By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
In the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, one in El Paso and one in Dayton, I, as our Republican leaders have done, wanted to offer my thoughts and prayers to all those touched by these tragedies.
Part 1: Thoughts
- The right to own a gun that is capable of killing nine people and injuring 24 more in less than 60 seconds, apparently supersedes the right to not die in a mass shooting.
- President Donald Trump blames video games as the main tool in this country’s “glorification of violence,” he neglected to mention the roughly 10 million guns manufactured here every year.
- Trump also blamed mass shootings on mental illness. My dad lived every day of his adult life as a diagnosed schizophrenic. He never killed anyone by any means.
- The GOP’s answer to mass shootings, like those in schools, was to arm teachers. But why should we stop there. People of color and members of the LGBTQ community are obviously targets in these mass shootings, so, why aren’t we urging more of these folks to arm themselves for personal protection?
- When one woman was killed during the Charlottesville protests, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and said there were “good people” on both sides of the debate. Over the weekend, 31 people die in mass shootings and Trump finally condemns racists. At least we now know where he draws his line.
- Trump hinted after the shootings that he may be willing to discuss gun control talks as long a there are concessions on his draconian, fear-mongering and race-baiting immigration policies. It’s like offering to help your neighbor put a roof on his house in exchange for the house.
- Trying to console someone after losing someone they love isn’t easy under any circumstances. What do you say to someone who loses a child, parent, spouse, friend, co-worker in an act of violence that has occurred time and time again because no one will take action to at least make the scenario less likely to happen if not stop it all together.
- Here’s a two-parter: The NRA responded to the shootings thusly: “We will not participate in the politicizing of these tragedies but, as always, we will work in good faith to pursue real solutions that protect us all from people who commit these horrific acts.”
- Last year the NRA’s Texas branch, according to the Los Angeles Times, had one of its most successful years of lobbying in the state of Texas. They supported 10 bills to “loosen” firearm laws and all ten were signed by the governor. Among their “victories” was to block a ban on bump stocks and allow people to carry their weapons in airports. Just wanted to point that out in case you thought the citizenry actually had a voice in setting policy.
- Thoughts and prayers has become the new “no comment.” It allows politicians to dodge questions about 31 people murdered in cold blood, support the president’s off-kilter rhetoric and invoke the name of god to play to their base.
Part 2: Prayers:
If you can’t beat’em, join’em.
Dear lord, Since most Republican leaders respond to mass shootings with “thoughts and prayers,” they apparently assume you’re going to fix this thing. However, since there has been an average of one mass shooting per day since 2013, I can only come to one conclusion.
You’re a fucking Republican too.