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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

 

You were expecting, what?

by Tom Sullivan

From the Guardian:

The US Senate failed to advance new restrictions aimed at curtailing gun violence on Monday, as lawmakers voted down four separate measures just one week after a terrorist attack in Orlando marked the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history.

Democrats and Republicans had put forth competing amendments to both strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. But all four bills fell short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate, in a near replica of a vote held in December when a pair of shooters killed 14 people and wounded 22 more in San Bernardino, California.
The scene is all too familiar for the families of past mass shooting victims From the New York Times:
With every mass shooting in America, a somber scene replays itself here. Victims’ families and survivors of massacres — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson, Sandy Hook, Charleston, San Bernardino — traipse up to Capitol Hill. They knock on lawmakers’ doors, attend news conferences and bear witness to Senate votes on gun measures that almost never pass.

So there was a sense of déjà vu here on Monday as the Senate rejected four gun safety measures, one week after the Pulse nightclub massacre, which killed 49 and injured 53, in Orlando, Fla.
“This is like a very, very, very bad Groundhog Day movie,” Lori Haas, Virginia state director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told the Post from Orlando. Her daughter was injured in the Virginia Tech shooting.

The specifics of the proposed bills almost don't matter, do they? Until mass shootings start happening at Capitol Hill bars where legislators unwind after their long days of frenzied inaction, the aftermath of every new mass shooting will look like Groundhog Day. Except in the movie, the only one who kept dying was Phil — by suicide.

Groundhog Day was a redemption story. Tomorrow didn't come until Phil regained his humanity and a sense of community. It won't come for us either until we as a country do. How many Groundhog Days will we have to relive until finally we get it right?