Six Benghazis A Day

On September 11, 2012, the diplomatic compound at Benghazi in Libya was attacked. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died.

Almost immediately Republicans went into attack mode themselves. Why weren’t these four Americans protected? Why didn’t Secretary of State Hillary Clinton do everything in her power to protect our people?

And so we had hearings on top of hearings, spending $6.8 million to find not much that we didn’t already know. But we can expect that as the election moves forward, the message that Hillary sat idly by while four Americans died will continue to be pounded in commercials, news programs, and on social media. It’s a powerful message. Four Americans died. And a politician did nothing.

But those four American deaths aren’t part of another figure from 2012. They aren’t part of 8,855. That’s the number of gun murders in the US in 2012 per the FBI.

8,855. Divide that by 366 days and you get 24.26 shooting deaths a day. That’s more than six Benghazis each day. Even more Benghazis if you want to factor in the number of gun deaths from suicides and accidents with guns.

And these Benghazis aren’t occurring in fragile democracies overseas, or just in violence prone cities here at home.

These Benghazis are in our elementary schools.

And our high schools.

And our colleges.

And our movie theaters.

And meetings with our Congress person.

And our nightclubs.

And all the places we used to feel assurance we’d be safe.

Yet there is no GOP anger that nothing has been done when 20 small children die in an elementary school with 6 teachers.

There is no GOP anger when one of their own members is forever scarred by an attack that killed a 6 year old girl and a federal judge.

And there is no GOP action. We’re offered thoughts and prayers. But never any action. Rather than hearings, we get silence. And rather than votes on laws, we get obstruction and grandstanding. These deaths are the price of our Second Amendment freedoms, we’re told.

So please, Speaker Ryan, don’t tell me that your Democratic members staging a sit-in to get action on gun laws is a “publicity stunt”. Not when your party has spent four years consumed with how inaction caused the deaths of the Benghazi 4. Not while you offer nothing but thoughts and prayers for the Sandy Hook 26, the Orlando 49, the Virginia Tech 32, and the thousands of others that die violent gun deaths in the US every year.

It’s time to act. It’s time to show that you care about all American lives, and not just when it’s politically convenient to do so.

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