“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
June 15, 2016 by celinagut
We, here in America, must be insane to allow this groundhog’s day of mass murders to keep repeating over and over again while gasping anew in disbelief every time we hear of the latest round of senseless killings. So far in 2016, 23,590 American men, women and children have been murdered with guns. The men and women who work for us in Congress and who are indebted to lobbyists must be shown the door, for they no longer serve our best interest. Two articles here, the second gives you a short list of the mass murders having taken place in the U.S. since 2007.
Senate rejects gun control amendments offered following San Bernardino shooting
By Kelsey Snell and Karoun Demirjian, December 3, 2015, The Washington Post
The Senate on Thursday voted down two gun control proposals put forward by Democrats in response to this week’s deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in a series of votes that highlighted the intractable party divide over how to respond to gun violence.
The Senate rejected a measure from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows on a 48 to 50 vote and an amendment from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to prevent individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms on a 45 to 54 vote. The amendments were offered to an Obamacare repeal package currently being debated in the Senate and they needed 60 votes to be adopted
Feinstein’s amendment was identical to legislation she previously filed on the same topic, while the expansion of background checks for gun purchases mirrored language championed by Sens. Manchin and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in 2013, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School three years ago this month.
Manchin argued his amendment has bipartisan support and is a common sense response to gun violence.
“It’s for law-abiding gun owners and it’s a good piece of legislation and it’s most reasonable and it’s been accepted by people around the gun community,” he said.
“We have an opportunity to do it now with the height of everything happening,” Manchin said. “For us not to do anything, just sit here and be mum would be just as bad.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for president as a Democrat, also came out strongly for the language.
“We need to significantly expand and improve background checks,” he said. “We need to renew the assault weapons ban. We need to end the sale of high capacity magazines. We need to make gun trafficking a federal crime and give law enforcement the tools they need to get illegal guns off of the streets. We need to close the gun show loophole as well as loopholes that allow gun purchasers to buy a gun after the waiting period expires without a completed background check.”
The Senate has tried, and failed, to pass similar language to the Manchin amendment before, most notably in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings when Manchin-Toomey failed in April 2013, 54 to 46. The bill lost the support of four Democrats but gained an equal number of Republican votes.
That episode remains the closest the Senate has come to a consensus on gun control and will likely remain a big part of the debate.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key deal-maker, said in an interview Wednesday night shortly after the shooting that she favors reviving the Manchin-Toomey gun background check legislation.
“There is widespread support for background checks and for strengthening the gun trafficking laws,” she said.
“The problem with these mass shootings, which seem to be happening with increasing frequency, is too often we propose either more restrictions on gun ownership or more background checks for gun purchasers, versus mental health reform — when in fact we need both. That’s what I would like to see.”
But Thursday’s vote tallies don’t bode well for proponents of comprehensive gun control legislation.
The Manchin and Feinstein measures went down during a series of votes in which the Democratic proposals were paired with Republican counteroffers that also failed to be adopted by the Senate. All the amendments needed 60 votes to be adopted.
To counter Feinstein’s amendment, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) proposed a measure that would give the attorney general the power to impose a 72-hour delay for individuals on the terror watch list seeking to purchase a gun and it could become a permanent ban if a judge determines there is probable cause during that time window.
Cornyn argued that Feinstein’s amendment was “un-American” and violated individuals’ constitutional rights by potentially preventing someone mistakenly on the terror watch list from purchasing a firearm. Cornyn recalled that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) was once put on the terror watch list by mistake and he argued Feinstein’s amendment presupposed “that the federal government is omniscient and all-competent.
That didn’t sit well with Democrats.
“To use Sen. Kennedy – let him be on the watch list, he’s not going to go buy a gun and hurt anybody,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued, calling Cornyn’s alternative “dangerous” and “ridiculous.”
Cornyn’s amendment failed by a vote of 55 to 45.
The Senate also rejected an alternative to Manchin’s amendment from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would criminalize straw purchasing and gun trafficking and introduce incentives for states to provide mental health records to a national database. It also would help military members buy guns in their home states and reduce funding for cities that limit how much they cooperate with federal government efforts to enforce immigration laws, municipalities that critics have dubbed “sanctuary cities.”
Democratic leaders said Grassley’s proposal would roll back gun laws, not improve them.
“The loopholes are opened, and when it comes to background checks, it doesn’t do anything,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) complained.
Grassley’s was rejected on a vote of 53 to 46.
The Senate also rejected an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would allow for concealed carry licenses in the District of Columbia. It was rejected by a vote of 54 to 45 with all Democrats in opposition.
While the Senate largely split along party lines during these votes, a few members did cross the aisle. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted against both the Manchin and Feinstein amendments, while Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted for both.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Collins and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) also voted in favor of Manchin’s amendment to expand background checks. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), who is facing a tough reelection campaign in 2016, abstained from the vote on Manchin’s proposal, though he voted with Republican Party on the other gun control amendments Thursday.
House Democrats are also calling for action on gun control. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Thursday that she is calling on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to convene a select committee on gun safety and to allow votes on the same gun control measures Democrats are pushing in the Senate.
Pelosi said she believes there are sufficient votes in the House to expand background checks to Internet sales and gun shows and to block individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons.
Mass Shootings in the U.S.
By Julie Turkewitz, Updated June 12, 2016, The New York Times
This partial list dates to 2007, when a student opened fire at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., killing more than 30 people and injuring many others. More recently, on June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla., 50 people died and dozens more were wounded when a gunman attacked a crowded nightclub. Shooting at Orlando Nightclub Kills About 50, Police Say
June 12, 2016. Orlando, Fla. – At least 50 people were killed and 53 were injured at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., surpassing the 2007 killings at Virginia Tech as the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. The authorities identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, 29, an American citizen living in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Dec. 2, 2015. San Bernardino, Calif. – Police in San Bernardino mounted an intense manhunt for gunmen who fired dozens of shots inside a conference hall where county employees had gathered at a service center for people with disabilities, leaving at least 14 dead and 17 wounded. San Bernardino Gunmen Kill at Least 14, Wound 14
Nov. 27, 2015. Colorado Springs, Colo. – Three people were killed — a police officer and two civilians — and nine were wounded when a gunman opened fire with an assault rifle at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Robert L. Dear Jr., 57, surrendered more than five hours after the first shots were fired. 3 Are Dead in Colorado Springs Shootout at Planned Parenthood Center
Oct. 1, 2015. Roseburg, Ore. – At least 10 people were shot dead at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon after gunman Chris Harper Mercer, 26, opened fire. The gunman died in an exchange of fire with police. Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says
July 16, 2015. Chattanooga, Tenn. – Four Marines and a Navy petty officer were killed after a man opened fire at two military locations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the gunman, who also died, as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24. Gunman Kills 4 Marines at Military Site in Chattanooga
June 17, 2015. Charleston, S.C. – Nine people are shot dead in a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. The victims range in age from 26 to 87 and include the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a prominent state senator. Police arrest Dylann Storm Roof, 21, a white man with a history of anti-black views.
Oct. 24, 2014. Marysville, Wash. – Four people died after a 15-year-old student opened fire in his high school cafeteria. The student, Jaylen Ray Fryberg, also killed himself. 2 Die, Including Gunman, in Shooting at Washington State High School
May 23, 2014. Isla Vista, Calif. – A college student killed six people, three in his apartment and others on the streets of his small town. The gunman, Elliot O. Rodger, 22, committed suicide shortly after the rampage. Video Rant, Then Deadly Rampage in California Town
April 2, 2014. Killeen, Tex. – A veteran of the Iraq war opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three and wounding 16, before committing suicide. Police identified the shooter as Ivan Lopez. Iraq Veteran at Fort Hood Kills 3 and Himself in Rampage
Sept. 16, 2013. Washington, D.C. – Twelve victims and the gunman died at the Washington Navy Yard, leading authorities to lock down the nation’s capital. Police say the shooter was Aaron Alexis, 34, a former Navy reservist who was working for a military subcontractor. Gunman and 12 Victims Killed in Shooting at D.C. Navy Yard
June 7, 2013. Santa Monica, Calif. – A gunman clad in black roamed Santa Monica, firing at cars, a public bus and buildings and killing five people. The police killed the gunman, John Zawahri, at Santa Monica College Library. Gunman Kills 4 in California Before He Is Killed
Dec. 14, 2012. Newtown, Conn. – Sandy Hook Elementary school became the scene of the nation’s second deadliest school shooting when gunman Adam Lanza opened fire, killing 20 elementary students and six school employees. He also killed his mother and himself. Nation Reels After Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut
Oct. 21, 2012. Brookfield, Wis. – Three women died in a day spa after a gunman entered. Police identified the shooter as Radcliffe F. Haughton, 45, who also killed himself. Spa-goers fled, some of whom were bloodied and still wearing bathrobes. Three Killed in Shooting at Spa in Wisconsin
Sept. 27, 2012. Minneapolis, Minn. – Five victims were killed after a gunman entered his former workplace at a sign company. Police said Andrew Engeldinger, 36, had been fired from the business. The company’s owner, Reuven Rahamim, and a UPS driver, Keith Basinski, were among the victims. The gunman also died. Minnesota: Shooting Toll Rises to Six
Aug. 5, 2012. Oak Creek, Wis. – An armed man walked into a Sikh temple and killed six people. Authorities said the gunman was Wade Michael Page, 40, the leader of a white-power band called End Apathy who had ties to white supremacist groups. The police shot and killed him. Gunman Kills 6 at a Sikh Temple Near Milwaukee
July 20, 2012. Aurora, Colo. – A screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” turned to chaos when a gunman clad in body armor entered the theater. Twelve people died, including a six-year-old named Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and 70 were wounded. The gunman, James Holmes, survived and was later sentenced to life in prison. Gunman Kills 12 in Colorado, Reviving Gun Debate
April 2, 2012. Oakland, Calif. – Seven people die at a religious college after a former student opens fire. Police take custody of One L. Goh, 43, the suspected shooter, who turned himself in. Gunman Kills 7 in a Rampage at a Northern California University
Oct. 12, 2011. Seal Beach, Calif. – A quiet seaside city by a shooting at a salon that left eight people dead. Police said the killer is Scott E. DeKraai, 42, who later pleaded guilty and could face the death penalty. The police said the dead included Mr. DeKraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. Custody Battle May Have Fueled Killings at Salon, Victims’ Kin Say
Jan. 8, 2011. Tucson, Ariz. – Six people died and at least 14 were injured when Jared Loughner opened fire outside a supermarket while United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents. Ms. Giffords survived a point-blank gunshot to the head. Those who died included a 9-year-old named Christina Green, who had been born on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001; John M. Roll, the chief federal judge in Arizona; and Phyllis Schneck, 79, a great-grandmother who liked to sew aprons for church fundraisers. Evidence Points to Methodical Planning
Aug. 3, 2010. Manchester, Conn. – An angry employee drew a handgun at Hartford Distributors, moving through the warehouse and killing colleagues, a company executive and a union president, before killing himself. Eight people were killed by the gunman, identified as Omar S. Thornton, 34. Troubles Preceded Connecticut Workplace Killing
Feb. 12, 2010. Huntsville, Ala. – Three biology professors at the University of Alabama in Huntsville die and three others were seriously wounded. The shooter was Amy Bishop, a neurobiologist who was sentenced to life in prison. Ms. Bishop had just learned that she would not receive tenure at the university. The dead are G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr. Professor Said to Be Charged After 3 Are Killed in Alabama
Nov. 5, 2009. Killeen, Tex. – Thirteen people were killed at Fort Hood when a military psychiatrist opened fire inside a processing center crowded with soldiers either returning from or about to be sent abroad. The gunman, Nidal Malik Hasan, was eventually sentenced to death. More than 30 people were injured. Army Doctor Held in Fort Hood Rampage
April 3, 2009. Binghamton, N.Y. – An immigration center became a scene of violence when a gunman entered during citizenship classes, killing 13 victims and himself. Police found 37 survivors hiding in closets and a boiler room and identified the gunman as Jiverly Wong, 42, who lived in nearby Johnson City. 13 Shot Dead During a Class on Citizenship
Feb. 14, 2008. DeKalb, Ill. – Steve Kazmierczak walked quietly into a large classroom at Northern Illinois University, opened fire, and killed five students and wounded 16 before shooting himself. Profiles of the Victims
April 16, 2007. Blacksburg, Va. – Until the attack in Orlando, the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history unfolded on the campus of Virginia Tech. Thirty-two victims died and many others were wounded by the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, 23, a senior. The gunman killed himself. Virginia Tech Shooting Leaves 33 Dead
Dec. 5, 2007. Omaha, Neb. – Eight people died at the Westroads Mall when Robert A. Hawkins, 19, entered with a rifle, took the elevator to the third floor, and opened fire inside a Von Maur department store. He eventually killed himself. Six victims were store employees and two were customers. Details of Omaha Shooting Emerge