It started out as an observation, then it turned into a joke, and but it’s become downright insulting. Each time America suffers from another horrific mass shooting, Republicans in Congress send their “thoughts and prayers” and do absolutely nothing else. Rather than work towards solutions, conservative politicians have found that merely saying a prayer before bed somehow absolves them of their reprehensible inaction towards gun violence.
And Dallas Police Chief David Brown, like so many of us, is absolutely fed up.
At a press conference updating the country about the investigation into the ambush of police officers in Dallas following a peaceful anti-police brutality march, he didn’t remain silent about the culpability of Congress. In short, Chief Brown has had a lot of long days trying to fulfill his obligation to the public and get answers, but he’s noticed lawmakers can’t say the same. It’s been business as usual – and that means no business on finding solutions to mass shootings.
Dallas Police Chief Brown to Congress: “Do your job” pic.twitter.com/rhhoWPKSVX
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) July 11, 2016
Brown is not alone. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) recently pointed out something that conservatives had hoped would go unnoticed: Open Carry, the movement that allows Texans the right to carry AR-15s nearly anywhere in public, didn’t help during the police ambush, and actually made everything much, much worse.
Rawlings said Dallas police Chief David Brown told him that people running through the shooting scene with rifles and body armor required officers to track them down and bring them to the police department. “Whether that was time that could have been spent trying to find and stop the shooter is something police will have to comment on.”
Major Max Geron of the Dallas PD didn’t mind answering that question:
“There was also the challenge of sorting out witnesses from potential suspects. Texas is an open carry state, and there were a number of armed demonstrators taking part. There was confusion on the radio about the description of the suspects and whether or not one or more was in custody.”
Dallas police have every right to feel frustrated and sickened by the response from both their state Republican Party and the ones in Washington, D.C. Law enforcement agencies have repeatedly warned pro-gun lawmakers that these fanatical pushes to put guns in every citizen’s hands and in every corner of public life means putting both civilians and cops at risk. It makes policing harder. It makes mass murder easier. And it makes the lines between “good guy with a gun” and “bad guy with a gun” impossible to separate.
To be clear, Democrats need to bear some responsibility for inaction as well. After massacres at Sandy Hook and Aurora, there was motivation from Americans to finally fix this problem – and Democrats let it slip through their fingers. Following Orlando, progressive lawmakers seemed to show signs that enough was enough, but they need to keep at it.
The way forward is simple: Congress needs to put the lives of American citizens above the “rights” of an AR-15. Do. Your. Jobs.
Watch an extended cut of Police Chief Brown’s comments below:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 11, 2016
Featured image via CBS News