By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — We like to talk about days that will live in infamy.
Days like Dec. 7, 1941.
Days like Sept. 11, 2001.
Days like the mass shootings, from Columbine to Newtown.
Well, we topped that, America.
And it should give us cause for pause.
We have just lived through a week that will live in infamy.
We had the horror of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, ricin letters sent to the president and a Mississippi senator and the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant.
In the midst of these tragedies, we were reminded that law enforcement and first responders – public servants not always appreciated, in terms of pay and benefits – are the real heroes.
Thousands tracked down the Boston bombers that rocked the marathon, an American institution that will never be the same.
Authorities intercepted the ricin-laced letters and promptly tracked down an Elvis impersonator with a suspicious mind.
Ten of the confirmed dead in west Texas were first responders.
And underneath the rubble of it all — an afterthought for all-news networks — was perhaps the most troubling story that will endure in infamy.
Your elected leaders in Washington, D.C. went against the grain of public opinion and voted against what was billed as a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines.
At the very least, the background checks would have been a small step for mankind, but no.
To the disgust of President Obama – and the heartbreak of the survivors of Newtown and other massacres – each measure failed to get the 60 votes needed (someone explain the filibuster to me like I’m a 4-year-old, but I thought a majority was a majority).
It is expected that Republicans would vote it down. They are, after all, Republicans. They can’t help themselves.
It’s Democrats who turned traitor, and likely because the NRA shadow looms large in their political careers, that we need to look at here
Brand these names in your memory: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
The jury is out on how to judge Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, because he may have switched from yes to no so that the issue is not DOA – like victims yet unnamed of gun violence coming to a town near you.
The president called it a “shameful day” for Washington.
And it really was, as polls – no matter who is taking them — show that we the people, in order to form a more perfect union, want some peace in the streets – but the NRA lobby, like other special interests, trumps all that inside the beltway.
The president also said the Boston Marathon bombers failed to “divide” America.
We are already divided.
And until we get straight on the second amendment, which is a license to kill, that’s how it is going to stay.
The same day gun control was shot down in cold blood, there were stories on the local news about weapons being confiscated at two Philadelphia schools and an elderly woman in Chester being shot through the window of her home while she waited for a ride.
When we search for root causes, and there are many in this world gone mad, lack of elected leadership tops the list.
We allow this to happen by electing people to represent our wants and needs, but they go to wherever they go – county seats, state capitals and Washington – as free agents serving their own needs.
And ineptitude breeds ineptitude.
They refuse to budge on gun control and have the temerity to grandstand after our week of infamy.
Example: To show they can pretend to have the courage of first responders, they started barking about immigration reform because the bombers were from a family of semi-recent immigrants from Eastern Europe.
Sorry, fellas, time to turn the mirror on yourselves here.
In a story from Reuters, the Russian-installed leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov pointed the finger of blame at the United States.
While this guy does not grade out well on the human rights scale – you know, kind of like how we don’t grade out well on the health care scale – he has a point.
“The root of evil should be looked for in the United States,” Kadyrov said in comments posted online after the police shot dead Tamerlan Tsarnaev and were still hunting for his brother Dzhokhar, his suspected accomplice, according to the Reuters report.
“They (the brothers) grew up and studied in the United States and their attitudes and beliefs were formed there. Any attempt to make a connection between Chechnya and the Tsarnaevs is in vain.”
Even if they got looped into anti-American ideology, it doesn’t absolve us from the fact that it is our permissible culture of violence – one to which our elected leaders give a wink and a nod – that helped them on that path.
And lest we forget reports that the older of these two monsters was investigated a few years ago, and promptly cleared, by American authorities after a “foreign” request to do so.
We are not absolved because it was labeled terrorism.
We can’t pass the buck because we can’t pronounce their names.
They are no different than Adam Lanza or Jared Loughner or Timothy McVeigh (and let us not forget that the Tsarnev brothers turned to firearms, killing a campus police officer at M.I.T., after the marathon bombing).
We need to look at this violence head-on.
We are so hung up on this misguided right to bear arms malarkey that silly jazz like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – all of which all of which were shelved this week this by the Senate –is less important.
If they want to be technical, let’s be technical.
The second amendment talks about “arms,” not guns.
Does that mean I can have a rocket launcher in my back yard?
Does it mean you can terrorize marathons with bombs?
Does it mean we can put a little bit of ricin in our holiday cards this year?
Where does it end?
And without solutions, and with more than 1,300 militias/patriot groups thinking the second amendment is a credit line to chaos, where it will it lead?
More moments, days and weeks of infamy.
And it should give us cause for pause.
Follow Gordon Glantz on Twitter @Managing2Edit.