They look at you with blank eyes. There is no compassion in their eyes.
Carlee Soto, sister of Victoria Soto who was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Ms. Soto wasn't speaking of either sharks or barracudas, although she might as well have been. She was talking about the United States Senators she spoke to while lobbying to get a bill passed. It was a law that would require a buyer back ground check to be run before a weapons sale at a gun show or over the internet could be completed.
The bill was sponsored by Joe Manchin, D-WV and Pat Toomey, R-PA. In rational parts of the world it would have passed because the vote was 54-46 in favor. However since the vote was taken in the U.S. Senate, which will never be accused of being rational, it needed 60 votes to move forward.
Most credible polls have shown that 90% of the American public supports expanded background checks. In fact according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released today 86% are still for it, while only 13% are against it.
Unfortunately for most of us, you know the 86%, that 13% includes the NRA, their unlimited treasury, and a following that screeches louder than the the mythical Irish banshee.
The National Rifle Association fired up its troops by issuing a statement that said, "(The bill) would criminalize certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring life long friends, neighbors, and some family members to get federal permission to exercise a fundamental right, or face prosecution."
Senator Manchin had three words for that release. "The NRA lied."
Well of course they did. Never has any government anywhere been so influenced by such an amoral, in fact sociopathic, outfit as the NRA. How long will it take for everyone to understand they are capable of anything to keep the gun manufacturers happy? Lying is a given and probably the least of a myriad of sins they have and are prepared to commit.
Want proof? In a display of abject sadism a few weeks ago the NRA bombarded the population of Newtown with calls urging them to defeat pending gun control legislation in the Connecticut General Assembly. Lately their field hands in the Senate have been busy attempting to discredit gun violence victims and their families because they have been lobbying for the Manchin-Toomey bill. Last week republican Jim Inhofe said the families of victims have nothing to do with it. This week Rand Paul was quoted as saying, "In some cases I think the president is using them as props."
Young Ms. Soto's response to Senator Paul was, "He's absurd."
In a statement at the white house, President Obama said, "I've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced--a prop somebody called it. Are they serious? Do they really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do they think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate?"
In other words, Carlee Soto has just as much of a right to lobby her cause as the NRA does.
Mark Kelly, the husband of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords called yesterdays vote, "A moment of shame for the Senate." He went on to say, "If that vote had been a secret ballot, it would have passed with 80 votes." It is pure speculation of course, but it feels true. Before the roll call the NRA issued a stern warning that it would be keeping an eye on who supported it and who didn't and that they'd dole out their political support, or opposition accordingly. After vomiting with fear the meek caved in.
On MSNBC, former republican congressman Joe Scarborough said flatly, "The American people were insulted yesterday.
That is putting it mildly.
So the tyranny of the minority continues in the United States for the time being. The Senate has proven it does not serve the people of the nation, or the best interests of the republic. It is wholly owned and operated by a cabal of gun manufacturers and a loud paranoid mob that in truth is a very small fraction of the population.
In the mean time we are just waiting on the next James Holmes, the next Adam Lanza, the next mass murderer who will kill dozens, if not more, innocent people with a weapon that was bought legally. He is out there right now. He is listening to those voices echo in his head and he is convinced he has been terribly wronged by civilization and life itself. If he hasn't all ready, he is about to walk into a sporting goods store to buy a weapon and ammunition clips that should be restricted to military use. The clerk will joke with him about the number of prairie dogs, or rats he plans on killing without having to reload. He probably won't laugh at such witticisms because, after all, he is a quiet man: one we've grown to know all too well.
Slate and @GunDeaths reports that as of April 17th at least 3,513 Americans have been shot to death since the Sandy Hook attack. That is a little over 878 people a month.
Apparently it's not enough. At least not yet.