What's On Our Mind 5-27-2022

Each week we try to use this space to discuss issues of the day from JAC's perspective. Our goal is to inform you, get you thinking, and hope that you will share what you have learned with your friends and family.

With so much going on, it is often challenging to come up with a single topic to discuss. We always have so much on our mind. There are so many pressing issues facing our country involving JAC’s issues.

But sadly this week we must circle back to gun violence -- even though we just discussed it last week. It was only last week, we wrote about the Buffalo grocery store shooting. This week we wanted to focus on other issues like Tuesday's primaries, reproductive rights, climate change, voting rights, or immigration. It is unthinkable but this week again we need to talk about another mass shooting. 

This time, however, this mass shooting feels different. The families of Uvalde were just learning of the deaths of their loved ones when the GOP began attacking the Democrats. There isn’t even time for hollow prayers and thoughts to be tweeted from the GOP when scoring political points with their base takes over.

The Republican Senate nominee from Georgia, after winning his primary Tuesday night, had nothing to say about the shooting. Nothing.

After Sandy Hook it was different. Our country was different. A Republican and Democrat stood together on the Senate floor to protect our children. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the country’s first background check bill.

Manchin says he still supports “common sense” measures to save lives and that he will “do anything” he can. Common sense means getting rid of the filibuster, which he won’t support. Gun violence prevention bills will not get passed if there is a filibuster. Just last night, GOP Senators blocked the newly introduced domestic terrorism bill introduce in light of the shooting in Buffalo. It’s a matter of the number of votes — votes that end up costing our children their lives. No, Manchin is not committed to saving lives. He can’t when he hides behind the filibuster.
As the devastated, broken-hearted community of Uvalde struggles with their new reality, the rest of the country is struggling with the fact that this is becoming our reality, too. Mass shootings are piling up more quickly than days in the year. 
Young children ask if it safe to go to school. Older children ask why can’t Congress do something. The rest of us ask why after Columbine, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Pulse night club, Parkland and all the others we are still talking about mass shootings.
The only answer, and our only hope, for our children and country, is to elect a few more Democratic Senators. Then we will see real change. It really is just about numbers. It will just take a few more to save countless lives. Help us to make that happen.
Elections have consequences -- sometimes even deadly ones.