The Man who has something to say about everything was tongue- tied after the tragic shooting at Douglass High School. He read a prepared pabulum statement to a traumatized group in Parkland, Florida and refused to say the word GUN.
Well I’ll say it: GUN, GUN, GUN, AR-15, AR-15, AR-15!
Here are some facts:
There have already been 18 school shootings since January 1st.
The number of people that died from gun violence in the U.S., between 1968 and 2011, exceeds the total fatalities of those killed in every war that the U.S. has fought in.
In the most recent comparison done in 2012, the number of gun murders in the U.S. was 30 times what it was in the U.K.
A 2016 study in The American Journal of Medicine calculated that among two dozen of the world’s wealthiest nations, this country alone accounted for 91 percent of firearms deaths among children 14 and under.
In 1996, after a mass shooting that killed 35 with an assault rifle, Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, which led to the purchasing and destruction of nearly 650,000 outlawed guns (semi-automatic weapons.) Australia has not had single mass shooting since then!
Maybe The Don’s silence had something to do with the fact that the N.R.A. spent more than $30 million to get him elected? All his earlier moderate positions (sensible background checks and banning assault weapons) vanished as he followed the money and love from his base.
“You came through big for me and I am going to come through for you,” he told the N.R.A. after his election.
The Don is a transactional, empty vessel filled up on a daily basis by those who serve up the most love and deposit the most coin in his coffers. Too bad, the Sierra Foundation didn’t give him $50 million dollars, as then he would be touting “hug your trees.”
In true form, Republicans offered their prayers and brought out their hackneyed platitudes about how now is not the time to make decisions with all those poor dead people’s blood splattered everywhere. Not the time to politicalize such a tragedy. That vomit is straight out of the communications department of the N.R.A.
Marco Rubio’s, or as The Don affectionately called him, “Little Marco,” response to the slaughter of 17 high school students, was to in effect say that if people want to get a gun they will, so why bother creating better gun laws. That’s like saying: everyone is eventually going to die anyway so why bother getting treatment for an illness!
Some other facts:
In Missouri, which recently repealed background checks for gun purchases, violence is up. In Connecticut, which passed tough laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, gun violence is down. In other words, easier access to guns equal more death.
And back down under in Australia, after the enactment of the National Firearms Agreement, the homicide rate and gun suicide rate dropped by 42 and 57% respectively in the 7 years following the enactment of the agreement.
Turns out The Don, who is wrong about most things, was right about Marco, as that his comment was that of a very little person beholden to the N.R.A.
Avaaz, an activist group, went gunning for “Little Marco and took a page out of the movie, Three Billboards of Ebbing Missouri, by creating their own billboards:
“Slaughtered in school?”
“And Still no Gun control?”
“How come, Marco Rubio?”
The Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, was gunning for politicians: ‘If you are an elected official, and you want to keep things the way they are…if you want to keep gun laws the way they are now, you will not get re-elected in Broward County.”
The Don, after his fake attempt at empathy, did what he always does. He started Tweeting and gunning for everyone, most notably the FBI:
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
The students went gunning for The Don after his tweet.
“17 innocent people were brutally murdered at my school, a place where they should have felt safe. Their lives were gone in an instant. You are the President of the United States and you have the audacity to put this on Russia as an excuse. I guess I should expect that from you.”
I guess The Don doesn’t like Mueller gunning for him, niet?
“You’re the President,” Hogg said. “You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us. How dare you? Children are dying, and their blood is on your hands because of that. Please take action. Stop going on vacation in Mar-a-Lago. Take action. Work with Congress. Your party controls both the House and Senate. Take action, get some bills passed, and for God’s sake, let’s save some lives.”
Lying right wing media are gunning for the students.
Rush Limbaugh portrayed the students not as grief-ridden survivors but, as pawns and part of a conspiracy intent on exploiting a tragedy to undermine the nation’s laws. Some students are being called “crisis actors,” who travel to the sites of shootings to instigate fury against guns. They have been called F.B.I. plants, defending the bureau for its failure to catch the shooter. They have been portrayed as puppets being coached and manipulated by the Democratic Party, and gun control activists,
Let’s face it: these commentators, who are disavowing the pain of this tragedy and promulgating conspiracy theories are the lowest of the low. Honestly, someone should break in to Rush Limbaugh’s radio studio with an AR-15. He better hope that guy is an actor, too!
So with all this gunning going on what will the fallout be? Whose voices will prevail? The traumatized, frightened and passionate calls from the children of America to create sensible laws to protect them or the cynical, morally bankrupt republicans who are in thrall to the NRA because of their fear that if they oppose them they will lose their jobs. Should be a no brainer, but not for these soul-less sycophants.
Case in point: The Florida legislative body just voted down a proposal to take up a motion to take up a bill to support banning assault weapons. However, they did bring a proposal forth to declare pornography a public health risk. Know anyone ever killed by pornography? (Ultimately, they did pass a bill to raise the age limit from 18-21 on the purchase of semi-automatic weapons. Umm, How old was the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock? Try 64! How old was Omar Mateen, the Orlando Florida nightclub shooter? Try 29! Now that’s progress!)
The Don did sign something that prohibits the use of “bumpers,’ devices that turn semi-automatic weapons in to automatic ones. This merely represents throwing a bone to the angry masses as most of these awful shootings have been done with semi-automatic weapons.
The Don did follow through on his “listening session.”
The idea that a man with little or no capacity for empathy, would agree to sit in a room with that much authentic human emotion, did surprise me.
Here is some of what he had to listen to:
“We’re here because my daughter has no voice — she was murdered last week, and she was taken from us, shot nine times,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 killed in Parkland. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me, because I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed.”
“I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an A-R automatic rifle), said Sam Zeif (a student) “How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook? I’m sitting with a mother who lost her son. It’s still happening.”
The Don sat patiently holding his “Liddle” cheat sheet in his “Liddle” hands. The fact that he had to have the phrase “I hear you” written down as a “listening point” shows you how much faith his communications people believe in his capacity to function. What we didn’t see was what was on the other side of the paper: These are grieving people so:
- Do not talk about your landslide victory.
- Do not mention that Russia investigation is a hoax.
- Do not use the word bigly in any sentence.
- Do not say that you have more respect for women than anyone.
- Do not say if I were at the school with my gun I would have nailed that sucker.
The Don did great until he started in with how teachers should be armed. And the next day he and his buddy Wayne LePierre went all AR-15 about it. That maybe 10, 20 or even 40% of the teachers should carry weapons. And that they should get bonuses. How about a $1,000 per year and a turkey for Thanksgiving. He even cast Chief of Staff John Kelly as Clint Eastwood, stating if he were there he would have taken that bad guy out! Actually, I think if Kelly were in that school with his hand gun, going one on one with the shooter, chances are there would be a funeral at Arlington Cemetery.
Nationwide statistics on police shooting accuracy are not to be found. But if New York is typical, analyses show that its officers hit their targets only one-third of the time. And during gunfights, when the adrenaline is really pumping, that accuracy can drop to as low as 13 percent.
Ultimately, after all that listening, I guess the only thing The Don heard was Wayne LePerre whispering in his ear. What we are hearing again and again form Republicans is unconscionable silence. Without banning semi-automatic weapons the clock is ticking as we await the next shooter to perpetrate the next American tragedy!
*The Don is also making noise about strengthening background checks, emphasis on noise. And those background checks better come soon, Don, as Melania may be gunning for you over your shenanigans with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.