Battenfeld: Lawmakers used attack for attention


It may not be the time for silence, but it’s definitely not the time for political stunts.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton chose to mark the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas by grandstanding to gain attention for himself and advance his own political ambitions.

Another Massachusetts Democratic lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, directly tied the massacre to her colleagues in Congress who take money from the gun lobby, saying they have “blood on their hands.”

All this without knowing the motive of the gunman or how and where he got all of his weapons.

Moulton yesterday immediately took to Facebook after the shooting to say he would not be joining his colleagues in a moment of silence because “now is not the time for silence — it’s a time for action.” Then he went on Twitter. Then he sent out a press release touting his silence boycott.

“I will not be standing with my colleagues in a moment of silence that just becomes an excuse for inaction in the House of Representatives today,” the North Shore Democrat said.

Hey, Congressman, a moment of silence is not an “excuse” for anything. And honoring the victims of the Vegas shooting and their loved ones doesn’t mean you have to be silent about gun violence.

Moulton knows this, of course. He could have easily held a press conference or gone on social media calling on Congress to take action about guns while still doing the respectful thing for those who lost their lives.

Yet he chose to further his political career — and possible presidential ambitions — by pulling a purposefully divisive stunt and gaining favor with liberals and gun control advocates.

In doing so, Moulton made the moment all about himself and not the victims.

But Massachusetts lawmakers certainly aren’t the only ones craving attention after the shooting.

“How did this monster acquire the arsenal he used?” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer asked in one of many speeches on the Senate floor.

That’s a good question but one that hasn’t been answered yet for all of his weapons. We also don’t know the motives of the gunman, yet many Democrats were rushing to claim the shooting was terrorism — a definition that would require some kind of political or anti-government motive.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who makes John “Liveshot” Kerry look restrained, said his “stomach churned with fury” after learning of the shooting, and called on Americans to rise up in anger because Congress was “complicit” in these recent mass shootings.

And even lowly candidates for office were rushing yesterday to grab some attention for their political causes.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Massie sent out a press release declaring “the country is in the grip of a wild culture of violence, fear, retribution and death.”

Really?

Again, there is nothing wrong with fighting for tougher gun control measures. And politicians don’t have to be quiet in the wake of this unspeakable act of violence.

But using a mass shooting to score political points is not the way to speak up.

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