Commentary

Burr and Tillis stick to their irresponsible, NRA-funded lines in aftermath of Florida high school massacre

Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Thom Tillis

Raleigh’s News & Observer reports this morning that North Carolina’s U.S. senators are two of the top four campaign funding recipients from the National Rifle Association. What a shock it is, therefore, to read in the remainder of the story that neither man is willing to say or do anything of substance to address the crisis that afflicts our nation as a result of the widespread easy availability of mass killing machines. Here is the most maddening section of the N&O story:

“On Thursday Burr declined to say whether he thinks assault style weapons like the AR-15 used in Wednesday’s shooting should be banned, or their magazines limited.

‘I’ll leave it up to investigators to finish their investigation,’ he said.

Pressed on whether gun control should at least be discussed, he said, ‘I’ll wait until they come out with their full report.’”

Give us a break, Dick. Wait for a full report? Such a statement is akin to refusing to take a stand on cigarettes until more studies come in about their health effects. What the hell else do we need to know? Did we need an investigator’s report to tell us that bazookas, flamethrowers and long range cannons shouldn’t be sold at Wal-Mart? Dick, our nation is already drenched in the blood of mass shootings committed by sick people with military-style assault weapons and your serial inaction on the matter has aided and abetted the crisis.

For his part, Tillis took his usual route of a political wimpdom by avoiding the issue and calling via a Tweet for people to “keep the victims, their families, first responders and the community in your thoughts and prayers.”

Sorry, Thom, that’s not going to cut it. North Carolinians already know how and when to pray. What they elected you to do is to make their lives better, safer and freer and one of the best ways to do that would be for you to unhook yourself from the narcotic of NRA cash and get serious about passing laws that would save lives and reduce the terror factor in our schools, movie theaters and other public places.

The good people at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence put it this way in an email distributed early this morning:

“We all saw the awful news. Yet another nearly unspeakable, yet highly preventable, mass killing. 17 people killed at a Florida high school by a murderer using an AR-15 military style assault rifle.

The Florida killer used an AR-15, the same type of military style assault weapon used repeatedly in mass shootings, including Sandy Hook School, Orlando and Las Vegas. These weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians….

Congress’s inaction is outrageous but we can’t stop pushing. Clearly, lives depend on it. And while of course our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones, taking time for thoughts and prayers has become a delay tactic. This has to stop.

Until Congress acts, it’s just a matter of time until the next assault weapon massacre. It is high time to start really honoring the American lives lost and preventing more carnage.

BAN MILITARY ASSAULT WEAPONS NOW!

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