(Angry) Thoughts and (Hopeful) Prayers

Don’t politicize the tragedy they say, or at least they’ve said that in the past. Now isn’t the time to debate gun control. This is a time for thoughts and prayers. In El Paso, Texas a shooter (how in God’s name did this ever become a word) shot forty-six people in a Walmart. Where I live, our Walmart isn’t “Super” and I doubt there are ever many more than forty-six people in it at a time. But in El Paso, a city of almost seven hundred thousand, Walmart is so crowded, a pissed-off guy with a battlefield weapon can mow down four dozen people.

The casualty count continues to climb, each time I refresh my browser, the numbers tick ever higher. Fifteen dead, eighteen dead, twenty dead. Every time I click my mouse, another family has lost a parent, a child, a sibling. Donald Trump has pledged his total support, whatever that means, but he hasn’t pledged to remove assault rifles from society. He hasn’t pledged any new laws limiting gun ownership. He hasn’t pledged an era of gun control.

This is the era of mass shootings. So frequent and so fatal, they aren’t even surprising anymore. I’ve grown callous in my digestion of the news. Twenty dead no longer seems like a lot. I don’t know how many people need to be murdered to drop my jaw. After Orlando and Las Vegas, it needs to be fifty at least. The breaking news is that this is a hate crime. The shooter has written a manifesto. He Facebooks against immigrants.

How can you not politicize this shooting? An entire political party refuses to take any action to reduce the number of guns on the street. The president regularly demonizes Latinos. He encourages divisions between cultures, he eggs on his supporters to chant angry slogans against non-Christians and people of color.

Today Julian Castro, a Democratic presidential contender languishing near the bottom of the pack, a candidate I haven’t given a moment of thought so far in this race, separated himself from the field today. While everyone else called for “action to reduce gun violence,” Castro went all in. He called for “gun reform.” Suddenly I’m thinking I might spend a little bit of time looking at Julian Castro.

15 thoughts on “(Angry) Thoughts and (Hopeful) Prayers

  1. It’s sickening the way the powers that be in this country hold onto their “right to bear arms.” And now there is the tragedy in Ohio. Gun reform. That is what we need.

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    • I looked at their stated positions on gun control this morning. Most call for bans on assault rifles. I’m not sure why they’re disinclined to say that when appropriate. I would be shouting it from the rooftops. I know it’s not a popular position, but it’s the right position.

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  2. Nothing in America will improve until voters toss Mitch McConnell and the Republicans out of the Senate. They ignore global warming, they stand in the way of alternative energy, they refuse the public’s demand for control of automatic weapons and establishment of sensible background checks, they deny the influence of systemic racism and white nationalism, they won’t stop election tampering by other countries, they give giant tax breaks to the super rich and crumbs to the rest of us….

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  3. Gun reform is absolutely needed. I will check out Castro too. The NRA stance of “if we all were armed, we would all be safer” doesn’t make any sense at all. If that was the case, maybe we all should have rocket-propelled grenades, or maybe even small nukes. It’s such rubbish! I don’t want to take guns away from hunters or someone who purchases a gun for self-defense, but if you have an automatic weapon, yeah, I want to take your gun away.

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    • I want to take them all away, but I know that won’t happen, so yes, the automatic weapons have to go. I even have a plan for it if Pelosi wants to hear it. If the NRA’s ‘good guy with a gun’ theory doesn’t work in Texas with some of the laxest gun laws in the country, it isn’t going to work anywhere.

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      • Jeff, I wrote a post about a year ago about using technology available now to make guns safer. Not even gun control, just employing some of the stuff we already know how to do, like fingerprint ID so that guns could not be used by anyone except the owner, etc. I got so many negative comments, I couldn’t believe it! it was very disheartening!

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  4. There is something fundamentally wrong with America. The attraction of guns is just weird. I’ve seen people buying their guns in the store where I sometimes buy fishing stuff. They look like kids playing soldier. I envision them going home and practicing a quick-draw in front of the vanity. I don’t get the attraction, guns scare the crap out of me.

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  5. I can’t quite figure out how to handle these occurrences. After Sandy Hook something just kind of broke and I think that’s when I finally grasped that we won’t, as a society, do anything. I’ve listened to so many people who love guns and the logic never really makes sense to me at all. Little parts maybe, that semantics are being used to imply a situation will outlaw or limit a particular type of gun when it actually wouldn’t, etc. But the idea that we should do nothing, change nothing, not even try…I just don’t know how to accept that with grace.

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    • Conversly, after every single shooting, I think THIS is the tipping point. Now we’ll do something about it. And then I’m disappointed. Although this time it looks like Trump is going to use this shooting to attack another “other” crowd… those with mental illness. Just watch, he’s going to lump all of us in one big dangerous barrel and it’s going to be stigmatic to admit depression again.

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