Partisan lawmakers lash out at gun violence. Does the latest child massacre change anything? – Denver Post

Residents of southern and southwestern suburbs could see the White Sox win another World Series before America enacts meaningful federal laws to address gun violence.

That’s the meaning in Southland and elsewhere this week as the nation responded along partisan lines to another horrific mass shooting that killed innocent children. Heroic police have killed an attacker who massacred three 9-year-old children and three adults Monday at a Christian elementary school in Nashville.

Congressional Republicans immediately championed gun rights.

“We’re not going to fix it,” Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., told a reporter. “Criminals are going to be criminals.”

“It’s just premature to talk about it,” Sen. John Thune, RS.D., said of reforming federal gun laws.

‘There is no gun violence,’ said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., adding that unborn fetuses aborted from the womb were a far greater tragedy than bullets fired from AK-47s and tearing apart the bodies of actual children and adults. .

Democratic lawmakers called for action.

“There is no excuse for allowing our streets to be flooded with weapons of war,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York said on the steps of the US Capitol, surrounded by other lawmakers.

“There are six people who died at this school because you got rid of the assault weapons ban,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R- Ga., at a House Committee on Criminal Oversight and Accountability hearing.

“They’re all cowards,” U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman, DN.Y., said of his GOP colleagues during a sermon before the House chamber.

“Calm down,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told Bowman.

Massie, like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Tenn., posed for a Christmas card photo with his kids, who were holding assault weapons.

The Nashville massacre seemed to elicit a predictable political response.

“Public outrage is quick after the mass shootings,” the Associated Press reported. “Grief and sympathy are widespread. But what comes next from policy makers will likely depend on the political party leading a state.

Mass shootings don’t usually move the needle of partisan sentiment, according to AP.

The pattern is familiar. After the initial clash, both sides express their grief and then quickly attack their opponents. Some Congressional Republicans wore AK-47 lapel pins this week, which some considered insensitive.

Here in Illinois, a few hundred gun rights advocates were joined by a number of Republican lawmakers outside the Illinois State Capitol on Wednesday to protest gun control measures such as the one passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature earlier this year.

“It is very easy to point the finger at guns as the problem, but you and I both know that criminals will always find ways to commit crimes, no matter how strict our rules, and the good ones law-abiding gun owners will not be able to protect themselves or others,” freshman state Rep. Bradley Fritts, a Republican from Dixon, told the crowd.

In an effort to try to make sense of the senseless killing of children, I reached out to Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson. During her 10 years in Congress, Kelly was a strong advocate for legislation to address gun violence.

Kelly was home on Thursday recovering from recent surgery after tripping and breaking her ankle. Doctors advised against traveling to Washington, DC, but she spoke with colleagues this week and followed developments on television.

“Honestly, I’m angry,” she told me. “I’m angry, I’m tired, I’m sad.”

What hope is there that Congress can negotiate compromise legislation to address gun violence when one side poses its children with assault weapons for Christmas cards?

“I guess it’s his right to do that,” Kelly said. “For me, it was in bad taste. Too many people have lost their children.

Mass shootings get people talking and get news coverage, but gun violence affects life daily in the southern suburbs and in Chicago. Criminals with guns carjack vehicles and rob shops. Stray bullets kill and injure people in their homes, on highways and elsewhere.

“I call these slow-motion killings,” Kelly said. “These numbers are huge.”

What about the good guys with gun defense?

“It’s such a prank,” Kelly said. “People told us about it, people who had weapons during the shootings. They couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad guys when everyone ran out of buildings.

Despite resistance from Republicans, Kelly and his fellow Democrats continue to sponsor bills aimed at preventing criminals from having guns. This month, she and others proposed measures that would tackle illegal gun trafficking and force owners to promptly report lost or stolen guns.

“There won’t be a single thing that will stop this,” she said. “It’s going to take several things because there are several reasons why this is happening.”

Congress banned assault weapons once before, in 1994. The ban expired after 10 years.

” I don’t understand. I just don’t get it,” Kelly said. “It’s proven that when there was a ban, it was safer. We’ve done it before. It’s very discouraging.

The right has turned the Second Amendment into a powerful political weapon by claiming that the Democrats want to take your guns away. These radical left liberals want to undermine your freedom, they seem to say.

“I should have the freedom and protection to go to the grocery store, to church, to get on the bus, to play in the park, to get out of choir practice, to get tea from Starbucks,” Kelly said. “I should have this freedom to feel safe and not worry about getting shot.”

Mass shootings tend to increase campaign donations to candidates on both sides, because everything is political these days. Politics decides who can make the laws, and the laws determine what the crimes are. So far, America lacks the political will to criminalize the possession of assault weapons again.

The massacred children and the slow-motion massacres seem to have had little effect on the sharp division of American politics so far. Emotions may flare and conversations may get tense for a while, but things always seem to calm down again.

“It’s easy to tell us to calm down,” Kelly said. “And the parents who have lost their children, are you going to tell them to calm down?

Ted Slowik is a columnist for the Daily Southtown.


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