Republican villainy on full display

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Republicans have been rightly criticized for responding to mass shootings with mere “thoughts and prayers,” rather than joining Democrats to pass effective gun control measures that would, among other things, keep assault rifles off America’s streets. After a deranged gunman’s shooting spree at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday, some Republicans figured out even worse ways to respond, further exposing the depraved nature of this self-declared “pro-life” party.

Darren Bailey, an Illinois state senator who is running as the GOP nominee for governor, tried to shut down not only the conversation but the grieving within a couple hours of the shooting. Bailey, who two years ago raffled off a semi-automatic rifle, spoke in Skokie, 20 minutes from Highland Park, after learning that the parade he was looking forward to attending there was canceled.

With the killer of at least six innocent people still at large, Bailey nevertheless encouraged the crowd to prioritize staying festive. “[L]et’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation,” he encouraged. After making sure to tell voters to “get corruption and evil out of our government,” Bailey then prayed that they could “go about our day celebrating the most amazing country.” Once he realized how his insanely insensitive comments could hurt his campaign, Bailey issued a lame “I apologize if in any way” statement.

In another horrifying example, the NRA, a/k/a GOP BFF, refused to take down a dangerous tweet it posted just before the Highland Park shooting. Instead of simply wishing everyone a happy Independence Day, the NRA began the holiday by gunsplaining: “The only reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because citizens were armed. #FourthofJuly”. However, the ensuing events at the parade quickly reminded us that truth is the most powerful weapon. Quite the opposite of the NRA’s message is the fact that the only reason the parade victims and their families were not celebrating Independence Day is because a citizen was armed.


On gun control and every other problem that we face as a nation, there is only one party capable of achieving meaningful progress. Democratic Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who wasted no time addressing a crowd in Highland Park after the shooting, exemplifies this. Beyond merely offering condolences, Duckworth demanded an assault weapons ban after revealing that “the last time I heard a weapon with that capacity firing that rapidly on a Fourth of July was Iraq.” Now is not the time to indulge defeatism but to work even harder to turn the dream of a blue wave into our reality on November 8.

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