Accessories Before And After The Fact

If you measure the biggest political story of the week just ended by coverage it was undoubtedly the mass shootings/gun story. I won’t cite numbers in this article because it is being penned on Saturday morning and at the rate we are going there will be at least one more mass shooting before publishing.

America has a gun problem and for the most part the Republicans are choosing to ignore it. I remember learning decades ago that the first step in problem solving is recognizing and admitting that the problem exists. Not only do they refuse to recognize that the problem exists they punish those among their ranks that dare to. Case in point is Republican Representative Chris Jacobs of Western New York who in the wake of the recent supermarket mass shooting in Buffalo declared that he was open to embracing gun safety legislation. He has since ceased his reelection effort because of pressure from within his party.

For some time Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has been the most outspoken advocate of common sense gun legislation in Congress and is leading the effort to get some sort of compromise legislation together that can get ten Republican votes in the Senate so that it can overcome the filibuster. In the last day or so his comments are less than optimistic. It looks to me that most likely no federal legislation will reach President Biden’s desk. If by some off chance a bill does it will be so watered down as to be close to meaningless.

Now I’m not of some Pollyannaish mindset that thinks we can come up with some law or combination of laws that will instantly solve the problem. I don’t see where it/they exist even in a perfect world; and we certainly don’t live in a perfect world. I have what I consider to be a pretty decent moral grounding. I feel we (and this applies even more to elected officials!) have a moral obligation to try to prevent or at least minimize repetitions of a problem (in this case mass shootings.)

I am not an attorney and in fact didn’t even go to law school but while I may be incorrect as to the letter of the criminal codes in moral law I find every Republican who refuses to act to even try to stem this almost uniquely American problem guilty of being an accessory to the crime of murder.

Inaction guarantees failure and is an abdication of the duty to protect the people. The irony is that these same people will call themselves pro-life. What a joke!

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