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US: Republicans roasted after another mass shooting

A prayer vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Uvalde, Texas (NYT)

WASHINGTON: Conservative Republicans are on the run politically in America with accusations of having blood on their hands following another sickening mass shooting. A permissive gun culture they have enabled in the name of protecting the constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms is alleged to be the trigger that is perpetuating massacres across the country, including the murder of innocent children.
Calling them murderers and baby-killers, angry Americans lit into many Republican lawmakers who have openly boasted of opposing Democrat-sponsored gun control measures and supporting gun rights legislation in the name of protecting freedom. “FxxK YOU. This is on your hands. Don’t put out messages like this,” Fred Gutenberg, a father who lost his daughter to a carnage in the Parkland school shooting told Republican Senator Ted Cruz after the latter tweeted the familiar “thoughts and prayers” to victims’ families that politicians discharge after each massacre, telling him to work with Democratic lawmakers to pass gun control legislation.
President Joe Biden, informed of the latest massacre on his way back from the Quad summit in Japan, also essayed the usual funereal and helpless speech from the White House lectern as soon as he arrived, asking, “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
“I had hoped when I became president I would not have to do this — again,” the US President said, with First Lady Jill Biden, a school teacher, at his side. “An elementary school. Beautiful, innocent second, third and fourth graders. And how many scores of little children who witnessed what happened — see their friends die, as if they’re in a battlefield, for God’s sake. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”
Urging Republican lawmakers to support gun restriction measures, Biden said the country may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but gun control measures work “The idea that an 18-year-old kid can walk into a gun store and buy two assault weapons is just wrong,” he said.
Across the country, enraged Americans from mostly liberal districts unloaded on Republicans who have balked gun control measures, berating them with f-words. “F**k you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered,” Arizona Democrat, Congressman Ruben Gallego tweeted, calling the Texas Senator a “baby-killer.” To another Republican colleague who offered “thoughts and prayers,” Gallego said, “F**k your prayers. They haven’t worked for the last 20 mass shootings. How about passing laws that will stop these killings?”
Although polls show a majority of Americans support gun control measures, and the demographically reflective House of Representatives has passed legislation, 50 Republican Senators of an unrepresentative Senate, which has two members from each state regardless of its population, continue to block it. Representing mostly poor, middle-American states, these Senators profess to be constitutional originalists who swear by the Second Amendment which confers on Americans the “right to bear arms.”
Critics of such originalists point out that the second amendment was conceived in an age of muskets and it should not extend to an age where automatic weapons can discharge a dozen bullets in a second. The second amendment, they argue, is also conditional, and applies not to individuals but militias, while calling for regulations. The amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
But conservative Republicans from gun loving states continue to interpret the amendment loosely to confer gun rights on individuals, including teenagers, in an era of increasingly lethal weapons. Shockingly, the lawmakers representing the district where the latest carnage took place, had boasted about voting against two gun control measures Congress recently, tweeting, “I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and will do everything I can to oppose gun grabs from the far Left.”
On Tuesday, following the Uvalde massacre, the Texas lawmaker tweeted, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

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