by this latest report of multiple deaths from a gun in our country. One of my first thoughts was when is this going to end? The answer is it is not going to end. Neither the president or the Mitch McConnell controlled Senate is going to attempt or even discuss any reasonable approach to this national horror. What do I do, what can I do? The only people that can do anything about the proliferation and use of semi-automatic weapons to kill my neighbors and fellow citizens will not do anything. So I wait for the next mass shooting to happen and pray that it is not too bad. Then I realized that there are some things that I can do. I can vote to remove the president from office, I can support the removal of Mitch McConnell and I can support those who oppose the NRA and their supporters. We all MUST do this because if we don’t our country will continue to be at the mercy of the NRA, the president and Mitch McConnell who do not want to help us. This awful situation was emphasized this week when I saw a story about a mother who wanted to move to a better job but was concerned because her five year old daughter did not want to change schools. The reason? Her daughter would not know where to hide from a shooter in the new school. What have we become?
I wrote the paragraphs above the day after the shooting in Midland, Texas. It has now been several weeks since that terrible event and fortunately there has not been another mass shooting. For the moment, the rhetoric has lessened and the news has been concentrated on other issues. What progress has been made on the legislation that has been proposed and in some cases promised about gun control? The answer is nothing. Are we waiting for the next shooting to propel this subject back into the news? Will that story be here in Talbot County? I pray not here nor in any other place in our country.
The House of Representative’s well-crafted legislation to address background checks, the ban on high capacity magazines and other reasonable gun control measures still sit on Mitch McConnell’s desk as he continues to refuse to bring that legislation to the Senate floor or propose any other gun control legislation. He says he’s waiting for guidance from the President as to what he would support. The President has not proposed, suggested or even talked about gun control measures in that time frame. The National Rifle Association has reiterated its unquestioned support for Mr. Trump’s reelection provided he follows their guidelines of inaction on gun violence and prevents legislation. So we have returned to the do-nothing situation that appears after each of these terrible shootings.
Is this how we want to live? Is this what we want from our government? Do we want to continue to be pawns to the NRA? All of the leading polls say that this is not what we want. The latest NBC-Wall Street Journal survey finds that 89 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks for gun purchasers; 76 percent support "red flag" laws to identify and deny gun access to them, and 75 percent favor a voluntary buyback program in which the government would purchase firearms from current owners. 62 percent of Americans favor a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons. We, the citizens, want progress on reasonable and sensible gun control but those who represent us refuse to make that happen.
The NRA continues to strangle the country by buying the support of the president and the Republican Senate and preventing any progress. We must take the only action we seem to have at our disposal; we must vote Mr. Trump out of office along with Republicans who are lock stock and barrel supporting the NRA. That includes our first district congressman Andy Harris who says in his letters that he will vehemently oppose any gun restricting legislation presented in Congress. Vote!!
Larry Pifer is a Board Member of the Talbot County Democratic Forum (demforum.com)