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Once again the NRA, (which the POTUS supports and whose own profound ignorance on school safety and assault weapons defies logic) has blood on its hands for failing to care about  the connection between the mass shootings of children and firearms.  Why does the NRA think that it is far more powerful than the majority of Americans who expect politicians to pass critical comprehensive firearm safety legislation to address gun violence, in general --- including suicides. . . i.e., two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides -- and of those: "men carried out 80 per cent of all suicides and 89 per cent of those involved guns)?​

Surely, the NRA knows that Americans do not share their ideology or  belief in a gun culture. If they did --- they would not  want bans on assault weapons or they would agree with Trump who wants teachers to have gun battles with active shooters or for schools to be windowless and each classroom to have steel doors in preparation for more mass shootings. (Please refer to the: History of the Assault Weapons Ban). 

Is it any wonder why so few Americans trust Trump and the Republicans to do the right thing --- who could, if they wanted to,  change things tomorrow--- if they took weapons of war out of the hands of Americans?  Is this lack of trust  due to the disproportionate number of conservatives who keep overlooking far too many red flags about guns, including that   "US  firearm deaths  outnumbered American combat deaths in World War II or that the total societal costs of firearm injuries were estimated to be $174.1 billion in 2010?" Maybe it is due to their inability to notice  the high suicide rate of white men. With this truth in mind, is it even possible for conservatives  to recognize  the fact that gun deaths are a "huge public health concern?"

If not, will the Republicans or Trump ever do anything to address school safety concerns or to improve the effectiveness of the armed assailant response guidance or training and/or even review best practices in  school safety research?  Will they recognize that they are underutilizing the data that they do have access to even though it could help prevent school massacres ? If their answer is no, how is possible for them to remain so detached, emotionally absent or dismissive about much needed bans on weapons of war? Where is their “faultless moral instinct" even when they are confronted with the mass shootings of children with weapons of war?

Protecting their privilege to hunt, etc. . . while eveyone and everything else --- or real safety concerns are disregarded speaks volumes about the NRA and the POTUS whose superficial speeches and inactions  amount to an overall "out of sight, out of mind" reaction to the slaughter of children or a  downplaying of the human costs or casualties stemming from their right --- to hunt (or to do the NRA's bidding in the name of profits at the expense of American lives). But what about the rights of the majority of Americans who do not think Americans who own "weapons of war" are safe to be around? Do the Republicans, who control both houses,  know that the majority of Americans would never choose the NRA and/or any unregulated militia to speak on their behalf, especially with their uncivilized goals in mind that continue to place guns in the hands of children (as if their  brains are fully developed when they are not fully developed until around 25)? 

Why then do Republicans promote and defend the use of AR-15 rifles in the U.S. but --- in the aftermath of one massacre after another massacre only offer Americans band aid type solutions? More to the point: why do they cower or avoid questions  in the face of their own decisions by failing to take ownership of their own weak gun legislation when Americans are slaughtered? Why do they try to place the blame elsewhere or try to ask someone else to step down when they should step down for lacking the competence and know-how and/or the ability to even discuss the data tied to U.S gun massacres? Why are they surprised when the majority of Americans criticize their modern-day Republican styled gun culture that continues to produce and cause at its root   gun violence? 

After all, children like Cruz take their cues from American leaders who continue to make it possible for weapons of war to be placed in the hands of an eighteen year old,  a legally bought A-R 15 rifle that was not created for hunting animals but for killing humans.  But do the Republicans  (who only seem to be able to act in partisan ways to the detriment of the masses) understand the critical nature of this fact?  If they were truly interested in preventing school massacres or saving the lives of children who depend on adults to protect them they would remember that “to bear arms was most commonly used in the 18th century to describe participation in the military" not for ordinary citizens to  be able to buy deadly weapons used in wars.  Can Americans then say, in all honesty,  that the Republicans are serving the best interests of the  public? Could it be that they are dismissive of the public since they think the NRA is in it for the long haul and will remain active days, months, years after the fact ---  members who will continue to fight against gun control research and put pressure on politicians to uphold the priorities of the NRA lobbyists and gun manufacturers with no shame? 

What are Americans then to make of the cavalier, if not  feeble, lackadaisical ways that the Republicans continue to respond to these massacres as if they expect the public to eventually take on an apathetic role that lets them off the hook in response to mass shootings? Do they care that children in schools across the nation are allowed, based on their decisions, to remain vulnerable  to these horrific slaughters on a daily basis? For example, why do they still think their same stock answers ( here, here, andhere, etc.) will work this time --- days after the investigation ended and the shooter was caught?   Furthermore, why do they allow a small U.S. minority to dictate the gun laws (at the expense of school children) for the majority of Americans "currently at 70%" who are against high powered guns?

If they are not motivated enough to care about the deaths of children, they should step aside or resign for as it stands their silence or their inabilility to act --- or their refusal to answer questions about the urgent need for gun control legislation means that they,  along with the NRA, their lobbyists or any and all politicians should be blamed for promoting the use of guns  rather than trying to prevent firearm deaths. Their inertia also demonstrates that they do not care about the proliferation of semi-automatic rifles, in particular --- or that they are, in fact, endangering the lives of Americans on purpose by their inactions on a daily basis, which can be backed up with plenty of sound data to prove this point.

