Every once in a while, after a particularly famous mass shooting, the United States Congress calls for a moment of silence to honor the victims of this unspeakable violence.
As policymakers, the United States government should be able to offer more than thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims. We cannot simply stand aside as the house pushes anti-lgbt laws, defends the rights of suspected terrorists to own guns, and then all of a sudden they say that there was no way to prevent this. There most certainly was a way to prevent this, because it’s prevented in every other westernized country in the world.
Staying silent in the face of violence is an insult to the memory of all those who have died from either gun violence or hate-crimes. Congress is using it as an excuse to do nothing. Rep. Jim Himes put it best when he tweeted:
If congress truly wanted to show respect to the victims of gun violence, they would do something, anything, to regulate assault weapons. We as Americans need to get over this unhealthy obsession with our right to own something that is only meant for killing things. I’m not saying that Congress should immediately ban all guns, but right now suspected terrorists can own guns. Domestic abusers can own guns. There are some common sense laws that need to be put in place, but right now there’s this outcry whenever anyone tries to imply that there might be a problem. We are like alcoholics. Everyday America goes out and gets shitfaced (in this analogy, getting shitfaced is having another shooting), and when our friends (the rest of the world) tries to tell us that we might have a problem, we say it’s our right to drink (own guns) and that it happens to our friends, too. We ignore the fact that we get wasted 25 times more than any of our friends, and we refuse to even recognize that there might be a problem. Then we think binge drinking (buying more guns will help us even more and this whole
Silence gets us no where. The best way to honor these 50 murdered people is to take a look at ourselves and ask how we might be able to prevent future people from dying. If this had happened after Newtown, or Aurora, or Columbine we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. So as an American citizen, I’m going to be writing to my representative asking for action instead of silence. I hope that you will do the same.