The Republican old white men running Congress refuse to act on gun violence or gun control because they don’t care about gay, black or brown people.
by Roy Steele
Like many of my lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friends and contemporaries, I grew up at a time that was marked by loss and tragedy. The AIDS pandemic at the end of the last century was marked by great personal loss which was devastating for our community, and the death and dying touched us all.
Homophobia, ignorance, fear, misinformation, and anti-gay hate, allowed politicians and government officials to ignore the public health crisis and look the other way. If there was a “gay cancer” claiming the lives of our dear friends, they didn’t care because they didn’t feel the loss. Senators stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and said we deserved to die because of our “immoral lifestyle.” They said we brought this deadly disease on ourselves, and falsely claimed it was God’s retribution for our sins.
The images of friends who got sick and died are still seared in my mind and will haunt me forever. Healthy, vibrant, happy, funny, handsome, good people got sick and died. For some, it was a long and painful death. There were others who had a cold that turned into pneumonia and they died in a matter of weeks.
Watching the gun violence on television over the last few days reminded me of that tragic time with so many lives tragically cut short. Today - just like then - many politicians in Washington have blinders on and they ignore the needs of the people. They put themselves and their re-election first, and cater to the lobbyists and fat cats and the National Rifle Association. They completely ignore the very people who elect them.
|The police officers and people of Dallas are in our hearts and prayers.|
President Barack Obama wants change. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrats in Congress want change. The GOP stands in the way again and they keep blocking progress.
The old white Republican men in charge of Congress don’t seem bothered when a crazed madman murders five Dallas police officers. When over fifty gay brown people in Orlando were murdered weeks ago, and another fifty injured, Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) said, “It is too soon to inject politics into the discussion. The White House and Congress should focus on the task at hand - protecting the homeland.”
Whenever there is a gun tragedy the Republican Party has the exact same response. “It’s too soon to inject politics into the discussion.” That is total bullshit. They also say “guns don’t kill people.” More bullshit. They falsely claim that gun regulations won’t stop these tragedies. How do we know that? We never try anything new, and we never do anything. How long are we going to be silent? We have to do something.
There are African-American men who leave their house to go to the store to get milk, and they are shot and killed in cold blood and never return home again. Alton Sterling was outside a Baton Rouge convenience store and was shot in the back. Philando Castile was shot four times after a traffic stop in Minnesota. Their lives were snuffed out in an instant. Sterling was the 122nd black man killed by a white police officer in 2016. That means every 36 hours another black American is killed by law enforcement personnel. That’s outrageous!
Over the last month gay, Latino, and African-Americans, have been murdered in cold blood. Three minority groups that make Republicans uncomfortable. Three communities that don’t support or vote for the old white men that are clinging to power in Washington.
From my experience watching Congress over the years, I can say with certainty that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) does not want to allow a recorded vote on gun legislation before the November 2016 election, because many of his members will vote “no” regardless of what the bill says. Anyone that votes against gun control could lose their seat, and Speaker Ryan and the GOP could lose control of Congress.
That’s why we won’t see a vote anytime soon in Washington, D.C. And every Republican member of Congress that sits on their ass and does nothing has blood on their hands for not doing something to curb the violence, including Speaker Paul Ryan.
We’re all tired of the killing and the violence. We’re tired of moments of silence. We’re tired of the do-nothing Republicans in Congress. The politicians that stand with the NRA and the gun lobby can take their moments of silence and shove it. We must tell them that we’re coming after all of them. We must communicate that we intend to win and that we will defeat them at the ballot box.
I hope that you will support and join me in demanding change. Today I’m taking to Twitter to contact the top 20 recipients of contributions from the NRA. I’m going to tell them that “Americans are dying from gun violence and you have blood on your hands for not taking action.” I hope that you will do the same.
|Member of Congress||Twitter Handle||NRA Support||Phone Number|
|Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)||@RoyBlunt||$60,550||(202) 224-5721|
|Rep. Don Young (R-AK)||@repdonyoung||$55,650||(202) 225-5765|
|Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)||@RepSteveChabot||$54,100||(202) 225-2216|
|Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)||@RepGoodlatte||$52,250||(202) 225-5431|
|Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)||@PeteSessions||$51,650||(202) 225-2231|
|Sen. John Thune (R-SD)||@SenJohnThune||$44,155||(202) 224-2321|
|Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)||@CongMikeSimpson||$43,750||(202) 225-5531|
|Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)||@Robert_Aderholt||$43,749||(202) 225-4876|
|Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)||@RepHalRogers||$41,400||(202) 225-4601|
|Rep. John Kline (R-MN)||@RepJohnKline||$40,750||(202) 225-2271|
|Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)||@SanfordBishop||$40,650||(202) 225-3631|
|Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)||@KenCalvert||$40,550||(202) 225-1986|
|Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)||@RepGregWalden||$37,250||(202) 225-6730|
|Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)||@RepSamGraves||$37,100||(202) 225-7041|
|Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)||@SpeakerRyan||$36,800||(202) 225-3031|
|Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)||@SenatorBurr||$35,700||(202) 224-3154|
|Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)||@DavidVitter||$35,250||(202) 224-4623|
|Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)||@RepEdWhitfield||$34,850||(202) 225-3115|
|Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)||@RepTimMurphy||$33,500||(202) 225-2301|
|Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)||@RepJoeBarton||$31,500||(202) 225-2002|