In light of the recent tragedies in California, Texas and Ohio, I cannot in good conscience write about anything else. We must all speak out.
Since the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, such attacks have occurred with alarming frequency. We can still see and hear the victims.
Some went to church to pray. Many went to school to learn. Some went to a mall to shop. Others went to a concert. We see them on a college campus, at a dance club, and in a movie theater.
The screams. The running. The fear and the crying. The loss and the pain. There is no rhyme or reason. It’s all random. How much heartbreak can people endure? Where are we safe?
Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio. Three mass shootings in less than a week. Life has been devalued, hate is spreading, and we continue to vote for people who have no desire to lead us out of the hole we find ourselves in, so invested are they in the dollars to be made and the power to be had. This is where we have been and still are as a country.
Most of us expected change to come rapidly
after the horrendous murders of the little children at Sandy Hook in 2012. Almost seven years later, we find ourselves with very little. Under President Trump, bump stocks have been banned and yes, that was a good thing. However, in February 2017, he signed a bill into law that rolled back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy guns.
Unless we act quickly, we are certainly headed for another disaster. We are governed by a man who frankly doesn’t have time to lead us properly because he spends every waking minute tweeting, trying to divide us, unleashing hateful rhetoric aimed at people, corporate entities and our allies. He apparently believes provoking and antagonizing is better than including and uniting.
Donald J. Trump perhaps believes that holding rallies with his base is governing. His base loves his vitriolic delivery and he loves them for being so easy to manipulate. Trump doesn’t even try to pretend he is the president of all the people. In this regard, I agree with his supporters: He doesn’t try to be something he’s not.
Trump has led us to a place where we are excluding others, not including them, a place where we don’t help others — in fact, we make their lives more difficult. He doesn’t just criticize someone; he calls them names and demeans them, then gets his supporters to take up the torch in a chant. He doesn’t want to assess and accomplish; he’d rather accuse and attack. It’s a method that has worked for him and one that has a certain basis in the childhood taunt “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
With Trump, it’s: I’m not a puppet. You’re the puppet. I’m the least racist person there is. You’re the racist. How about investigating the investigators?
The president’s attacks never seem to rely on facts and his lying is now legendary. He doesn’t care that what he says might have consequences. He and his minions balk at any suggestion that he should bear any blame whatsoever for violent incidents that arise.
I’m not having it. Trump’s behavior inflames. His rhetoric incites.
President Trump was at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, when the mass shooting in El Paso occurred. He did not rush back to Washington to monitor the situation. He did not address the nation. He tweeted.
There will always be someone who will be encouraged by vile rhetoric to play God. Trump’s rhetoric is not going to change. Politicians who are owned by the gun lobby are not going change. The country has changed, however, since the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787. Shouldn’t our gun laws change to keep up with the times?
Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, Santa Fe, Annapolis, Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton. Schools, churches, concert halls, theaters, malls, stand-alone stores, and restaurants. Where are we safe?
We need to vote for those who we are certain are committed to getting things done that protect us. This would include a serious tightening of our gun laws. We need to make it clear that if you are in bed with the gun lobby, whether Democratic or Republican, your re-election chances are slim.
Patricia Weller writes from Emmitsburg. She can be reached at email@example.com.