Last Thursday, Americans paused as they have become accustomed to doing, as national news reported a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Politicians and lawmakers immediately began publicly sending their condolences and calls to prayer via social media sites like Twitter for the "senseless" loss of life. Ironically, many of those same politicians had the victim's blood on their hands as they offered their thoughts. In a new video (above) produced by Brave New Films, we highlight their culpability.
President Obama gave an emblazoned and passionate speech a few hours after the reported tragedy. He lamented about the "routine" our nation has fallen into with our response to mass shootings. In 2015 alone there have only been 274 days, but 294 mass shootings. "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough!" President Obama said.
He is correct. Of the hundreds of tweets that were sent out from men and women of Congress, a strange contradiction occurred: dozens who offered their condolences were indebted to gun manufacturers and the NRA to keep them in office. Thus, they were the enablers of blocking the common sense gun laws that could have helped prevent the tragedy in Oregon.
While over 92 percent of gun owners and over 70 percent of NRA members support universal background checks and improved reporting of mental health checks when purchasing a firearm, the NRA DOES NOT support these common-sense measures.
In short, the NRA has become a front for gun companies to create marketing strategies that keep Americans in fear for their lives if they DON'T own a gun, and a vehicle to purchase politicians to clear the path for as little intervention as possible. The gun companies dole out close to $100 million dollars to the NRA who, in turn, generously donate to any politician willing to push the agenda of the gun companies, even if they are directly in contradiction to the wants of NRA membership. To keep membership high, they use those dollars to run smear campaigns of anyone that does NOT support their politics, claiming attacks on the 2nd Amendment, the desire to eliminate gun ownership, and an attack on American values. They do this by buying politicians.
Mitch McConnell, for instance, who tweeted his prayers to the families of the UCC shooting, has received over $37,000 in campaign contributions from the NRA. McConnell has used his social media in the past to mock Senator Harry Reid after aiding in a filibuster to stop a legislative provision for universal background checks after the Sandy Hook shootings. Presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham has been no stranger to speaking of the failures of universal background checks and offering prayers to victims like last week's shootings and the mass shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME church in his home state of South Carolina this year via social media. And yet his A rating from the NRA, his over $36,000 in campaign contributions, and his extensive record of voting in line with his friends at the gun companies didn't stop him from offering prayers to mourning families who's loved ones could have been helped if members of Congress like him not been bought out.
Watch the new film Prayer Won't Stop Gun Violence above by Brave New Films. Wherever you stand on guns, ask yourself if your true feelings are really being represented in Washington. Don't rely on the answers you've always given, but really decide if your perception of the gun violence problem in this country is based on fact or clever advertising models of people who have no regard for your life or your rights, but are determined to turn huge profits. Check your conscious. Pray if it suits you. But then get up and do something.