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Congress fiddles while Americans die from gun violence

August 13: A California Highway Patrol officer is dead, another in critical condition and a third has minor injuries after a shootout. An officer was filling out impound paperwork when the driver pulled a rifle from his truck and began firing.

August 14: An 18-year-old in Ohio has 10,000 rounds of ammunition and a vault full of assault-type weapons and shotguns and urges others to, “Shoot every federal agent on sight”.

August 15: Philadelphia police officers trying to serve a narcotics warrant are fired upon and six are wounded. The Philadelphia mayor called out the NRA and demanded a resolution to the nation’s gun crisis, saying officers needed help keeping numerous weapons out of criminals’ hands. “Our officers deserve to be protected and they don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets. It’s disgusting and we got to do something about it…quickly. “This government, both on the federal side and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”

These acts of gun violence and every one of the more than 250 acts of mass killings, just in 2019, have failed to produce action by Congress. Or rather, the House of Representatives has passed bills intended to dramatically reduce gun violence and the Senate has refused to even consider such measures. Worse still, Congress has refused for years to act to end this horrific epidemic of gun violence, which endangers literally every man, woman and child in the United State.

We may never know the motives the members of Congress who are refusing to take action to bring this plague of murder and mayhem to an end. Is it cowardice? Are they in thrall to the NRA? Is it simply incompetence and total lack of any sense of responsibility for fulfilling their oath of office and for the safety of their fellow Americans?

Whatever the reasons, the indifference and irresponsibility of members of Congress are quite literally killing and maiming hundreds of Americans every year, with an especially horrible trail of murder and injury of members of local, state and federal law enforcement. Our members of Congress are not even willing to act to save the lives of our first responders and law enforcement officers.

These members of Congress are apparently convinced that they can continue, without political consequences, to ignore the demands of their constituents and of the overwhelming majority of all Americans to act immediately to put an end to this carnage.

Are they right?

Will the voters never hold them to account?

Bruce Menke


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