Mondays Musings: Can Republicans Keep Us Safe?

Consider these stats:

1292 – American injured in 379 mass shootings this year (mass shooting = 4 or more people killed/injured)

431 – Americans killed in mass shootings this year

390 – American civilians killed by terrorists from 2002 to 2013

130 – The number who died in the Paris attacks two weeks ago

4 – The number of Americans who died in the 2012 Benghazi attack (none of whom were civilian, 2 were CIA)

0 – the number of mass shooters stopped this year by a civilian with a gun

Given how much time and effort we’ve put into discussing Benghazi, and terrorism of course, can we continue to have those conversations without also creating a spirited, sustained conversation about how we can keep Americans safe from mass shooters – something that has now become a daily occurrence in the US? At current rates, 10 times as many Americans will die this year due to a mass shooter than a terrorist and yet we do nothing, not even the easy things like universal background checks, allowing the background check system access to the terrorism database, limiting the number of bullets in a clip and more reasonable regulation of gun shops themselves. As a parent of three, I am, for the first time in my life, growing truly worried about the safety of my kids. And I am sure I am not alone.

Those on the center-left should not let NRA backed politicians off the hook any longer. We can honor the 2nd Amendment, while keeping our families safe at home. We also should work to make sure the coming and necessary debate about combating the Islamic State includes steps we need to take here at home to protect us from a threat that has killed many more Americans in recent years – mass shooters.

But our disappointment with the right about their unwillingness to do what is necessary to keep us safe should be not limited to their coddling of the gun industry here in the US.  It was on full display in the days after the Paris attacks. As I wrote last week, in the days after Paris rather than finding common ground with the President and his party, the GOP panicked, choosing to deeply politicize the debate over Syrian refugees, something that is a side show to the core issue of how we end the Islamic State and bring better days to the Middle East. The fecklessness that we’ve seen in the GOP Presidential field (and with Speaker Ryan) these last few weeks “After Paris” should be worrisome to all.

Polling/2016 landscape – Nothing really new here. Trump, Cruz and Rubio continue to have the momentum on the GOP side. Not sure the Christie chatter is real. Next GOP debate on CNN on December 15th will be important. Obama’s favs have taken hit a post Paris, but they have been coming back up in recent days. Worth watching. Hillary remains firmly in charge in the Democratic primary, and with improving numbers in the general.

Simon on Howard Kurtz – SImon appeared on Howard Kurtz's Sunday morning show, MediaBuzz.  The first segment discussed Donald Trump and his struggles with telling the truth.  You can watch the segment here.

12/2 Update - As expected, the House GOP blocked a common sense measure that would make it much harder for terrorists to buy guns in the US.