The shooting in Orlando reminds us how vulnerable we are in a society like ours. It also reminds us that there are people who hate some of us simply for who we are. And it reminds us that there really are people who hate America just because of our way of life. It also reminds us that Congress is broken.
After Newtown, after San Bernardino, and now after Orlando, Congress has failed to take any meaningful action to curb mass shootings. Despite a longstanding threat of terrorists from foreign countries entering the US, they’ve failed fix our broken immigration system. In short, they’ve failed in a very basic responsibility—to keep us safe.
You would have thought the mass killing of 20 six and seven year-old children would have spurred them to action. But it didn’t. Instead, mass shootings have become the new normal. Each one seems more horrific than the last, though Newtown scours depths of depravity.
Too many people blame the NRA for the inaction. But it’s not their fault. They’re an organization doing their job and doing it well. No, the blame is with the Members of Congress who refuse to stand up to the gun lobby because they’re more concerned with their re-election or campaign donations than doing what’s necessary to protect the country.
Many of those same politicians claim that terrorism, not access to high capacity clips or military-style assault weapons, is the culprit in these mass shootings. Yet they have failed to address our broken immigration system. They grandstand about mass deportations or building a wall but most of the suspected terrorists in the country either arrived by airplane or were born here. They have done nothing to make our borders more secure or to better regulate who is coming into our country.
At the very least, we should do all we can to keep weapons that can cause carnage out of the hands of potential terrorists, whether foreign or domestic, whether driven by ideology, hate, or psychosis. A start would be denying people on the no-fly list access to weapons. We should also require universal background checks for gun sales. Finally, we should lift the ban on funding research on gun violence so we better understand the factors that cause it. That’s a very modest start.
It’s time to at least try to curb the violence against innocent people. Congress should do something. After so many mass shootings, the one thing we know that doesn’t work is doing nothing. But, unfortunately, that’s what is wrong with Congress. As on so many other matters, they’re doing nothing.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >