The slaugh­ter in Florida was en­abled by elected US politi­cians, with as­sis­tace from the Supreme Court, writes

CityPress - - Voices -

GWil­liam Grei­der riev­ing over the Or­lando mas­sacre in Florida, US, will have lit­tle or no ef­fect un­less we mo­bilise our sor­rows into rage that tar­gets all of the political cul­prits. Amer­i­cans must mo­bilise with a take-no­pris­on­ers political anger that over­rides the usual la­men­ta­tions and le­gal­is­tic ex­cuses from Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can politi­cians.

Don’t just blame crazed big­ots or for­eign sub­ver­sives. This slaugh­ter was en­abled by elected politi­cians, with as­sis­tance from the US Supreme Court. They should be the true tar­get of our rage.

This is the dread­ful re­al­ity that has led our coun­try to its con­tin­u­ing sor­rows. The govern­ment has failed to pro­tect cit­i­zens from the ran­dom vi­o­lence that is fast be­com­ing a blood-soaked rit­ual. Pol­i­tics has failed at every level – fed­eral, state and lo­cal – and then politi­cians say that they are help­less to pre­vent the slaugh­ter. Peo­ple must not ac­cept that le­gal­is­tic dodge.

If the US can bomb other na­tions with­out a dec­la­ra­tion of war, it can con­fis­cate the high-pow­ered mil­i­tary weapons that are rou­tinely sold to the ran­dom mad­men who are driven to vi­o­lence by their own hate­ful political delu­sions.

We are con­fronted by a pro­found cri­sis of na­tional se­cu­rity far more threat­en­ing than any of the far-flung wars the US has en­gaged in in the Mid­dle East. I pre­dict that if Wash­ing­ton will not act force­fully to halt the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, en­dan­gered cit­i­zens will feel com­pelled to take up their own self-de­fence.

The vi­o­lence is a con­sti­tu­tional emer­gency sub­vert­ing the civil or­der – a cri­sis the Supreme Court did not an­tic­i­pate when it threw out the gun-con­trol laws and rewrote the sec­ond amend­ment in the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Chief Justice John Roberts has blood on his hands. So do his right wing as­so­ciates who de­fended the “gun rights” trum­peted by the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion (NRA).

If my ac­cu­sa­tion seems un­fair, tell it to the scores of fam­i­lies whose in­no­cent rel­a­tives were mur­dered. There will be many more vic­tims – you can count on it – for as long as the Supreme Court puts guns be­yond the reach of law.

The blood­bath in Or­lando should pro­foundly al­ter the pop­u­lar im­pa­tience with political game­play­ing. If the Democrats wish to over­come the pop­u­lar scep­ti­cism to­wards them, they will go to the bar­ri­cades and stymie what­ever leg­isla­tive ac­tion the Sen­a­tor Mitch McConnell crowd at­tempts in the next few months un­less the Repub­li­cans ac­cept rig­or­ous new gun laws.

Don’t hold your breath. The NRA is pow­er­ful be­cause, a gen­er­a­tion ago, it tar­geted and de­feated a hand­ful of con­gres­sional mem­bers who did not vote its way. If the Democrats are un­will­ing to fight this fight, then pop­u­lar anger must fight it for them. Pick a hand­ful of Democrats and Repub­li­cans who vote “wrong” on guns and strip them of their power. That mes­sage will de­stroy the NRA’s political mo­nop­oly. Amer­i­cans at large have “gun rights” too – the right not to be slaugh­tered by de­ranged ma­raud­ers with 100 rounds of deadly force.

What­ever the politi­cians de­cide, this cri­sis also de­mands di­rect ac­tion that con­fronts dis­gust­ing con­tra­dic­tions the elected politi­cians have usu­ally tol­er­ated. Who sold the guns to the Or­lando mur­derer? Peo­ple should find the store and shut it down. The lo­cal pros­e­cu­tor could name the owner as an unin­dicted co-con­spir­a­tor. Such a move would make gun store own­ers vul­ner­a­ble to civil law­suits by fam­i­lies of vic­tims.

And who made the guns that killed the in­no­cent? Shame the fac­tory too. Hold the ex­ec­u­tives to ac­count.

And who elected the guys who en­acted the laws that armed the de­viant who killed so many peo­ple last Satur­day night in Or­lando?

Do not wait for political lead­ers to find their strat­egy. Put them face to face with their fail­ure.

– The Na­tion, dis­trib­uted by Agence Global

Grei­der is The Na­tion’s na­tional af­fairs cor­re­spon­dent

What does the US need to do to stop the scourge of gun vi­o­lence?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word RAGE and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50 Gun­man El­liot Oliver Robertson Rodger kills six peo­ple and wounds 14 oth­ers in a drive-by shoot­ing in the Isla Vista sec­tion of Santa Bar­bara, California, spray­ing bul­lets from his car un­til it crashes. He is found dead in­side Omar Ma­teen shoots 49 peo­ple dead in a gay night­club in Or­lando, Florida. He is killed by po­lice

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