The GOP=death, quite literally. Only the pro-violent can in good concience vote for a Republican.
The tragic toll of war stupefies and stuns. In the 240 years since the Revolutionary War, we have sacrificed nearly 1.4 million Americans to war. In itself, this number is hard to grasp.
But harder yet is to reckon the human cost — of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters; of perished potential; of achievements and kindnesses which will never be; of families forever shattered. However justified some wars may be, war sobers us, diminishes us, cheats us. We struggle to find some national purpose to console us, some nobility of spirit to uplift us. We mourn the tragedies of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, the wars of our last half-century.
In less than that same half-century, from the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy until now, guns have claimed over 1.5 million Americans — 100,000 more deaths than in all the wars of our history.
Here there is no nobility, no consolation, no parades or speeches or monuments or national days of remembrance. Nothing but the indelible stain of mindless butchery and private sorrow.
Every year, year after year, we lose over 30,000 more of us to homicides, suicides and preventable accidents. Every day, we average more than one mass shooting — four or more people dead or wounded. Perhaps a name attaches to that day: Charleston, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook; perhaps we see a memorial service on our screen. Beneath such days are buried the death of 88 more people that day, and every other.
And the carnage moves inexorably forward. In the first two months of 2016, we have had 28 mass shootings. In two weeks time, we have added the names of Kalamazoo and Hesston, Kansas to this litany of shame. And yet nothing changes.
Why? It is not that America has more crime — our crime rates are comparable to other advanced countries. Instead we are stalked by something uniquely American: death by gunshot — four times more per million than the next highest country, Switzerland; 20 more times than Australia. America is the first worlds’ slaughterhouse.
So why hasn’t Congress taken steps?
Because Republicans refuse. The are the NRA.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
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