Once again mass shooting in El Paso, Tx., and Dayton, Oh., have tragically shaken America. These two incidents bring the total of mass shootings in 2019 to 251.
In less than 24 hours, 29 people are dead, and many more injured with their lives changed forever in the hands of two mass murderers.
Make no mistake, these are domestic terrorist acts and they should be defined as such.
Add Walmart to the list of mundane places in American life desecrated by the stigma of mass shooting. Others include; places of worship, schools, movies theater, schools, and the list goes on.
No public places are sacred or safe from mass shooting.
While the El Paso shooter, who will not be named in this article, said in his manifesto that his ideology predates President Donald Trump’s presidency and his campaign, Trump, however, cannot escape blame because the shooter borrows heavily from his aggressive anti-immigrant and anti-media rhetoric.
Trump, therefore, is responsible for this mass shooting and such others because he provides such attackers with the language that galvanizes their cause and validates their anti-immigrant ideology.
It is a shame that it took Trump, who was relaxing at his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, more than 24 hours to appear in public and address the nation on the occasion of one of the worst mass murders in US history.
Instead of speaking to assure the nation and condemn the killings, he offered tepid tweets that did not address the seriousness of the matter. When he finally appeared Sunday, he didn’t even say anything substantial promising instead to speak at length tomorrow.
One can only wonder how he would have reacted had the shooter been a Muslim or an immigrant.
Republican leaders are also to blame because they are blocking meaningful legislation to change gun access laws. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.) has so far ignored calls to reconvene the senate and vote on legislation to expand background checks for all gun purchases. The legislation has already passed the House.
Such is the level of seriousness GOP is taking the issue of out-of-control gun violence problem in America. Leaders have settled into a macabre routine. Mass shootings happen, there is momentary shock, wall-to-wall media coverage. Everyone sends their thoughts and prayers. Some leaders come to cameras and give interviews. Democrats call from stricter gun control laws. Republicans argue it’s too soon to conclude what happened and that we should not politicize tragedy. Then they deflect and blame mental illness and lately they’re blaming violent video games.
After a week. It all dies down and everything goes back to normal and we wait for the next mass shooting to happen.
It is a colossal legislative failure that the El Paso shooter openly carried his gun into the Walmart store and that did not trigger outrage until he pointed his gun and started shooting. This act alone, raises questions about the wisdom of open-carry laws.
Citizens must turn up the heat on Republican politicians who have blocked any form of gun regulation. We must seek new gun laws that would make it harder to transfer guns and hold gun manufacturers and vendors more responsible. Laws should be changed to fund studies on mass shooting and figure out how to stop them.
Other countries have done it, why not US?
Let’s reject blaming mass shootings on mental illness and video games. We have people with mental illness and video games all over the world, yet rampant mass shooting is a unique sad phenomenon only in the US.
It is clear. Mass shootings in the US have an enabler — a Republican Party that has been corrupted by the gun lobby. If they cannot step up, voters should rally and remove them from office.