Indianz.Com > News > Albert Bender: We are tired of ‘thoughts and prayers’ when it comes to gun violence
Joe Biden
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden meet with School Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell and principal Mandy Gutierrez at the memorial for the victims of the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 29, 2022. Photo by Adam Schultz / White House
Politicians who do nothing to stop mass shootings are themselves monsters
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
People's World

The Texas massacre of 19 elementary school children and two teachers on the eve of their next-to-last day of school brings forth unspeakable, unimaginable sadness and infuriating anger. It is hard to conceive the tremendous never-ending hurt felt by the families of those who lost their lives. Again, memories of Sandy Hook emerge.

Many of the children were shot up so badly that DNA identification was required. This writer had no idea of the tremendous damage an AR-15 does to a human body until recently seeing the news program 60 Minutes exposé of this terrible weapon, the sale of which should be immediately banned.

The U.S. government is in a state of “moral paralysis” on the recurrence of mass shootings. Congress is in a state of inaction. The entire world is dumbfounded as it watches massacre after massacre continue unabated in the United States.

In the wake of this latest horrific tragedy, there are the usual prosaic statements evinced by those in the media and in other pulpits of attention and power. But many in the country are tired of “thoughts and prayers,” “moments of silence,” and profuse condolences.

But I will say I was moved by the terse but poignant comments of President Joe Biden. In his seven-minute address to the nation, he touched on at least two compelling points. These included standing up to the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby and the banning of assault rifles.

The young man who committed these abominable killings purchased an AR-15 assault rifle on May 17, one day after he turned 18. On May 18, he bought 375 rounds of ammunition, and on May 20, he bought another rifle. This is unacceptable, as no 18-year-old should be allowed to purchase an assault rifle. 18-year-olds can neither buy alcohol nor handguns, but they can purchase AR-15 assault rifles with no questions asked?

As for standing up to the NRA, it’s an issue of the lobby-bought representatives doing the bidding of this heinous organization for money. The representatives and senators opposed to gun reform are already bought and paid for. The NRA puts out millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Republican representatives.

The following are measures that should be implemented post haste:

  • The banning of the sale of assault rifles, this is foremost.
  • The banning of high capacity magazines, ghost guns, and bump stocks.
  • The banning of body armor.
  • The banning of gun sales to 18-year-olds.
  • The expansion and strengthening of background checks.
The continuing feigned Republican idiocy, the suggestions to combat mass shootings by the proliferation of more firearms, is exemplified by the “play acting” of Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urging the arming of teachers and more police.

These are ridiculous arguments. This is beyond stupidity, as reports are now surfacing that in Uvalde, even when law enforcement officers arrived, they waited over an hour—77 minutes—before entering the building to stop the massacre. Yet imbeciles Cruz and Paxton want to arm teachers and have more police at schools; they are simply trying to please their NRA cohorts, as surely they could not be that bereft of intelligence.

There should be a shutdown of all schools in the country by the people, student walkouts, and parents keeping their children at home until the aforementioned gun control measures are implemented, otherwise, the stage is already being set for more massacres, particularly of little children. Let the country come to a standstill.

In closing, I would like to reference the poem of Amanda Gorman, who wrote in response to the Uvalde massacre: “It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—its inhumanity.”

I will take it a step further. Those who watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing are themselves also monsters.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article reflects the opinions of its author.

Albert Bender is a Cherokee activist, historian, political columnist, and freelance reporter for Native and Non-Native publications. He is currently writing a legal treatise on Native American sovereignty and working on a book on the war crimes committed by the U.S. against the Maya people in the Guatemalan civil war He is a consulting attorney on Indigenous sovereignty, land restoration, and Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) issues and a former staff attorney with Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma (LSEO) in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

This article originally appeared on People's World. It is published under a Creative Commons license.