US democracy corrupted by blood money

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 13, 2022
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People gather during a rally decrying rising gun violence while urging politicians to take action in Washington, D.C., the United States, June 11, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

I opened my computer to write about the mass murder of 19 students and teachers at a school in Texas and the mass murder of four at the Oklahoma hospital, then I read about the shooting at a nightclub in Indiana that killed two just this past weekend.

It seems every day there is another brutality emanating from the barrel of a gun in America. Just three weeks ago, 10 people were massacred by a racist at a grocery store in New York. Already that tragedy has been replaced on news pages by coverage of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The perpetrator of that atrocity was a psychopath with a history of making violent threats and abusing animals on a livestreaming app.

Then in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a former patient murdered a doctor with whom he had a grudge, along with three other bystanders. As recently as Saturday, an apparent argument led to bloodshed in the parking lot of a bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The perpetrators of each of these crimes had different motivations. But they all had one thing in common. They all used firearms to carry out their vicious plans. In three of the four cases, they used what is called AR-15-style rifles, which are high-powered weapons that reload the chambers automatically, allowing the shooter to continue firing at a rapid rate.

Without easy access to murder weapons, these deranged lunatics would not be able to kill so many people. A gun lets them attack innocent victims from long range. 

Given the scale of the bloodshed and the outrage and fear circulating through the American public, you might think U.S. politicians would be uniting to do something to save lives. Maybe they would be tightening the rules about gun ownership, preventing people with histories of violent discourse from owning guns, or getting the especially deadly AR-15s off the streets.

You'd be wrong.

Instead of trying to solve the murder crisis, American politicians, primarily Republicans, who are ideologically and financially welded to the firearms industrial complex, refused to even answer questions. Senator Susan Collins stepped into an elevator when a reporter asked her if she supported giving background checks to gun buyers. Senator Ted Cruz mutely walked along when asked in public by Sky News reporters for his view. Reporters in Europe are apparently just as perplexed as American citizens about why their politicians won't do anything.

Republicans absolutely refuse to consider any law to make schools and public places safer. They say that there just needs to be more people with guns to stop bad guys with guns. But good luck finding out who is good and bad beforehand. By the time someone responds to the shooter, there is already blood on the ground. In Texas, the police officers waited outside for over an hour before they stepped inside to do anything.

Republicans say there are already too many guns in America. There are almost 400 million to be exact – more guns than people. That sounds like an illustration of the size of the problem. But instead of trying to solve the problem, Republicans throw up their hands and say it's already too late.

Does that mean every American owns a gun? No, only 30% of Americans own a firearm. So American politicians' irrational love for guns is being driven by a minority of the population. But the small group that controls the Republican Party is especially likely to own and love guns.

The reality is, American Republicans will never help pass any new laws regulating guns because they are always obsessed with proving their rigid ideological bonafides to their extreme supporters. Furthermore, they receive campaign contributions from the Firearm Industry Trade Association.

Money is thicker than blood, as they say, and nothing is going to be done to protect Americans from mass murder as long as American democracy is corrupted.

Mitchell Blatt is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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