By: Tyrone Barrozo, Columnist
As American news outlets continued to milk more Trump antics—granted, this time being the public hearings for presidential impeachment—life was still going on in the rest of the country. That is to say, on Nov. 14, a teenage gunman killed two students and wounded three others at his high school in Santa Clarita before committing suicide.
I wish that this sort of news fazed me but, after growing up a little, this is nothing more than a new normal—a solely American expectation. Not only that, there’s another expectation that follows tragedies like the one that took place in Santa Clarita, in Newtown, in Blacksburg, and in other parts of the country where there have been school shootings. That expectation that follows those tragedies is, simply, that nothing will be done to prevent the situation.
Now, especially during this trying time in U.S. politics, I try to distance myself from all of the juvenile trauma that happens at Capitol Hill and try my best to stay up to date with relevant issues—lest I, or a loved one, nearly get screwed by whatever policy is up for voting at the moment. However, it’s become clear to me that being cordial and remaining respectful to the last survivors of a bygone era who are content with only working to benefit themselves while in office will not suffice in terms of eliciting any sort of response.
So, in all honesty, I was somewhat glad to see the GOP’s resident do-nothing, Senator Mitch McConnell, get dragged out on Twitter after the Santa Clarita shooting. Deep down, I know that McConnell will continue to do nothing, but seeing people on Twitter properly outraged at someone and something that are proper targets for online complaints made me feel just a bit better somehow.
Back in February of this year, the House of Representatives actually managed to do their job and passed a bill—the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019—and other legislation which would provide the FBI more time to conduct background checks on gun buyers. The swift and agile pile of papers seeked to close what some referred to as the “Charleston loophole” which allowed a white supremacist to purchase automatic weapons and mow down nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. The next step after getting passed through the House would’ve been to run the bills through the Senate for voting—guess who’s the majority Senate leader.
Apparently, McConnell is uninterested in holding any sort of vote for any of the bills approved by the House, meaning that they would all perish much like every other victim that needlessly perished in preventable school shootings. According to McConnell back in September, he’s waiting for an answer from the president.
“I said a few weeks ago that if the President took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I would be happy to put it on the floor and the administration is in the process of studying what they are prepared to support if anything,” McConnell said. In short, he says to the unimaginable amount of people affected my these shootings that he’s not going to do anything.
Now, he also mentioned that he supposedly supported background checks and laws which enabled firearm confiscation from possible threats but emphasized that those checks and laws wouldn’t have done anything to prevent mass shootings in the U.S. Going back to what I expected, it seems that I was right. Nothing’s going to happen with McConnell at the wheel because he doesn’t believe in change and, therefore, possibly changing the future.