All Killers Matter

texas churchPresident Trump after the recent mass killing:

“We have to get much tougher.  We have to get much smarter.  And we have to get much less politically correct.  We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything… what we have right now is a joke and it’s a laughingstock.  And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place.”

But which mass killing was that?  Because they happen every day.

Trump made these remarks Nov. 1, after the attack in New York City, where an Uzbekistani murderer ran down pedestrians on a bike path, killing eight and wounding eleven.

On November 5th, a white Texan massacred a congregation of worshippers using an assault rifle and US-military training. He killed 26 and wounded 20.

Here’s what Trump said after THAT killing spree:

“Our hearts are broken, but in dark times, and these are dark times, such as these, Americans do what they do best. They join together. We join hands, we lock arms, and through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh so strong.”

Trump is committed to taking bold, sweeping action to prevent catastrophes like the one in New York. His plan is to undo a major component of US immigration policy (The Diversity Lottery Program), which would affect hundreds of thousands of people seeking refuge in this country, in order to prevent someone the New York killer from getting access to innocent people in our nation. Analysts speculate that Trump’s proposal would not actually address the process by which that man became an effective killer, but no matter. Trump is committed to making strong, decisive moves against these kinds of people.

Meanwhile, he is willing to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent massacres like the ones in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas. Within a day of the bloodbath at First Baptist Church, Trump referred to the Texas killer as a “Very deranged individual” (he called the New York killer an ‘animal’), and said, “This isn’t a guns situation… This is a mental health situation at the highest level.”

Factually, that is impossible. The man in Texas shot almost 50 people WITH A GUN in a couple of minutes. It’s a guns issue. It may not be only a guns issue, and it may not be a simple or easily-addressed guns issue, but it’s a guns issue. If the President believes the killings in New York merit bold and sweeping action by the government, why would he not advocate the same boldness after an even more deadly attack at a church in Texas?

Because the whole thing is really a mental health issue? That excuse strains credulity, not only because looking past the role of guns in mass-murder amounts to willful blindness, but also because Trump himself proposed a budget this year that would dramatically cut funding for mental health services nation-wide.

So even the thing he disingenuously cites as the cause for catastrophes like the murders in Texas is not important enough for him to do anything about it.

The question is, Is it important enough to the rest of us? And what are we going to do, to overcome this tragedy of failed leadership?

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