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Moulitsas: GOP, NRA and a few Dems have blood on their hands

Moulitsas: GOP, NRA and a few Dems have blood on their hands
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It shouldn’t take a tragedy to expose the moral bankruptcy of conservative gun ideology. But in an Orlando nightclub last weekend, the inevitable occurred when a homophobic madman shot more than 100 people, with 49 losing their lives and several still in critical condition.

The shooter, identified as Omar Mateen, had been on a terrorist watch list. Still, he had no trouble amassing a small arsenal thanks to the efforts of the National Rifle Association and its Republican allies to block such sales to suspected terrorists. 

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This is the same NRA that has long fought to put semi-automatic assault rifles in the hands of criminals and murderers. Weapons like the AR-15 used by Mateen are now the weapons of choice for mass murderers. The same weapon was used to gun down 20 children in Newtown, Conn., and the same weapon was used to kill 12 and wound 70 in a theater in Aurora, Colo. 

Despite all the screeching about radical Islamic terrorism — a real problem, no doubt — it is domestic gun violence that is mowing down an unconscionable number of Americans. 

On the same day as the Orlando shooting, another 12 people were shot and killed throughout the country. According to the gun violence archives, nearly 6,000 have been killed this year, including 257 children under the age of 11, with more than 12,000 injured. There have been 136 mass shootings, or just under one a day. Between 2001 and 2013, 406,496 have died from firearms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that same time period, 350 Americans were killed by terrorists.

And yet when incidents like Orlando happen, the NRA response is to go radio silent while Republican allies mutter crap about “thoughts and prayers” and stand for moments of silence, as if that will do anything to prevent the next attack or the one after that. 

“The Moments of Silence in the House have become an abomination,” tweeted Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes (D). “God will ask you, ‘How did you keep my children safe’? Silence.”

On the other side there was a smug Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE patting himself on the back. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” he tweeted. 

Asked on Fox, of all places, about his abhorrent response, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee claimed he wasn’t being self-congratulatory, it was just that “I’m getting thousands of letters and tweets that I was right about the whole situation.” Who wants to believe he received thousands of letters on Sunday and first thing Monday morning? 

Still, it allowed Trump to call again for a ban on Muslims entering America. Just don’t ask him how that would’ve stopped a New York-born Florida resident from acting out his hatred of gays. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Monica Lewinsky responds to viral HBO intern's mistake: 'It gets better' Virginia governor's race poses crucial test for GOP MORE argues that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president. The last two days have proven it.

But Trump isn’t the problem, he’s just the inevitable result of a gun-fetishizing conservative movement. Congress shouldn’t have let the assault weapons ban lapse in 2013. Congress shouldn’t have voted down an effort to expand background checks. Congress shouldn’t have barred the CDC from studying gun violence. Senate Republicans shouldn’t have voted to let people on the terrorist no-fly list keep guns. 

By those actions, all those Republicans, and a handful of Democrats, and their NRA puppet masters have more blood on their hands than even the most ambitious Islamic terrorist. 

 

Moulitsas is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos.