Jessica Corbett news

After Kids Killed in Texas, Dems Declare ‘Pass Gun Safety Legislation Now’

"Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now," said Sen. Ed Markey. "To those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame."
Tuesday’s massacre took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. [Screen shot / YouTube]

By Jessica Corbett | Common Dreams

Progressives in Congress responded to a deadly mass shooting at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday with demands for swift action to reduce gun violence.

The massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde left at least 19 children, two adults, and the gunman dead—and came just 10 days after a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo sparked similar calls for congressional action.

“I am horrified by news of another mass shooting and my heart breaks for the families of the young children and teacher killed in Uvalde. Congress has a moral responsibility to end gun violence now. To those who refuse to act, there are no excuses. Only complicity and shame,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

“Abolish the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation now,” added Markey. The filibuster has been the biggest barrier to getting bills through the evenly split Senate without GOP support, but a few right-wing Democrats have joined with Republicans to defend it, even when faced with crises and tragedies.

Referencing the initial death toll, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted: “Fourteen little kids, dead. When are we going to wake up as a country? Abolish the filibuster. Pass gun safety legislation, now. This needs to stop. We can never allow this to happen again.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also took aim at the filibuster:

Meanwhile, in the chamber, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)—who was in the House for the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting—pleaded with lawmakers to act.

“I am here on this floor to beg, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: Find a path forward here,” Murphy said. “Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”

“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything that I may support but there is a common denominator that we can find,” he continued. “There is a place where we can achieve agreement—that may not guarantee that America never, ever again sees a mass shooting… but by doing something, we at least stop sending this quiet message of endorsement to these killers whose brains are breaking, who see the highest levels of government doing nothing, shooting after shooting.”

Others called out right-wing lawmakers who have stood in the way of federal gun safety legislation.

“The only adjectives left to describe yet another school shooting are ‘sick’ and ‘tired’ of conservative extremists blocking common-sense steps to reduce the risk of these atrocities ripping away the lives of children and leaving their families to grieve their devastating losses,” said Sen. Ron. Wyden (D-Ore.).

Congresswoman Marie Newman (D-Ill.) fumed that “I simply don’t have words for this horror. I’m furious we live in a nation that values ‘freedom’ over innocent Americans—including children—being gunned down and murdered. When will the Republican Party stop holding our nation hostage and let us pass gun safety legislation[?]”

“How the hell can any @GOP member look at this and still believe there is nothing Congress can do to end these school shootings?” she tweeted. “I’m praying for the victims and families but that is not nearly enough—we need real action RIGHT NOW.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared MSNBC executive producer Kyle Griffin’s tweet noting that GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and former President Donald Trump are scheduled to speak at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) that is set to kick off Friday in Houston, which “is only a few hundred miles away from Uvalde.”

In a swipe at lawmakers who attack reproductive rights, Ocasio-Cortez charged that “there is no such thing as being ‘pro-life’ while supporting laws that let children be shot in their schools, elders in grocery stores, worshippers in their houses of faith, survivors by abusers, or anyone in a crowded place. It is an idolatry of violence. And it must end.”

Some progressive lawmakers drew on their own experiences as parents and argued that kids nationwide deserve better. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted that “as a parent of an elementary school student, the pain and anger is unbearable. Pass gun safety legislation now.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) similarly said that “as a mom, I cannot fully express how devastating it is to hear that 14 kids and their teacher were murdered in their classroom. How many more people have to die before our country takes on gun violence?”

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) declared: “Our communities deserve better. Our children deserve better.”

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) agreed, calling it “infuriating and shameful that with each passing day we lose more kids to senseless acts of gun violence like this,” and asserting that “this isn’t the America our children deserve.”

Impassioned calls for action also came from outside of Congress. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said that “only in America do people go grocery shopping and get mowed down by a shooter with hate in his heart; only in this country are parents not assured that their kids will be safe at school.”

“Gun violence is a cancer, and it’s one that none of us should tolerate for one single moment longer,” she added. “We have made a choice to let this continue, and we can make a choice to finally do something—do anything—to put a stop to this madness.”

Amnesty International USA’s campaign manager for ending gun violence, Ernest Coverson, declared that “thoughts and prayers are not enough. Cliches about lives being changed forever are not enough. We are disgusted and we are outraged.”

“While details are still to be confirmed, this latest tragedy again underscores how U.S. government officials have allowed gun violence to become a human rights crisis,” Coverson continued. It is unacceptable and must end.”

“We reiterate our long-standing demand for comprehensive, common-sense, human rights-based gun safety reform at the state, local, and federal levels, without further excuses or delay,” he said. “We stand with victims’ families and survivors, and join our partners in the gun violence prevention community in demanding action.”


  1. In addition to monitoring social media and implementing comprehensive background checks, all guns need to be registered and owners licensed and insured, just as vehicle owners are.

    1. If they can’t get insurance they can’t have a license, can’t own a gun.

  2. Any society that glorifies guns like the USA does is doomed to dystopian collapse. Guns are designed for one thing only and that is to kill other human beings. Period. I have come to the realization that anyone who owns and defends guns in citizens hands has serious mental issues. Same goes for police and military. In this day and age if humans have not managed to move beyond their reptilian brains and learned to settle differences without violence then there is no future for the human race. And Texas in particular with basically zero regulations when it comes to buying and owning such weapons is leading the charge to such dystopia. I am detest anyone who still prattles on about their so-called second amendment rights to own such evil devices in this day and age. Pray tell me how all these mass shooters fall under a “well regulated militia.” As I wrote above, Texas has what amounts to zero regulations when it comes to owning such weaponry of mass destruction. No one needs a gun in this day and age. And anyone who still argues their rights to do so are violent by nature. . Guns are for cowards who refuse to learn to get along with each other and settle their differences in a humane manner. I hang my head in shame having been born in this country that was founded on genocide and slavery and is leading the charge towards extinction of life on earth. Guns are evil. Period.

  3. Those techy chickens are coming home to roost:

    Children who repeatedly play violent video games are learning thought patterns that will stick with them and influence behaviors as they grow older, according to a new study by Iowa State University researchers. The effect is the same regardless of age, gender or culture. Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study published in JAMA Pediatrics, says it is really no different than learning math or to play the piano.

    “If you practice over and over, you have that knowledge in your head. The fact that you haven’t played the piano in years doesn’t mean you can’t still sit down and play something,” Gentile said. “It’s the same with violent games – you practice being vigilant for enemies, practice thinking that it’s acceptable to respond aggressively to provocation, and practice becoming desensitized to the consequences of violence.”

    Researchers found that over time children start to think more aggressively. And when provoked at home, school or in other situations, children will react much like they do when playing a violent video game. Repeated practice of aggressive ways of thinking appears to drive the long-term effect of violent games on aggression.

    “Violent video games model physical aggression,” said Craig Anderson, Distinguished Professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Iowa State and co-author of the report. “They also reward players for being alert to hostile intentions and for using aggressive behavior to solve conflicts. Practicing such aggressive thinking in these games improves the ability of the players to think aggressively. In turn, this habitual aggressive thinking increases their aggressiveness in real life.”


    Media violence poses a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression. Research shows that fictional television and film violence contribute to both a short-term and a long-term increase in aggression and violence in young viewers. Television news violence also contributes to increased violence, principally in the form of imitative suicides and acts of aggression. Video games are clearly capable of producing an increase in aggression and violence in the short term, although no long-term longitudinal studies capable of demonstrating long-term effects have been conducted. The relationship between media violence and real-world violence and aggression is moderated by the nature of the media content and characteristics of and social influences on the individual exposed to that content. Still, the average overall size of the effect is large enough to place it in the category of known threats to public health.


    That’s entertainment:

    In today’s mass media world, the conventional wisdom is that violence sells. Violent media costs less to export, it costs less to translate, and it has way fewer problems being picked up by markets in different cultures than ours. As a language, violence is easy to understand and requires little context in order to present a plot: explosions, gunfire and martial arts are a language that anyone can understand. Consider some of the following numbers:

    From 1995 to 2020, the top grossing movie for each year was a decidedly violent movie with the exception of five films, with the top two genres: action and adventure, both having elements of violence.[1]

    Films that are rated PG-13 hold almost 50 percent of the American market. Films that are either PG or PG-13 make more money than all other film ratings combined and currently contain more violence than R rated films.[2]

    70 percent or 51.5 million kids under 18 are video game players in the United States. [3]

    The average age range of a video game player is 35-44 years old. [4]

    Only 13 percent of all games sold are given an M rating for “mature,” the highest rating possible.[5]

    In 2019, consumers in the United States spent approximately $43 billion on video games.[6]

    As we can see from the numbers above, the two major forms of entertainment media that traffic in representations of violence are huge businesses. It is interesting to note, however, that while much of the moral panic tends to revolve around video games, the majority of game players are not children, but adults. Conversely, movies targeted towards a youth demographic are a major source of income for filmmakers in Hollywood.

    For film, the financial “sweet spot” appears to be films that are action rather than dialogue oriented, but still accessible to young people. This combination allows filmmakers to target the most profitable local markets while still maintaining relevance in foreign markets due to the relative lack of dialogue and domestic-culture-specific references: action movies don’t require complex plots or characters. They rely on fights, killings, special effects and explosions to hold their audiences. And, unlike comedy or drama—which depend on good stories, sharp humour and credible characters, all of which are often culture-specific—action films require little in the way of good writing and acting. They’re simple and they’re universally understood. To top it off, the largely non-verbal nature of the kind of films that journalist Sharon Waxman refers to as “short-on-dialogue, high-on-testosterone” makes their dubbing or translation relatively inexpensive.


    Oh, that MIC?

    If the occupation was so unpopular and weak, how was it able to last so long? The Afghanistan Papers — a trove of military documents leaked to The Washington Post — showed that high-ranking government officials knew that the war was unwinnable but were openly lying to the public about how it was going, all while NGOs and military contractors made billions.


    Who runs this ship?

    Hollywood is a slightly different story. The conventional wisdom that Tinseltown is Jewish-dominated has some basis in reality, as Jews seem to be disproportionately represented in the upper echelon of film directors and executives. According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 1.2 percent of the nation’s adults are Jewish. (That includes only self-identified Jews and may exclude a significant number of Americans with Jewish ethnicity who are not observant.) Yet, of the top 20 directors, producers, and other non-acting movie bigwigs listed in the Guardian’s Film Power 100, nine are Jewish (45 percent). There are plenty of prominent Jewish execs slightly further down the list, too, including the brothers Coen and Weinstein.

    The top executives at major media conglomerates are also Jewish in greater numbers than the general population. Robert Iger of Disney and Sumner Redstone and Leslie Moonves of CBS are all Jews, while Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric and Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner are not. Jeff Zucker, the departing head of NBC, is Jewish.


    But, putting two and three together, well, we get?

    But documents obtained by journalist Tom Secker under the Freedom of Information Act and shared with MintPress also show that Hollywood also played a significant role, knowingly collaborating with the Pentagon to produce pro-war propaganda about Afghanistan, ultimately helping to artificially buoy public opinion on the unwinnable campaign. This typically included giving the Pentagon direct editorial control over scripts and even removing any anti-war content or scenes that would show the military in a negative light. In exchange, the military offered its human resources, its bases as locations for filming, and its wide range of hi-tech vehicles to be used in movies. This quid pro quo effectively turned much of Hollywood, and the entertainment industry more generally, into cheerleaders for imperialism.


    Reading through the documents, what becomes clear is the sheer scale of the military’s involvement in the silver screen, and in pop culture more generally. For instance, between 2015 and 2017, the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs West (OCPA-W) — based just outside of Hollywood, CA — was generally working on between 40 and 70 entertainment media projects at one time. The OCPA-W is one of three Army regional offices, the others being in Chicago and New York City. The Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, CIA and other government organizations all have similar agencies and programs aimed at manipulating their image in mass media.

    1. I went through the Danger Zone just by being born in the USA.

    2. Great comment! I don’t know exactly how long Hollywood has been a cheerleader for imperialism but clearly it has been for more than 50 years. There was the film The Green Berets (1968) with its goal of popularizing regime changes in “communist” countries, and Red Dawn (1984), about a group of teenagers who take on the Soviet military (how do members of the Biden admin think an old fantasy film can be made into a modern documentary???)

  4. Wonder about the connection to these tragedies with the USA being such a warmongering country all over the world. Everything is weapons and sanctions by group action as if that explains which country has the better system.

    1. Ditto you Barbara.
      How far away is NRA from our massive weapon manufacturers & DemThuglican supported war mongering? How about all those countless Billion$ tossed to bottomless pit Pentagon+?
      It’s so gross the ROT that is Pelosi/Clyburn, etc fighting to keep Cuellar & Corporate Socialism in power.
      Vote: Wall street or Wall street

  5. Same ole song and dance. As long as Democrats behave toothlessly, this death cult worship will continue by the Republicans. This repeating pattern has become ritual.
    Evoking in Republicans a strengthening of their bizarre worship of their true God, Death by Gun under the con of “freedom”. For whom? The little dead kiddies? Isn’t this visceral, bodily slaying of the very vulnerable and young an ugly metaphor for the ethos governing this country? How are we not killing our kids every day? Have -what are supposed to be – adults done all they can to deal with climate catastrophe? How isn’t that a measure of our love for our children and our country? Have the adults stiffened in their resolve to see to it the health of the citizenry strengthened no matter what? Healthy families nest healthy children. Medicare For All, lowered drug prices, $15 minimum wage, etc. Aren’t these types of programs a measure of our love for children? Voting billions of dollars in weaponry for Ukraine with almost no strings attached, no accountability, and pledging war with China if she threatens Taiwan, are these acts of love for the children or acts driven by an inflated power complex in consulting generals who keep losing wars and in a President seeking compensation for his lousy polling “numbers?” Needing to “look strong, authoritative”. Using cliches so worn out they’re full of gaping holes – for freedom. How are they expressive of our love for our children?
    Tragically, all ego hot air dangerously parading as leadership of empire with promises of weapons, our only national industry left, to anyone useful to corporate interests to ultimately cut the legs offChina – even if it takes nuclear weapons. To avert the humbling descent of the USD as “the” reserve currency and the inevitable rise of a multi polar world.Is empire in its current configuration – abyss of income inequality, corporate monopolies driving ambitions of global ownership, massive numbers of hungry children at home ignored by the law passers, vicious corporate strangling of unionization efforts so they can continue their status as master to continue their inhumane treatment of their workers, private equity entering the doctor patient relationship to game profits over health? Really, how as a nation have the adults in charge demonstrated their love for children on a visible, factual, objective plane? If we don’t love our children – where does that lead us? Seeing the killer with his sickness slay our babies. How are we not killers of our own children?

  6. As tragic as this is, both parties continue to do nothing to stop the internal and external wars engulfing its country. They allow it to grow. As long as this government pours billions into the military and pharmaceutical industrial complexes, their will be more carnage. The money given to the politicians by these very complexes is too much for politicians to turn away from. And the people are blinded by their lies and have been fully engulfed in a mass psychosis for they will continue to vote these same people into office. Misery loves misery. The politicians don’t care about the people and especially the children being killed. All they care about is how much money they can get from the profiteers of war and deadly injections, whether inside or outside of the country so they can stay in office. If the people ever wake up to the reality that their entire government has failed them, they must throw these war mongers out of office or it will continue to get worse. The US government must be completely changed for there ever to be peace and tranquility for all. Sadly, I don’t see that happening as the people go along with the funding of the Ukrainian Nazi state, the entire country will implode. For this is the ultimate outcome of a dying empire.

  7. There should be federal money to put a school councilor in every school. Someone professionally trained in psychology and counseling who would recognize these troubled teens before they commit such evil crimes. Maybe a ten day waiting period to purchase a gun as well.

    1. That is useless. What has to happen is an overthrow of the violent capitalist system that supports war and killer police. The government glorifies war endlessly. Children grow up learning that violence is the method of choice to settle all arguments, including arguments with one’s society. The disasters occurring in the country, endless war, lack of health insurance, no program to deal with Covid-19, endless debt, rising food prices, homelessness and more, are enough to drive anyone mad. You will not stop this kind of violence with a band-aid, which is what your suggestion implies.

      1. To Carolyn,
        So how do you propose to “overthrow the violent capitalist system”?

  8. It’s over. When absolutely nothing was done after Sandy Hook, that was it. The Dems can scream and screech all they want, they’ll accomplish nothing. While many naturally recall Sandy Hook and Columbine, there have been countless others. Virginia Tech, Westside Middle School (Jonesboro, AR), and so on. Only thing left is a daycare massacre, or perhaps a shooting at a hospital NICU unit. An even worse slaughter of the innocents. We’re done.

  9. Good grief!

    Boy, these folks sure know how to Tweet, we’ll know they’re getting serious when they start Tweeting in CAPITALS!

    But when will the Dem Party stop holding our nation hostage and let us pass an end to the filibuster[?] so that maybe, just maybe, we can pass some decent legislation on a whole bunch of stuff …

    Oh, silly me, whatever was I thinking – they don’t give a s*** about the rest of us ….

    1. When will you stop supporting the useless Democratic Party? When will you realize that the two-party (one party) system is always going to work against you? When will you stop being complicit?

      1. To Carolyn,
        Oh good grief! You actually took that as support? You don’t recognize sarcasm? How old are you? Are you of the age where one has to put that little /s after a remark so folks will know ?

        I have noticed these days, more and more – that folks, if there is reason to wonder whether a comment is sincere or sarcastic, don’t even bother to ask – they just jump in and condemn – it’s a sad day when one can’t even employ sarcasm anymore –

        I have been commenting just about everywhere for years about the duopoly – the one party with 2 heads – I have voted 3rd party since ’96 – of course, for those who love the DP, that makes me “complicit” with the Rs …

        So how do you register your discontent at the polls – or don’t you …

  10. The increasingly visible presence of heavily armed police units in American communities has stoked widespread concern over the militarization of local law enforcement. Advocates claim militarized policing protects officers and deters violent crime, while critics allege these tactics are targeted at racial minorities and erode trust in law enforcement. Using a rare geocoded census of SWAT team deployments from Maryland, I show that militarized police units are more often deployed in communities with large shares of African American residents, even after controlling for local crime rates. Further, using nationwide panel data on local police militarization, I demonstrate that militarized policing fails to enhance officer safety or reduce local crime. Finally, using survey experiments—one of which includes a large oversample of African American respondents—I show that seeing militarized police in news reports may diminish police reputation in the mass public. In the case of militarized policing, the results suggest that the often-cited trade-off between public safety and civil liberties is a false choice.

  11. Sandy Hook? Nothing. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas? Nothing. Now this. Expect nothing. Until we take the steps places like Australia have taken, we are lost. And hey, abortion law states? Claiming to be “pro-life” while also being pro-gun is rank hypocrisy. A gun’s only purpose is to kill. Now that I have made it through my comment without using profanity, GTFOH. Ta,

  12. There are no progressives in Congress. They are all capitalist imperialists. All of them. For Scheerpost to even pretend that Congress is anything but useless to the working class of the world is absurd.

  13. Now that the fascist corporate state has become sufficiently militarized for full spectrum population control upon the heels of disseminating its institutionalized violence throughout society, from the NRA pipeline and ‘criminal’ justice complex to Hollowood entertainment and sports events, it’s ready to perform its protective policing, totalitarian style. After all, agencies of the biosecurity state like the CDC have diagnosed gun violence – for us, not them – as a public health threat, for which such safety measures as precrime surveillance, beyond present applications, are waiting in the wings. All made to order by the Problem-Reaction-Solution dialectic by which our masters govern us – for our own good, of course. As long as the state can keep us building our own prisons, we’ll keep killing each other.

    “The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another… We are the State and we shall continue to be the State until we have created the institutions that form a real community.” (Gustav Landauer)

  14. We’ve seen this show before. This is where Democrats, under pressure, claim that the Republicans won’t let them do anything. It doesn’t matter if they’re the minority or majority party, or if Congress is evenly split, the excuse remains the name. “The Republicans won’t let us.” Then why bother to vote for today’s Democrats?

    1. To DH,
      But of course the answer is “we can’t do anything because there aren’t enough of us!” So the answer is “put more of us in!” but not just more, “enough to defeat a filibuster” – putting aside the fact that they refuse to get rid of the filibuster, we saw this show before – in ’09 they had their majority enough to pass just about anything and they gave us, what, bupkis, except a bank bailout and a lame ACA, a gift to the insurance and drug companies –

      But that was 12 years ago, for Pete’s sake, in the US of Amnesia, with a press that buries such history with sheer quantities of BS, folks are likely to buy this horse-pucky again – so “Vote Blue, no Matter Who” will be the slogan …

  15. 25.05.2022 May I ask where were all these bleeding heart ‘Democrats’ when they 40 billion ‘care package’ to Ukraine was passed~~all those arms and weapons to kill women and children ad nauseum? Oh, that’s right~~they are not in our exceptional country, so then it doesn’t matter.
    What two-faced hypocrites they ALL are.

  16. USA as a country will not get better until majority of ordinary citizens can practise critical thinking and becomes less susceptible to media propaganda. Which is to say, it will almost never happen.

    When majority of citizens are successfully propagandised, they vote for politicians that the propaganda machine wants them to vote for. Which means whoever that controls the propaganda will determine the winners. Which means whoever has enough money to control the propaganda will ultimately control the politicians who control the country. Which means mega corporations that can spend enough money will decide everything. which is the situation now. So why talk about curing the symptoms of the disease (death of kids) when the root cause of the disease (ignorant public who votes for whoever MSM wants to support) is not addressed?

  17. Only a socialist government can solve this problem: n. b. not a “democratic” socialist government.

    The only way to end this is mass confiscation of assault-type weapons and strict controls on all firearms.

    All legal firearms registered and stored separately from homes, access only under supervision.

    Swift action against violators.

    The resulting rebellions will cost millions of lives.

    Worth the cost, on many levels: the real fanatics will be mostly dead afterwards.

    Might require non-American peacekeeper forces to obliterate the expected initial rebellion, help restore order.

    Personally, I’d like to see the Nigerian army school the Ferguson police department 🙂

  18. J. Corbett reports the same old useless tripe and
    Hopeless ‘ unacceptable and must end’.

    We are #1 and far ahead of the rest of the world for gun violence, mass shootings, school shootings, and of course in Military spending, along with needless wars. Only in America, do you have these confounding deaths, nowhere else in the world.

    Commonly, the most powerful influences in humans are power, $$, and sex.

    With guns, and military, we have the best tools to achieve power and $$$.

    Furthermore, guns and political power keeps ‘us’ in control and ‘ those others’ out of power…… See article by J. Jones who writes controversial thoughts…

    “Conservatives are too busy waging a domestic war to stop gun violence. ” …

    I maybe wrong but school shootings and Buffalo Tops supermarket shootings are seemingly more civil war activities than violent crimes.
    The rest of the world sees USA as at war with itself and are cheering for more, especially those many, many countries that have been visited by war, sanctions, military bases, or economic repression.
    Gun violence is who we are, guns killings are what we embrace – – – the evidence is overwhelming, not ‘ rigged’.

    Are we not already in a civil war?? Sure seems like it.

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