“Thoughts and Prayers” Aren’t Enough Anymore

Preface: As stated in my “About the Author” tab, the contents of this blog will vary greatly as it continues to grow. One of the things that will definitely be a prevalent topic of conversation for me is politics. I was planning on dipping my toe into the pool last week during the democratic debates. Thar post however, never made it to the final draft stage. That being said, month will have more opinion pieces and societal commentaries as a way to challenge myself, and further expand my content.

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I do not want to drag this topic out longer than the 48-72 hour news cycle but I must say that this was an alarming week for me, as was the case for most Americans; especially those who were victims in the Garlic Fest shooting, the shooting in El Paso, and the most recent shooting in Dayton Ohio. 32 people were killed in those mass shootings, and 39 were injured. without going to specifics, of which, there is not much, as of my writing of this entry; The question of concern is this: Is something ever going to be done?

No one ever wants to politicize mass shootings because it is seen as insensitive, “there is a time and a place”, “lets allow the families of victims to grieve”, “were sending our thoughts and prayers”. Tell me something, what the hell do people think and pray about, when these make 251 mass shootings in America this year alone. we are on pace to beat the 340 mass shootings from last year, and to exceed the 382 mass shootings in 2016. Let’s stop pretending that mass shootings are not political because here we are in 2019 going into an election year, and part of CNN’s 24 hour news cycle is an interview with Julian Castro, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris, three democratic Presidential candidates, to talk about and probe policy on gun control laws.

The fact of the matter is, and this is not an echo chamber opinion even though it may come across as one, shootings in America have to get past the talking stage. comprehensive legislation needs to be put in place point blank period. Non gun owners and Law abiding registered gun owners agree on this issue.

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No, gun legislation does not mean that the government is going to come and kick down doors and take guns, and it does not mean a violation of second amendment rights either. People who suggest this are fear mongering. There is legislation that could be and has been brought to the congress floor that would make it more difficult for guns to get into the hands of people with malicious intent. Nothing would be full proof but something would be better than what we get now when shootings happen.

During the Obama era we use to get a dignified acknowledgement of the incident from the president, and a condemnation of such heinous acts. After the Dayton Ohio shooting, Trump gave us chopper talk (him talking outside of his helicopter). And while I’d rather critique his message than his presentation, its difficult to distinguish the two.

I do not think Trump condones these mass shootings, not in the slightest. I do think however, that he is complicit in the behavior based on his rhetoric. In a rally in PCB Florida back in June 2019, Trump was talking about immigrants and asked the crowd “how do you stop these people?” referring to migrants crossing the southern border, and one of the audience member’s shouts back at him “shoot them!”. Instead of condemning the cheers of the crowd, he chuckles and makes a joke about it. what would that sound like to someone who is ready, willing, and able to “shoot them”? A green light from the commander and chief.

Now all of a sudden, that person does not see themselves as a murder or terrorist, they’re a patriot. Last month Trump had the crowd chanting “send her back” referring to democratic representative Ilhan Omar. And how can one forget “very fine people on both sides”, Trumps response to the Charlottesville white supremacy rally.

Once again, I’m not attacking President Trump’s character, but what I am saying is that this president’s rhetoric is radicalizing his base. This is not the main cause of these mass shootings but it is definitely a contributing factor. Another contributing factor, is the fact that congress continues to allow the NRA lobbyists to dictate gun law in America. Until our republican leaders start leading, and start caring about their constituents more than big money donors, and the democrats are more aggressive on gun legislation and do not just use it for a quick bump in political clout because they are on the right side of this issue; we will never get past “thoughts and prayers”, and enough is enough.

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