Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Republican refusal to pass gun control legislation immediately after the mass nightclub shooting in California an act of cowardice of epic proportions.
Sen. Feinstein said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
These mass murders are depressingly pervasive. Schools. Theaters. Malls. Offices. Synagogues. Grocery stores. Bars. Concerts. Churches. They’re inspired by racism, revenge, terrorism or just pure hatred. The one common attribute: easy access to guns.
Some will say California’s strong gun laws didn’t prevent this shooting, but without stronger federal gun regulations, there’s little California can do to keep guns coming in from other states. Without stronger laws to prevent straw purchasing and close the gaping holes in our background check system, a presumptive murderer barely has to lift a finger to buy a gun.
Some will say we need more guns, not fewer, an absurd claim in a bar full of students with security guards where an armed police sergeant was killed.
Republicans argue we shouldn’t talk about gun policies after a mess shooting. They’re wrong. This is exactly the time we should be talking about enacting gun safety measures. We don’t know all the details of this latest shooting, but we do know how to start to reduce the frequency of these murders. What we’re missing is Republican willpower to get it done.
A renewed ban on military-style assault weapons—which have no place in civilian society—is ready for a vote. A bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines is ready for a vote. A bill to ban bump stocks, which Republicans agree should be illegal, is ready for a vote. A bill to close the gun show and online loopholes is ready for a vote. Bills to prevent terrorists from buying guns, keep guns away from domestic abusers and allow loved ones to get a gun violence restraining order, each is ready for a vote.
We could hold these votes next week and have bills on the president’s desk by Thanksgiving. Instead, Republicans refuse to take any action at all.
This failure to act is cowardice of epic proportions. We may not be able to stop all gun violence, but that doesn’t mean Republicans should be allowed to bury their heads in the sand and not try to stop any of it.
What we’re lacking is intestinal fortitude from congressional Republicans and President Trump to say enough is enough. As long as they stand in fear of the NRA and worry more about the power of the gun lobby than the lives of their fellow citizens, we’ll see more Thousand Oaks, more bodies lying at the foot of failed Republican leadership.
Dianne Feinstein Was Right. There Are Steps That Can Be Taken To Mitigate Mass Shootings
There are steps that can be immediately taken to lessen the damage caused by mass murderers. State gun laws are limited in effectiveness without federal standards. Better mental health care, treatment, and screening are also needed, but it all does come back to the fact that high powered guns or in this case illegally purchased expanded clips making it easier for people who considering acts of mass violence to increase the body count.
It is difficult to kill 12 people all at once with a knife. As evidenced by the recent pipe bomb case, bombs take time to build and don’t always detonate, but a gun is the one easily accessible weapon of mass murder that is both convenient and easily capable of mass killing.
Republican cowards are letting innocent Americans die every day, and the violence won’t stop until they grow a spine or are voted out of office.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook.