As seen on The Hill
Sunday morning came with the heartbreaking news that 29 innocent, everyday Americans were lost in mass shootings in two cities.
In El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, theses victims died of bullet wounds from devastating weapons. Another 40 people were taken to hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries. Loved ones were suffering unspeakably, families and friendships were shattered in seconds, whole communities were in trauma and mourning.
One common denominator in the latest two of this year’s more than 250 mass shootings is the type of weapon used by the assailants: semi-automatic, battlefield-style rifles. Other elements amidst the carnage included high capacity magazines and body armor. This unfinished year of violence has also established one fact: In the U.S., it is now a death risk to go shopping, go out to a restaurant, a festival, a park — or to work, to school, to worship.
In other words, in the United States, at any time, at any place, anyone might become a victim of a bullet sprayed from a machine-gun-like weapon. That is not just unacceptable, it is outrageous, untenable, supremely immoral and should be illegal before people are killed and maimed, not simply afterward.
The fact that Republican members of Congress and the president refuse to effectively restrict access to high-powered weapons out of fear the NRA and other gun lobby groups will punish them for it at the polls, constitutes moral turpitude on a breathtaking scale.