like The Trace and Every Town For Gun Safety serve as invaluable resources to educate the public and keep citizens informed.

In the wake of Orlando both groups are stepping up efforts to circulate petitions and rallying members of the public to pressure Republican politicians to introduce legislation to address the gun violence epidemic in America.

In defiance of the jaw-dropping ongoing efforts by Republicans to block the use of taxpayer funds from being used by scientists and researchers to study the impact of gun violence on the health of the nation's citizens, American physicians are stepping up to the plate too.

On Tuesday the American Medical Association, one of the nation's leading associations of health professionals, adopted a new policy position that labels gun violence in America a public health crisis.

As AMA President Steven J. Stack said in a press release on Tuesday:

"With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence."

The AMA also pledged to begin to pressure Republican Congressman to allow the Centers for Disease Control to use taxpayer funds to conduct research on gun violence.

The AMA also voted to call for mandatory background checks on all firearm purchases and pledged to step up their efforts to begin actively lobbying Congress to enact gun control legislation.

It just boggles the mind that Republicans can be so brain-dead on this issue, and so beholden to the whims of the NRA even though a majority of NRA members (and fire arms owners) support things like mandatory background checks.

As I write these words at 11:07pm, I'm watching and listening to a live video stream of Democratic Senators on the floor of the U.S. Senate as they filibuster in support of gun control legislation; it's inspiring, this is what politics should be about.

Democratic Hawaii Sen Brian Schatz
Right now, various Democratic Senators are using their procedural right to be recognized by Senator Murphy to ask him a question, to make meaningful and lengthy commentary on why they support gun control legislation before they ask the actual question - in part to give Senator Murphy time to rest his voice.

Right now Hawaii's Democratic Senator Brian Schatz is at the podium "asking a question", he just said more and more people are filling up the galley to listen to the filibuster.

A few minutes ago he read a message he just received via email a few minutes before he took the floor from a resident of his home state thanking the senators for what they're doing with the filibuster.

This fellow citizen expressed alarm that after taking their child to the movies recently, in light of the Orlando shootings, they were thinking of where to sit in the theater in case of a shooter - and how to protect their child.

We shouldn't have to think about things like that in this country.

And if you agree, be one of the thousands of people around the nation who are calling or contacting Chris Murphy's office to express their support for his filibuster.

You can reach Senator Murphy's office in Washington D.C. at 202-224-4041; I just called and told the young woman who answered on the 2nd ring that I back his filibuster 110% and that he's speaking for the REAL silent majority in this country.

I doubt any Republicans are in the chamber tonight, but I hope they would take the time to stop and read the heartbreaking open letter that Nelba Marquez-Greene, one of the mothers who lost her child in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, wrote to the families of the victims of the Orlando shooting.

I just don't see how anyone can read that, or think about the victims of gun violence, and not be compelled to use the power of their political office for something meaningful.

Something beyond Democrat, or Republican, or the lobbyists who wine and dine them and fill their coffers - something that's simply human.

And the right thing to do.

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