More tragedy, more horror, more fear will only be followed by more empty platitudes, prayers, and condolences. In the span of 24 hours, 30 people were left dead by domestic terrorists. And yes, that is exactly what they are and their philosophies and manifestos reveal just that. The mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Toledo, er, Dayton, OH., directly demonstrate the lengths and means that desperate people will take in order to hold on to a lie which they have heard all their lives. White domestic terrorism is a national security threat and now federal officials are under the gun to do something about it.
My blog has been and will continue to be dedicated to bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community. However, in many cases, it becomes necessary to creep off mission. This clearly is one of those times. In fact, upon further introspection, I do consider this to be in part a law enforcement issue. Officers from many communities are potentially faced with answering a call of an active shooter in a school, church, synagogue, mall, festival or Wal-Mart. When will enough be enough? When will the public outcry be enough? When will the slaughter of children, such as the Sandy Hook massacre, be enough for people to relentlessly pressure their elected representatives to do their jobs and actually represent their constituents instead of the financial corporations which undergird their campaigns?
The mass stockpiling of weapons because of fear that certain people have of a mongrel hoard invasion is a real threat to America life. This fear is played out at festivals, stores, and nightlife around the country. Let’s not forget that during a rally in Florida when the prez asked what to do about immigrants, someone shouted: “shoot them”. The president, as we have grown accustomed to, joked that it was ok in Florida. This type of joke is clearly unacceptable by a leader and has real consequences. However, due to the current national racial climate and state of politics, that type of language has become normalized. In recent years we have become polarized beyond belief. As former President George W. Bush once remarked, we share a continent but not a country. I think his words ring truer today than when he first uttered them.
Fear has gripped the country and the heart of almost every American. But the type of fear that is driving the conversation and motivations are very different depending on one’s political preferences. One side has fear of an immigrant invasion coming from the south to take their lands, jobs, women, and way of life. It is these fearful people who are arming themselves and entering houses of worship and killing black worshippers, Hispanic shoppers, and Jewish congregants. The other side is living in fear of entering a store for a shopping spree or a school and fearing that hiding under a table to avoid gunfire is par for the course. I say “almost” because obviously there are some who revel in the deaths of “others”. Some cheer as the president suggests that elected US representatives and citizens should go back to where they came from. They love it when massacres of different ethnic backgrounds occur at a staggering pace. And let me be clear that one active shooter/mass shooter is one too many, despite what Neil deGrasse Tyson says.
Is this problem a mental health problem? Are the people who are conducting the mass killings of people school shopping mentally disturbed? We may never know since the Trump Administration gutted any efforts to monitor checking for mental health issues when one wishes to purchase a firearm.
I’ve dealt with this issue and the reasons why elected leaders are reluctant to address this national crisis on my podcast, The Real Threat, and previous blogs Mass Shootings; It’s Time to Act. America clearly has a long history and fetish for guns. Anyone who doubts this statement should check out a book called Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The author not only gives the history, but she lays out plainly why Americans simply won’t give up their guns, despite the number of mass killings which come across our TV screens.
So what’s different now? Children are still dying, police officers are still in harm’s way, well sort of. As much as it pains me to confess this, our elected members of Congress aren’t going to do anything. They will cry, get choked up, call for special meetings and pontificate. But will there really be a change? Will there really be any meaningful legislation to save our children, movies attendees, and collegiate scholars? No, it will be business as usual. And I truly hope that someone somewhere in Congress proves me and others wrong.