Saturday, April 20, 2013
When you think things can't get worse, they usually do. Why does it seem that way time and time again? And to make it worse, when you just want to forget something, it just doesn't seem to happen.
It has been an unbelievable heart wrenching week, to say the least. Let's start with the first major disappointment for the week. The United States receives continuous threats from North Korea about missile launches and possible attacks from North Korea on the United States. Even though the U.S. Government believes that North Korea cannot deliver on their threats of a missile strike on the U.S, it is entirely possible that the North Koreans can propel a missile to neighboring countries, such as South Korea, the Philippines,
and Japan and Israel, places where U.S. troops are stationed. Normally, this topic would be a major reporting story, but here, right now on this blog, there are just so many other things to mention. The news channels have completely stopped covering this issue because of other immediate issues.
On Wednesday, April 17, 2013 the Senate voted on a bill to change the law concerning guns. Staunchly opposed by the gun lobbyists headed by the NRA, the bill failed in the Senate. The actual vote showed a majority to make new limitations concerning guns, but the bill still didn't make it out of the Senate. A filibuster was in place that required at least 60 votes for the amendment to pass, but it only received 54 favorable votes.
The following is what the President and many Democrats wanted to pass.
First, there was support for a renewed assault weapons ban and an expansion of background checks.
Second, a proposal by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to make state concealed weapons permits acceptable throughout the country. Background checks are presently required with store purchases, but presently, a would-be buyer can purchase a gun at a gun show or flea market with no backgound checks at all. What's the sense of having required permits at gun stores if the law cannot be extended to other types of gun purchases?!
Third, a bipartisan amendment dealing with mental health concerning gun purchases and five other measures was considered. Again referring to gun shows, if the buyer is a mental health patient or is mentally disturbed, presently he or she can purchase a gun without much issue. In most cases, the seller doesn't even ask your name, let alone ask you if you live in the state, which is against the law. Gun purchases in gun shops are limited to resident state buyers. At gun shows, these safeguards just are not followed. They are the exact type of loophole that the President and the parents of the Sandy Hook massacre are lobbying to correct.
It this weren't enough for the week, what else could possibly happen that would take up the attention of the entire country, something that seemed of more immediate importance than the gun control bill. Believe it or not, there just happened to be something that was more important to deal with at the present time.
Since the attack on the United States by Osama bin Laden on 2001 at the World Trade Centers in New York City, the country hasn't experienced any type of real terrorism since that time. But another similar disaster unfolded on April 15th. As is known now, two Russian immigrants placed and ignited 2 bombs which injured nearly 200 people attending the Boston Marathon, killing at least three, including one child. Suddenly, the issue of gun control no longer seemed to matter. The entire focus of the country was now centered around Boston. Before it was all said and done, one police officer was killed, and another was critically injured but will survive.
The two suspects, a 19 year old Chechen Muslim named Dzhokar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were singled out for the attack. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police on Thursday, April 18th, but the gunman killed a police officer in the process. The younger brother was captured today, and is critically wounded. Most likely he received the wounds during the shootout when he was with his brother on Thursday. Presently, Dzhokar is now in the hospital, and expected to recover. He will be questioned by the police and FBI. For now, the immediate threat in Boston has been curtailed and there is a great big sigh of relief with Boston residents. Hopefully, there are no other terrorists on the loose associated with bombings at the Boston marathon, but police and FBI will continue to question the suspect when he recovers.
So what's in store for this killer? Without a doubt, you would think that the only thing left for this guy is the electric chair. But disturbing to me was the decision by the FBI and local authorities that the Miranda rights that are normally given to defendants not be given to this suspect. Now I beg to see if this decision will have any effect on the outcome of the terrorist's fate. If Dzhokar Tsarnaev doesn't get the electric chair or a needle, he most likely will receive a lifelong prison sentence without parole.
Again, be watching for more details about the recent failure of the gun control legislation that never made it out of the Senate.
Last but not least, in Texas yesterday in a city called West, Texas which is a town just outside the city of Waco Texas, there was a very massive explosion which occurred during a fire at at fertilizer plant on April 17th. Two days later, there has been a total of 14 bodies recovered from the blast site. In total, five West firefighters died battling the blaze, along with one Dallas firefighter and four emergency responders. The explosion leveled several homes and apartments nearby. Several people are still considered missing, and local emergency responders are still searching the scene for missing people.
Somehow, one of the most frustrating weeks in recent history has now passed. But is it time for rest? Peoples guard may be temporarily down, in an attempt to receive respite from all that has happened throughout the week.
But thanks to the lame Senate and the Republicans in both parties, the idea of guns reform is still a very hot issue and will not go away anytime soon. President Obama openly supports the bill on gun limitations.
Unfortunately, it may take another disgusting disaster like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School, before the Senators finally decide to go against the NRA and vote for strict controls on gun sales and regulations, such as only allowing smaller clips on automatic weapons.
Automatic assault rifles should be banned, such as the one that was used at Sandy Hook. The shooter spent over 100 rounds of bullets, shot in less than 5 minutes before almost 2 dozen children were killed, along with teachers and the principle.
So what's next? This is a week that most everyone on both sides of the political isle want to forget. But ignoring problems like the ones associated with guns will not go away. In retrospect, you may just have to witness more tragedy before the lame senators that voted against gun control this week will act.
It makes no difference what the polls show these days. Case in point, at least 90% of the people polled state that they want more gun control, but the Senators refuse to acknowledge what there own constituents want. They fail to represent their own people. This will become one of the major issues in the years to come for the upcoming elections. Many of the Senators will wish that they had supported more gun control, especially the more conservative Democratic Senators that voted against the gun control bill.
Again, be watching for more details about the recent failure of the gun control legislation that never made it out of the Senate along with understanding what vote each Senator made to defeat the gun control bill.