Is it different this time?
I don’t know. I have my doubts. After Sandy Hook and Parkland, it’s hard to imagine any horror moving some Americans to take the obvious steps necessary to stop the killing of other Americans.
At the least, maybe we've thankfully moved beyond the lame, empathy-free offerings of “thoughts and prayers”. If prayer were enough, these massacres wouldn’t keep happening.
Secondly, this particular act proscribed direct lines that crossed at the intersection of gun violence, white supremacy belief and Trumpian politics. That’s new. The killer made his motives—his intent—deadly clear.
Consequently, the one who ostensibly “leads” us was moved to stand in front of a transfixing teleprompter and robotically express thoughts he did not write, does not believe, and may not even understand. Empty words from an empty man.
Furthermore, if we squint enough, we might even see Democratic contenders coming up with something better than proclamations on what we “must” do…what we “need” at this moment…how we “cannot” let this continue happening. These are the same things they’ve been saying for more than a decade. It keeps happening.
But to their credit, the Democrats also called a temporary truce among them to uniformly condemn the President and his evil lever of inaction, Mitch McConnell. These are the only two pressure points that can possibly matter. They must keep pressing.
And additionally, might they also lift a complicit media from its slumbers? This issue has long since moved past the false construct of "balanced" reporting.
Beto O’Rourke is a man not yet ready to be President—but also a man not afraid to speak his mind. For him, this tragedy literally hit close to home. When he was asked in a gaggle of reporters if there was anything the President could do to make the situation better, he responded:
“What do you think? You know the shit he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck? Hold on a second. You know, I — it’s these questions that you know the answers to. I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting racism and violence in this country. So, uhm, you know, I just— I don’t know what kind of question that is.”
Maybe it will be different this time.
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