This has been a truly heartbreaking and difficult week in the news, and yesterday's vote in the Senate to decline the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey bill that would have extended background checks to gun shows and Internet sales was another blow. Though the bill got 54 votes, it wasn't enough to avoid filibuster and so it died. A law that 90 percent of Americans support, a no brainer law, a simple, obvious thing that most people think is law anyway, died because our Senate Republicans are bought and paid for by the NRA.
The word "despicable" doesn't even begin to do it justice.
As a person who supported the bill and supports better gun control, I am disgusted. But as an American, I am absolutely horrified. This wasn't a controversial bill. This wasn't something a lot of people were against. It has 90 PERCENT support. And it still died. What is wrong with this picture?
Naturally, people are outraged. Former representative Gabby Giffords, who knows gun violence better than anyone, wrote a scathing piece in The New York Times yesterday. She said:
Mark my words: if we cannot make our communities safer with the Congress we have now, we will use every means available to make sure we have a different Congress, one that puts communities’ interests ahead of the gun lobby’s. To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.
Even President Barack Obama took a break from his usual composed behavior and truly showed his anger, calling it a "shameful day." And shameful it is.
If our senators can look into the eyes of those devastated Newtown parents and STILL vote to filibuster this thing, if our senators can ignore the thoughts of the people in favor of the feelings of the NRA gun lobby, then we need new senators.
Would it have stopped Newtown? Probably not. But it may stop another senseless tragedy, and we owe it to each and every one of those babies who were killed to try to make this world safer for the children who come after them. If we can't even do that, then what have we come to as a nation?
I am disturbed and horrified. If you are, too, there are things we can do. Every single one of us should call or write to our senators and say how we feel. Demand Action has an easy way to do that and will also tell you how your senators voted. You can also tweet at each and every senator who voted no with this handy list from Huffington Post.
In case you need to know how your senator voted, there is a handy roll call right here. Don't take this standing down. Fight back. This is not OK. If you don't want to do it for our country, then do it for each of those poor babies in Newtown. I hope their sweet, gap-toothed smiles haunt every single senator who voted against this. Their cowardice will be remembered.
Does this make you angry?
Image via Ultraviolet