Once again we are a nation staring into a trauma of our own making. The actions of a teenage boy left a wake of tragedy we cannot easily recover from. Seventeen lives gone, for no reason. Five in critical, life threatening condition and nine others injured in yet ANOTHER mass shooting. And the best the GOP has to offer is “Thoughts and prayers.” Well, Fuck you. Yes, I said it. I mean it. In fact, that can’t even capture the extent of my disgust and contempt. Don’t tell me it is too soon. Don’t tell me more guns will fix this problem. Not a single one of these people should have died. None. There is no excuse. We will not tolerate another excuse and your thoughts and prayers are completely worthless, meaningless. In fact, they are worse, they are contributing to this epidemic of violent death.
What do you think you are going to do? Pray the tragedy away? Do you think if you pray enough then suddenly gun violence will end? Do you think anyone gives a shit about your prayers when you refuse to take any action, I mean get off your ass and do ANYTHING to help stop this from happening over and over again? You might complain about our nation being more godless all the time, but take a look in the mirror: You are the reason why. This did not happen for some greater plan by a scary sky god. This happened because you and your buddies at the NRA worship guns, and you think your so-called right to own a semiautomatic weapon is more important than countless children’s lives. Oh, but they aren’t really countless, now are they? They are each real. They were each living, thriving, they loved and dreamed of futures that were stolen. You stole them just as certainly as the criminal who pulled the trigger. You stole those lives because silence is complicity. Because you stood by and let it happen. Because you have the power to change this and refuse.
I blame the GOP for standing in the way of every reasonable gun control measure and for relaxing gun control laws in existence. We are tired of being sad, broken-hearted and mourning. Now I’m just angry, beyond words, beyond anything I can describe.
And for every single one of you abominations in office who voted against reasonable gun controls, I am going to make sure your face and your name are directly associated with every single one of these deaths. Their blood is on your hands. We have signed petitions, submitted legislation, pleaded, begged, demanded, marched, but you scorned us. You even said it is the price we pay for our freedom. Whose? Yours? It certainly wasn’t the freedom of those who have been slaughtered en mass.
No, so many of us have been pushing for firearm reform for years. This isn’t our fault. This is on you, not us. We have been trying to save these lives, but you don’t. You won’t. Now tell me, exactly what is your quota before it is too much? If you are intent to bathe in the blood of children, exactly how many does it take to fill up your bath? You were not elected to hand out thoughts and prayers. You were elected to take action and pass laws to protect our citizens and our interests. You aren’t just failing. You are derelict and wholly corrupt, filling your pockets with NRA money. Hell, Trump wanted to end gun-free zones altogether, including schools. And if you have forgotten, feel free to Google it. Check out his campaign starting in January of 2016, and reiterated for months afterwards.
Right now is the time to address this. Today. Immediately. To say we need to wait is just a complete bullshit response because you don’t want to do anything at all. You never want to do anything that actually protects our children and our families.
And here is a list of the Senators and Representatives who have taken the most money from the NRA in direct contributions which are reported:
Sen. John McCain (R-AR) $7,740,521
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) $6,986,620
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) $4,418,012
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) $3,879,064
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FLA) $3,303,355
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) $3,124,273
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) $3,061,941
Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) $2,896,732
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) $2,861,047
Rep. French Hill (R-AR) $1,089,477
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) $800,544
Rep. David Young (R-IA) $707,662
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) $385,731
Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) $344,630
Rep. Don Young (R-AK) $245,720
Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) $221,736
Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) $201,398
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) $158,111
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) $137,232
And how about some faces to go with those numbers:
Funny how this Top 20 list is all Republican, huh? You see those numbers, that is what they sold off the lives of children for, that was the price to ensure complicity in the 239 school shootings since Sandy Hook in 2012. Five of the deadliest of those occurring in the past five months. They have been offering thoughts and prayers since 2012 without taking any kind of action to help prevent these mass shootings.
Lock your head around this: There have been eighteen – yes 18- school shootings in the US so far this year. Not in the past year. No. In 2018 alone. And it is barely the middle of February. These lives have been sold for $47,114,952. And get this other little gem of information: since 1968 more people have died in the United States from gun violence than have died in every war and military conflict ever fought in our nation’s history. In fact, we surpassed that number in 2011.
Gun violence is a national epidemic and the GOP would rather toss out some thoughts and prayers than discuss and enact measures to address the problem. Kinda like you should just pray that flu away instead of inoculate yourself, or maybe at least wash your hands every once in a while. Except guns are killing a lot more people than the flu. The AR 15 purchased by the confessed assailant in the school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day had a history of mental illness and had purchased the firearm completely legally. Yes, at nineteen year’s old. This is a trend in mass shootings. AR 15’s have become the weapon of choice: a weapon that has no other purpose than, and was designed for, mass shooting.
We need change now. It must be addressed now. No more thoughts and prayers that are meaningless and only offered to show a false sorrow while actually doing nothing. You cannot bring these children back, but you sure as hell could have made it much more difficult for them to die. But you didn’t. You took NRA money instead. You could stop the next shooting, though, couldn’t you? But will you?
I received an email from Gavin Newsom which summed it up well:
Our children are dying, and we are doing nothing to stop it. There is precious little left that we can say beyond that – but you and I both know we’re far past the point of words being enough.
To the people whose only offering right now is thoughts and prayers: Prayers don’t barricade doors. Thoughts don’t prevent a would-be killer from buying a machine designed to kill. Tweets of empty condolences won’t stop the next tragedy. If you can’t offer anything better – if you refuse to step up, stand up to the gun lobby, and work for real reform – find the door. Get out of office.
Resist. Fight these degenerates in office to save our children, friends and families. Our lives are not for sale so gun manufacturers can make bigger profits. Stop being used by them. We will not be willing sacrifices to the gun god.
We are One Woman, One World.
Ann Lavendar Truong