The spectacle of Congressional Republicans dutifully doing the grim bidding of the NRA while Senate Democrats filibuster, House Democrats hold a sit-in, and our Democratic President and the Democratic nominee give urgent speeches advocating meaningful action on gun reform is why we’re proud to be Democrats.
Republicans may not be able to agree whether they want to support their own presidential nominee, but one thing on which they do agree is that nothing needs to be done about gun violence.
Senate Democrats have been doing everything they can to break through Republican obstructionism, to no avail. So House Democrats gave it their best shot today with a sit-in.
In response, Speaker Paul Ryan called the Democrats’ sit-in “nothing more than publicity stunt.”
“This is not about a solution to a problem,” he added. “This is about trying to get attention.”
Well, yes. Yes it is about trying to get attention — although not in the way Ryan is suggesting. The Democrats are trying to get Republicans’ attention; trying desperately to get them to pay attention to something other than donations and directives from the NRA.
The GOP’s thrall to the NRA is entirely the reason for this otherwise inexplicable indifference to incredible losses of life, every day across the nation. No matter how much Ryan and his colleagues may try contemptibly to argue they’re just upholding the Constitution.
We are at an unmistakable inflection point. A huge majority of the American people want action taken on guns. The Republicans flatly refuse. The Democrats are doing everything they can to make their opponents budge.
Today, we are proud to be Democrats. We are inspired by seeing the Democrats elected to represent us listening to their constituents and fighting for what we want and need.
And today, we are repulsed by Republicans. We are disgusted by their avarice and indifference. We are disdainful that Speaker Ryan would reductively dismiss as a “publicity stunt” what is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.
The difference in the two parties could not be more stark. One party actually realizes that this is a matter of life and death, and one party doesn’t. Or worse: Realizes it but doesn’t care.
[Peter Daou contributed to this article.]
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)