How many more have to die?

How many more have to die?

We need to get certain guns off the market to make sure criminals can't use them for another Orlando

Tribune Content Agency — June 16, 2016

What a relief. After the shocking death toll in Orlando, we don’t have to worry about mass shootings, any more. Speaker Paul Ryan has fixed that problem: He led the House of Representatives in a moment of silence in memory of the 49 victims killed in last weekend’s slaughter.

For Ryan and House Republicans, that’s all the carnage in Orlando — the worst mass shooting in American history — deserved: a quick moment of silence, and then it was on to more important issues, like cutting food stamps. Their cavalier attitude toward one mass murder after another is enough to make you want to puncture that moment of silence with screams of outrage.

Which is what House Democrats did this week. After respectfully observing the silent tribute, they filled the chamber with chants of “Where’s the bill? Where’s the bill?” But, of course, despite filibuster efforts by Democratic senators, led by Chris Murphy of Connecticut, it appears that no legislation will be forthcoming after the gun violence in Orlando, no more than there was after Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado, Charleston, South Carolina, or San Bernardino, California.

Within hours after the tragedy, President Obama described the actions of the Florida killer as an “act of hate” and an “act of terror,” this time directed at the LGBT community. But it was something else, too. It was also another act of senseless gun violence, and any efforts to deal with the terrorist aspect of Orlando are meaningless unless they are accompanied by serious action to limit the easy access to firearms. Late-night comedian Seth Meyers put it best: “Because whether the shooter was a homophobe, mentally ill, a terrorist inspired by ISIS or all three, what allowed him to kill so many people on Sunday was his gun.”

To put it bluntly, we don’t need any typical pap from politicians about “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.” We don’t need any more calls for a “moment of silence.” We don’t need any more macho rhetoric about “bombing ISIS out of existence.” We need strong, common-sense, gun safety legislation to make it tough, if not impossible, for those who should not have a gun to get one — and to take certain guns off the market entirely.

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Bill Press

Bill Press is host of a nationally-syndicated radio show, CNN political analyst and the author of a new book, "Buyer's Remorse," which is available in bookstores now. You can hear "The Bill Press Show" at his website: billpressshow.com. His email address is: bill@billpress.com. Readers may also follow him on Twitter at @bpshow.

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