The Tennessee Democratic Party sent out this letter in response to the Umpqua, Oregon, shooting. First, they say they are not politicizing the shooting, but they quickly castigate Republicans and make very personal attacks (“Cue Republican faux outrage.”). That’s just plain nasty. Conservatives have sincere beliefs that this letter ridicules.
Here is the leter:
First, a Democrat has been in the White House for 7 years and has yet to make a move to take anyone guns away.
Second, we are not “politicizing” a tragedy. Random acts of gun violence and mass murder are an epidemic that deserves a political response because a political response spurs political ACTION. And it is beyond time for political ACTION on gun violence in America.
Third, Tennessee has a Republican majority in our Congressional delegation and in our State House that either chooses to stay silent on issues of gun violence in this country or use them as a political football. Enough.
(Cue Republican faux outrage at this email and our position rather than actually commenting on their inaction in 3…2..1…)
It’s maddening when you read a headline like “Gun safety debate at standstill despite agreement on restrictions for mentally ill.” What are we waiting for? Is Congress waiting on general consensus from the American people? If they are, someone should tell them that they have it.
92% of voters, including 92% of gun owners, agree with Vice President Joe Biden that we need background checks prior to gun sales. That’s 86% of Republicans, 98% of Democrats, and 92% of gun owners who agree. Even an overwhelming majority of Tennessee voters support expanded backgtound checks.
And if a majority of folks tend to blame mental illness for mass shootings than you would think expanding access to affordable mental health services would be a priority for the Republican majority in our Congressional delegation and in our legislature. Yet, we have a Republican majority congressional delegation that continues to try to repeal expanded access to affordable mental health services as well as seven Republican Tennessee state senators blocking epansion of access to affordable mental health services.
President Obama is right. We have become numb to this. Enough. We join him in asking Tennessee gun owner’s “who are using those guns properly, safely, to hunt for sport, for protecting their families,” to “think about whether your views are being properly represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you.”
And we stand with President Obama and his rising anger and frustration because random acts of mass murder and gun violence in America deserves a political response…and political ACTION:
“This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.”
Join this organization or one of your choosing. And call your member of Congress. Enough is enough.
Chair, Tennessee Democratic Party.