Before we go any further, though, an important admonition: Please, everyone, don't talk about gun control because of this AK-47 massacre in El Paso and assault-weapon shooting in Dayton, it's too early.
However, if you want to talk about gun control because of the Gilroy mass AK-47 shooting earlier this week, that's okay. The 8-day obligatory waiting period has passed since then.
It's been near-impossible to notice that when there's a tragic mass killing in which a terrorist might even possibly be involved, Trump instantly jumps in to damn Muslims. But this past week, there have been THREE horrific mass shootings by white men -- two of which are definitely allied with white supremacy, and it will not be shocking if we learn the third was, as well. But of course that's not necessary to keep from being silent. Yet all Trump says.is pretty much, "God be with you."
Actually, it's worse than that. Because after the El Paso massacre, Trump had someone else under his name -- who referred to Trump in the third person -- offer "God be with you" prayers. He didn't even have the empathy to do that on his own.
This is not considered Great Leadership. Nor moral leadership -- what one hopes for, expects, demands of a president of the United States.
One thing Trump did do, though, is refer to the El Paso massacre as an act of "cowardice." I'm quite certain most people know full well that it wasn't an act of cowardice. It was an act of white supremacy domestic terrorism. And that's the same for the massacre in Gilroy. And the massacre in Dayton.
And Trump has been unable to call it that for fear of offending his base.
By the way, how horrific is this? (I'm sure you all have your own, utterly valid answers...) As I began to prepare this article the other day, I referred to the "two mass shooting" massacres this week. I had to edit the piece to make it "three."
If Trump meant even slightly what he said in his tweet about "condemning" the El Paso mass shooting, he would offer much more -- MUCH MORE -- than mere "thoughts and prayers," which at this point we all know is meaningless. He'd demand action, and take the leadership in addressing solution. And he'd call a press conference and speak to the American public about it. Not play golf. And he'd condemn all three mass shooting just as unequivocally. But, no.
Still, it was good to see Trump pledge total support to El Paso because, given that it was Trump and that a white man allied with white supremacy was involved, an offer of support to the city wasn't a sure thing.
Thankfully, Putin didn't tell him that no white men were involved.
And none of this even included the white supremacist teen who was arrested in South Carolina this weekend for his racist and threatening violent video. Perhaps Trump could be asked about that. If he's too busy on the golf course, though, the press can just ask Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
We keep saying that "Someone is going to get killed" because of Trump's hate-filled racist words. And we generally mean by that a public figure he's attacked. But as we know all too well, it is more than that. And "someone" has been killed. Many, many, many far too many someone's.
There have been 251 mass shootings this year alone. If "thoughts and prayers" had an impact on any of this, that number would be zero. But if one is going to offer thoughts and prayers, perhaps the prayers could be "Dear God, please don't let there be another mass shooting." Or shooting, period.
And what does Trulmp say in his tweet? "God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio."
And Gilroy. And Las Vegas. And Sutherland Springs. And Pittsburgh. And Charleston. And all the 251 mass shootings THIS YEAR. And Trump tries to pawn them off on God to take care of. white males. White supremacists. Assault weapons. And he talk of "enemies" -- the press, immigrants, Democrats -- and how immigrants or just people with immigrant ancestry (which is almost everyone in the U.S., including Trump himself) should go back home. But not a word about white people who kill, not a word about white supremacists, and where they should go.. And not a word about guns.
To be clear, for all his responsibility stoking violence and hatred and giving comfort to white supremacists -- aside from protecting the gun lobby -- this isn't about Trump. We know who he is. This is about the elected members of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit.
Sunday morning on"Fox News", after finishing reporting a story on a charity swim event this morning -- because I guess that was the big news this weekend -- host Pete Hegseth went to a commercial break saying "More Fox & Friends on the other side on this great day."
This great day?? I don't know, maybe to fascists across the U.S. it was.
And as the news developed during the course of the weekend, Republicans began to get desperate to not get overwhelming by the tsunami coming down on them, and so they started blaming all of these massacre shootings on --
Everything but guns.
For the record: A mentally ill video game addict on opiods with a knife who watches TV would cause many, many, many, many, many fewer deaths without a gun than with one, especially if it's an AK-47.
Of course, one would think that with all those characteristics to look for in any one person, it would be a pretty easy to profile the next mass shooter.
(Best of all may have been former GOP senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum who basically blamed the El Paso shooting victims at the Walmart as being at fault as "soft targets" because they weren't carrying guns!! Mind you, this was Texas which not only has an open carry law, but where it's almost a birthright to have a gun. This is the state were a couple years ago the governor of Texas Greg Abbott sent out a quippy tweet that the state was only #2 in gun purchases and that the people and NRA should try harder. Ha ha ha...)
Incidentally, Republican Party faux-handwringing and breast-beating over "mental illness" as a cause of gun massacres might have SO much more meaning if they hadn't passed a law only two years ago in February, 2017 that allowed someone with not just mental disability but specifically with "severe" mental disability to buy a gun.
A quick side note. I swear to you that 13 years ago I wrote an article for the Huffington Post about how disingenuous it was for Republicans to blame Hollywood and TV movies for violence in society when, as I noted, the video game market was massively bigger than even Hollywood, had overwhelming more violence and was an active experience rather than passive, but Republican politicians didn't blame video games because it wasn’t as attention-getting for them to point at a geeky computer programmer as at a glamorous movie star. To be clear, I was not saying that video games made kids violent, I was just showing the falsity of the disingenuous charge against Hollywood to avoid the responsibility of pointing at guns. (The article was called “Guns and the Internet.”) So, gee, it’s only taken Republicans 13 years to find the video game industry (which has been around for probably 30 years) to try and blame.
Any Republican trying to whitewash these massacres and blame everything but guns in order to protect against stricter gun laws has to realize something very important --
There will be more mass shootings. And some even worse than this weekend. And eventually, a gun massacre SO awful -- even worse than Sandy Hook or Las Vegas -- will happen that the resulting horrified public outrage will be SO great that the resolution demanded will be harsher than anything Republicans could get now when the horror, massive as it is, will be less .
This morning, Trump finally spoke about all this publicly this morning (it took three massacres in a week to get his advisers to convince him that he had to say something.) And among the things he read poorly off the TelePrompter was, "There is no place for hate in America." Well...sure, there's a place for it -- it's the free pass golden ticket that gets you into his rallies. And there's much too much footage of that hate, from "Shoot them" to "Send them back" to miss it. And so many of those moments are going to be played back over and over and over.
Trump did read some good words written for him at that press event today, even if they weren't read with any emotion or understanding, but as good as the two sentences were they were also a required sop for the bare minimum of what was utterly necessary to say and was instead a diversion, something SO deeply and blatantly hypocritical. Not just saying that there’s “no place for hate in America” (other than at his rallies...), but also that we must condemn racism and white supremacy -- except we know that his base! So, either he has to keep repeating this, and continue repeating it forcefully and then more forcefully still…which would offend his base and risk losing some of them, something we've seen no evidence of him ever doing, indeed the very opposite, riling up his base to a "Lock her up! Build the Wall! Send them home! Shoot them!" fever pitch – or he has to stop saying it, which paints him into another and perhaps deeper hole. More to the point, the words are meaningless, merely saying in just two sentences what he supposedly condemns despite him promoting it for years, yet not explaining in detail why he condemns it, what is so wrong about it, what is dangerous about it.
But more than anything, this is not about Trump. This is about the Republican Party that enables him, is complicit and tries to blame everything as being responsible for gun massacres except guns.