Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Americans are inherently violent.

The report  (below) is from the New York Times.
It recounts that the Senate (Republicans and Democrats alike) would not agree to a reasonable proposal to expand background checks on would be gun purchasers.
I am not surprised.  These United States (of which I am proud to be a citizen) are rooted in violence

1. Against the peoples who lived here before Europeans arrived.  Our Declaration of Independence describes them as "savages",
2. Against the Spanish speaking residents in  the South West ( Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, California etc ) which  we stole from Mexico  (by foul means).
3. Against the Negroes we  imported from Africa to become our slaves.
4. Against the peoples of the Philippines and of Puerto Rico.
5. Against those who sought for freedom in Central America,
6. Against the justice seekers in American Civil Rights struggle
7 and the list goes on.......

In  view of our violent history here is what our Solons decided today.  - via the New York Times.  

April 17, 2013 NT Times report.

WASHINGTON — A wrenching national search for solutions to the violence that left 20 children dead in Newtown, Conn., in December all but ended Wednesday after the Senate defeated several gun-related measures.
In rapid succession, a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for would-be gun purchasers, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines all failed to get the 60 votes needed under an agreement both parties had reached to consider the amendments.
Senators also turned back Republican proposals to promote concealed weapons permits nationally and focus law enforcement on prosecuting gun crimes.
Among those looking on from the gallery, Lori Haas, whose daughter was shot at Virginia Tech, and Patricia Maisch, a survivor of the mass shooting in Tucson, shouted, “Shame on you.” Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who presided over the votes, then asked for decorum.
“They need to be ashamed of themselves,” Ms. Maisch said as she was being escorted from the Capitol. “They have no souls. They have no compassion.”
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was severely injured in the Tucson shooting, wrote in a Twitter message: “Senate ignored will of the people & rejected background checks. Im not giving up. Constituents will know they obeyed gun lobby and not them.”
The Senate’s opponents of gun control, from both parties, said that they cast their votes based on logic and that passion had no place in the making of momentous policy.
“Criminals do not submit to background checks now. They will not submit to expanded background checks,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. A provision to expand background checks was widely seen as the substantive measure with the greatest chance of passing.
Its failure was a striking defeat for one of President Obama’s highest domestic priorities, on an issue that has consumed the country since Adam Lanza opened fire with an assault weapon in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
At the White House, flanked by Ms. Giffords and family members of the Newtown victims, President Obama delivered a strong rebuttal to the opponents who brought down the measure and called Wednesday “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”
Speaking from the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama, visibly angry, charged that the “gun lobby and its allies willfully lied” about the compromise background check bill worked out by a Democratic senator and a Republican counterpart.
Mr. Obama said that Republicans — and some Democrats — “caved to the pressure” from what he called a vocal minority of people who support gun rights. He said that “there were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics.”
The president said the administration would do “everything it can” without Congress to protect Americans. But he criticized opponents of gun control legislation who had said the lobbying from the Newtown families was inappropriate.
“Are they serious?” he said. “Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence do not have a right to weigh in?”
The president concluded his statement by promising to continue the fight for gun control measures.
“I’m assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words,” he said. “I believe we are going to be able to get this done. Sooner or later, we are going to get this right.”
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader and a longtime gun rights advocate who had thrown himself behind the gun control measures, planned to pull the overall gun bill from the Senate floor and move on.
Faced with the difficult decision of either gutting the bill of any real gun controls or letting it fall to a filibuster next week, Senate leaders opted to put it into a deep freeze. Democratic leadership aides promised that the effort could be revived if a public groundswell demanded it.
“The world is watching the United States Senate, and we will be held accountable,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who helped lead the gun control effort.
But with the families of Sandy Hook students in the Senate gallery and a flurry of gun rights phone calls flooding Senate offices, it was hard to imagine how much more emotion could be brought to bear. Aides said only outside circumstances like another mass shooting could force those who voted no to reconsider their positions.
“It’s almost like you can see the finish line, but you just can’t get there,” said Andrew Goddard, whose son, Colin, was shot but survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. “It’s more annoying to be able to see it and not get to it.”

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