If not, can Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, etc.  discuss  what they are doing to stop these school massacres besides voting against policies belonging to the Obama Administration that did try to stop school massacres?  They should know that no one wants another Republican to simply report on a mass murder after the fact. Citizens need politicians to tell them what they are doing (now) to prevent the use of weapons of war ---  by ordinary citizens. But, have any of the Republicans, including the POTUS even read the prevention studies on gun violence such as  this study, and this one, this one, this one, this one , this one, this one, and this one --- or prevention efforts that the U.S. has never really tried to implement? While a wide range of active shooter response guidance and programming is, of course,  needed (i.e. from the Alice Training Program and theSafe and Sound Program with Sandy Hook Promise) the real need is for school massacres to end. 

If Republicans are not motivated to study the facts or if they have never researched "the roots of gun violence," how are they qualified to make decisions about these deadly issues in an intelligent, informed way that demand urgent actions? That Republicans, however, need to hang on to mental illness as the cause of the massacres or have tried hard to prevent  federal agencies from "researching gun violence since the 1990's" is, surely, a telltale sign that they do not want the public to know that the critical connection to mass murders continues to be or has always been the easy availability of assault weapons.  And yet, it does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that mental illness was not the cause of mass murders when stronger gun laws were in place or  when "easy-to-obtain assault weapons were once banned under U.S. law, a common thread connecting many of the deadliest mass shootings." 

And so, it is sad to say that if the NRA, their lobbyists, their donors and these politicians who are against gun control laws truly cared about the lives of children they would have felt compelled, a long time ago,  to act in ways showing and proving that ---  now --- is the time to make common sense decisions about U.S.   ownership of weapons of war or semi-automatic rifles. But, when Americans hear Ryan, McConnell, Rubio say it is too soon to talk about gun control (--- if ever, they say) should Americans also recognize that they are really witnessing the views of politicians who are unfit to lead or too lazy be called public servants?  How can their uncivilized priorities be interpreted in any other way except that they are "bought" politicans who are controlled by "gun lobby money  or corporate interests" even if means that in all probability the cost will be human lives,  including the lives of childen?

In other words, can they guarantee that no one will commit mass murders using these "weapons of war?" If not, the mere possession of these weapons should be considered a criminal act based on the high number of mass murders across the nation based on their availability --- as a common sense response.  Any elected politician who truly cares about the astronomical number of innocent children and adults who have been slaughtered by ordinary citizens would be moved by  this fact and would never settle or compromise with Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, etc. about their need to prevent stronger gun control laws. After all, the majority of Americans have already figured out  that their incentive to prevent gun control laws might just have to do with the money that they receive from the NRA --- a point that automatically signifies a direct conflict of interest with the overall safety of all Americans.  

Given this fact, will they fight against the young high students, too --- who are calling for stronger gun control laws? Will Republicans continue to do what they did recently: declare porn dangerous but refuse "a single debate, vote, or hearing on anything related to assault weapons?” Will they keep fighting against any and all bans on assault weapons? But, what will they do when banks and credit card issurers prevent would-be gun owners from buying guns on their platforms? What will they say when donors withhold money from politicians who support the ownership of assault weapons? What will they do when "the financial resources of Bloomberg, and other multimillionaires emulate one of the most successful public service advertising campaigns in history: the anti-tobacco “truth” campaign ---and, in turn,  keep the gun control majority engaged on a daily basis, and in the long run, reduce the demand for guns in areas where the NRA exerts political influence." Will they still fight against any regulations on  bump stocks?  Will they continue to refuse to fund gun research? For instance, will they shamelessly fight against the repeal of the Dickey Amendment, "which prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching deadly gun violence, a cowardly act or pathetic immoral stance on their part that proves that the Republicans are afraid of what the research will uncover about U.S. mass murders?"  Will they fight against the push for proficiency tests for all would-be gun owners in much the same way that car owners must pass a test? 

What is particularly disgusting is that Ryan, McConnell, Rubio, etc. have not  not bothered to address the contradictions or the  gaps in the information that the NRA promotes about AR-15 semi-automatic weapons or the protection factors that must be in place when it comes to the research data that's tied to the safety of humans --- or to the safety of American children.  So, now high school students have taken over their roles. They are the ones saying that the adults or the politicians who control both chambers of Congress and the White House have done nothing  to promote more effective gun control laws. As young as they are they have already figured out that the speeches offered by these Republicans and some Democrats are meaningless (or complete and utter pretense) if all they really want to do is to protect and support the special interests of gun lobbyists and gun manufacturers. Most importantly, they already seem to know that when politicians fail to respond to common sense gun control efforts, it aso means they simply do not care about the lives of Americans or the mass murder of children based on their inability to act or --- to recognize the urgent need for change.  This point is also the main reason that these politicians  (who  are owned by the gun lobbyists) must be voted out of office.  

School Massacres, Gun Control & Politicians

David Landers