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6/14/16

USA: The GOP’s loyalty to the NRA rises above keeping weapons from suspected terrorists - by Bob Cesca

This clearly was not what the US founding fathers had inmind
In the months following the Sandy Hook massacre, the FBI received word of a New York-born man named Omar Mateen, who, according to The New York Times, had been bragging to co-workers about his affiliations with terrorist groups. During the following year,

Mateen was again the subject of an investigation — this time in pursuit of allegations that he was linked to “an American who went to Syria to fight for an extremist group.” An FBI official characterized Mateen’s contact with the Syria-based suicide bomber as “minimal.” Consequently, Mateen was removed from the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database.

One of many tragic roadblocks that led to the massacre in Orlando.

Consequently, Mateen easily purchased an AR-15 style rifle just a few days before using it to unleash a nightmare of cinematic proportions. Throughout the weekend, with bodies strewn on the floor of the Pulse nightclub, nearly every political debate on social media and elsewhere orbited around who or what was to blame for Mateen’s act of terror, beginning with Mateen himself and descending through a crowd-sourced list of usual suspects.

We’re all familiar with the roster of shibboleths emerging from all sides of the debate, but if you happened to have opposed a 2015 law, known as Senate Amendment 2910, banning suspects on the federal terrorism watch list from buying firearms, deflecting blame to Mateen’s alleged ISIS connection is probably not your best option.

Making this all about terrorism, as Donald Trump has, only serves to emphasize the GOP’s inability to pass 2910. Sure, the conservative entertainment bubble will allow it. Trump will clearly dedicate his pathetic, clown-haired blurts to blaming terrorism while playing the Obama-is-a-secret-Muslim card. Rationality and logic, on the other hand, won’t allow such contradictory gibberish.

The GOP refused to act on 2910 because, in the face of the National Rifle Association’s Mafia-like extortion tactics and raw spending power, the Republicans chickened out and, save for one senator, voted in lockstep, 54-to-45, to strike down 2910.

The party that practically branded the concept of patriotism, along with its branding of 9/11 and the war on terror, collectively decided that banning suspected terrorists from purchasing AR-15s and the like is a bridge too far. It’s okay, of course, for your civil liberties to be annihilated in pursuit of smoking out the evildoers.

Fifteen years ago, a would-be terrorist tried to blow up an airplane by igniting explosives in his shoes, and totally botched the whole thing, yet, as a result, we all have to practically strip naked before boarding an airplane. Meanwhile, in the wake of San Bernardino, where an AR-style rifle was used, the GOP chose to do… nothing.

Even with a menu of numbers and facts to the contrary, we’re told we should focus exclusively on ISIS and whether Obama spoke the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” If this was exclusively about terrorism, how the hell can Trump and the others reconcile the party’s opposition to 2910, not to mention other sensible gun restrictions?

The answer is simple: they continue to operate with impunity by shoving the story through the meat grinder of Fox News and AM talk radio, producing enough reasonable doubt in the form of distracting zingers to obfuscate the path to accountability.

And so we can expect that nothing will happen. Again. Nothing will happen, including accountability where accountability is clearly due.

Read more: The do-nothing-about-guns party: The GOP’s loyalty to the NRA rises above keeping weapons from suspected terrorists - Salon.com

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