8 August 2019
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
President Trump has achieved what one believes to be a presidential first. He was unwelcome in cities that recently suffered a mass shooting. One of the jobs of president is to be what some have called the consoler-in-chief. After the Al Qaeda Murders of September 11, 2001, George W. Bush appeared in New York to help the wounded city (which did not vote for him) grieve. After the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary school, Barack Obama met with the parents who would never see their little ones again. These gestures couldn't make things right again, but they were necessary to help those affected heal. Mr. Trump avoided protesters in Dayton, OH, and El Paso, TX, who wanted nothing to do with him when he tried to play the consoler role yesterday when he visited them.
To blame Mr. Trump for the spate of gun violence in America is somewhat unfair. When Columbine High School in Colorado was shot up by two students, Mr. Trump had just finalized his second divorce and had just begun dating his future third wife. He was a public figure only because he was able to get the media to pay attention to the three-ring circus that composed his personal and professional life.
However, he has been president for two-and-a-half years. He has been the occupier of Teddy Roosevelt's Bully Pulpit. He has failed to use that position to do anything about gun violence. Even worse, he has spoken from that pulpit in ways that divide Americans along the lines of skin color. This journal has called him a racist, and thus far, he has given no reason to change that view. Like Charles Manson, he has killed no one himself, but he has made sure his followers are in a frame of mind to do so.
Consequently, it comes as no surprise that, when he visited the two cities where two gunmen murdered people using weapons more suited to the battlefield than civilian streets, large numbers assembled to object to his visit. Mr. Trump's response was to air his own perceived grievances. He chose not to console but to confront.
When cornered by the press to suggest a policy to address the problem, Mr. Trump stated that he would be prepared to accept a bill requiring tighter background checks for those who wish to purchase a firearm, but there was a catch. There would have to be significant immigration reform as well, including a reduction in the number of legal immigrants.
In other words, because a white racist drove 10 hours to kill non-white shoppers at a Wal-Mart, government policy should reduce the number of non-whites coming to America. That is Mr. Trump's logic.
Nothing will come of this silly proposal, of course. Wayne LaPierre of the NRA has already told Mr. Trump not to move forward with it. Since the senate will not be able to vote on anything unless Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allows it, Mr. Trump won't even have to veto any gun-control measure. Indeed, the senate is at the beginning of the August recess, and Mr. McConnell has no interest in summoning everyone back for a vote.
By the time Congress is back in session in September, the trend suggests that there will be a few more mass shootings. Almost certainly, the shooters will be angry, white males who have easy access to military-grade firearms and toddler-grade self-control.
And the president will have done nothing to prevent it and may well have added fuel to the flames because he thinks it will get him re-elected.
© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.