Here we go again. Another day, another spate of gun violence in the land of the free and the home of the brave. In the space of 24 hours, 31 lives and a few hundred rounds were spent – and after a brief break in domestic violence – it seems like it’s business as usual.
The normality of the horror was summed up by CNN when, while reporting on the El Paso shooting, the broadcaster ran a bulletin with the words “Soon on CNN: Mayor of Dayton, Ohio to address mass shooting.” It genuinely felt like we were witnessing something out of the Purge movies.
They’re talking about the Texas mass shooting… while previewing in the corner of the screen that the press conference about Ohio mass shooting will be up next….
This is America today.
— Katie Peters (@katiepeters83) August 4, 2019
While it came as no surprise to the world, the silence from Washington was deafening. With no word at all from the White House denouncing the racially-motivated attacks, Donald J. Trump instead resorted to plugging his xenophobic immigration policy while taking a break from a round of golf.
And when it suddenly became clear to the White House Press Office that they were facing a clear PR meltdown, Trump was pushed in front of a podium and told to fumble through a clearly scripted speech of empty promises and hypocritical reforms, while petulantly blaming video-games and even getting the name of the town in Ohio wrong. It really doesn’t get worse than this.
It’s safe yet unfortunate to say that until this ignoramus is removed from office or defeated in 15 months’ time, we’ll keep lighting candles, making vigils, and shedding tears.
With a president whose electorate mandate rests solely on the support of far-right, violence-inciting groups like the NRA, it came as no surprise that the man was slow to the podium. Whether it be a Neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, “send them back” chants at a rally, or the torture of migrants at the border – there’s a tactical delay at play which reveals a disgustingly plain and clear agenda. An agenda which can only be described as quasi-incitement for the gun-bearers wanting a reason to fire upon innocents.
In the wake of the El Paso shooting, a very powerful cartoon circulated on social media depicting Uncle Sam cowering over an NRA gun lobbyist, while surrounded by the corpses of the victims of the recent shooting. Sometimes words aren’t needed. It seems that for some, the price of liberty is the blood of children.
— EndOfTheAmericanExperiment (@end_american) August 4, 2019
Within hours of the attacks, calls rang out from all sides of the political spectrum for tighter gun laws, with leading voices such as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders calling for Congress to be called out of recess to pass anti-gun legislation.
This was accompanied by thousands of marches across the states to mourn the victims and protest against the establishment, as well as moving campaigns urging everyday Joe to contact their local senator to join the anti-gun lobby. All of this was topped off by a heroic and bold statement by soccer team Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya who – after scoring a goal in a Major League Soccer game against DC United – grabbed a pitch-side microphone and passionately yelled: “Hey Congress, do something now, end gun violence!” Bravo sir.
Ending Gun Violence
In all honesty, it is about time the U.S. did something, seeing as there have been more shootings than days this year (a horrendous 255) leaps and bounds beyond any other country in the world.
While it may be fantastical to suggest an outright ban on guns, there clearly needs to be some form of drastic measure. And fast. For example, one could argue that while New Zealand’s problem with guns is anomalous and drastically contrasted to the scene in the U.S., its political action against firearms following the attack in Christchurch was swift and true. It’s that kind of political decisiveness that is needed more than ever, but with the current commander-in-chief, it wouldn’t be amiss to say that it’s only a matter of time before the next shooting.
Many gun-bearing Americans arrogantly clutch to the Second Amendment as justification to own their firearms – an Amendment created in a time where civil unrest was the norm. It’s about time that we start moving away from the fallacy endorsed by the president that bloodshed is a liberty.
It’s time to put the guns down. Enough is enough.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.