Once again, the media tell us that we’re engaged in a “national debate” over how to stop mass shootings. I only wish that were true. I am adamantly in favor of a national debate. I debated in school, and I know the rules for real debates: you have to present evidence for your side and argue for it rationally and logically. I would love to see a debate that addresses the real root causes of these horrific acts of violence, which I’ve long written and talked about: the destruction of the family unit, the absence of fathers, the desensitization of kids to violence, the banishing of religion and moral teaching from the public square, undermining of respect for the sanctity of life, the way isolated social media relationships and coarse anonymous Internet sniping have replaced personal human contact in churches and community groups, the “war on boys” that tells young men they’re bad and useless just for being male, and on and on.
I would even be willing to listen to suggestions for new gun laws, if they were effective at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and not just the same regurgitated anti-Second Amendment leftist wish list of “common sense” gun laws that are anything but. Those proposed laws invariably would have done nothing to stop the mass shootings, but they would disarm and criminalize law-abiding citizens while making it easier for criminals and deranged shooters to victimize us (like the insane “gun-free zone” concept – “I wanted to shoot a bunch of people, but the sign says this is a ‘gun-free zone.’ Darn it, I guess my killing spree is off! I wouldn’t want to violate the sign!”)
All those things should be part of the constructive debate we should all come together to have. Alas, that’s not what’s going on. Instead of a serious attempt to understand the root causes of the problem and fix them, we’re getting nothing but cynical finger-pointing, political maneuvering, blame-shifting and fomenting of even more hatred, division and racial suspicion. What’s going on now isn’t useful, it isn’t bringing the country together, it’s harmful rather than healing, and frankly, in at least one way, it’s absolutely disgusting.
I would hope that at a time when Americans are reeling and mourning from the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that those who want to be leaders would be extremely careful about their words. President Trump is often accused of being sloppy with language or more combative than he needs to be, but even he understood the importance of insuring that his words were cautious, respectful and healing.
A video of his full remarks are at that link, but here are some salient quotes:
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
“We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start.”
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger — not the gun.”
Unfortunately, many who seek to be leaders in America are not very careful with their words. One reason I have a writing/research staff is because I don’t want to be accused of trying to promote my point of view by using incorrect “facts” or fake quotes. My people are very good at digging up reliable data, direct quotes from the source and accurate summaries of opposing viewpoints. In other words, I don’t just make this stuff up, or stuff straw men to argue against because it’s easier than engaging honestly. I wish everyone had the same attitude, particularly at a time like this, when slanderous false statements can spread anger and division that harm the entire nation.
All this is preamble to what I could turn into a daily feature: “Corrections Time!”
I already did “Beto” O’Rourke yesterday, but he’s flinging out false statements faster than he’s flinging his arms around these days. O’Rourke has been all over TV (especially CNN and MSNBC, of course), railing about Trump’s thoughtless use of language while spewing the s-word and the f-word and taking Christ’s name in vain on live TV, but I digress.
There’s hardly a debunked anti-Trump meme that he hasn’t resuscitated, from “all Mexicans are rapists and criminals” to “he tried to ban all Muslims from the US” to “children in cages” to claiming Trump is an “open, avowed racist,” even though Trump has called himself the least racist person in the world – pretty bad avowing there. Even if Trump were a racist – which I do not believe he is – claiming he’s an "open and avowed racist" when he’s repeatedly denounced racism and denied being a racist makes me as skeptical of everything O’Rourke says as I am of his chances of ever being President.
Next, Sen. Cory Booker claimed Trump was responsible for the El Paso shooting, even though the shooter wrote in his deranged “manifesto” that fake news media would try to claim that, but he’d felt this way long before Trump came on the scene. Booker also claimed that Trump “has taken no action whatsoever to even condemn white supremacy.”
At the link are a list of quotes from Trump, condemning racism and white supremacy.
CNN tried to tie Texas Sen. John Cornyn to the El Paso shooter’s hatred of Hispanics, citing a similarity between something he tweeted and a line in the shooter’s “manifesto.” It was actually just the headline of a Texas Tribune news story Cornyn retweet, followed by praise for Texas’ Hispanic residents. Follow the full smear job here:
Hillary Clinton reminded us of why America caught such a break in 2016 by tweeting this:
"People suffer from mental illness in every other country on earth; people play video games in virtually every other country on earth. The difference is the guns.”
Maybe she hasn’t heard about the mass knife attacks in countries that heavily regulate guns, such as the attacks in China, some of which have involved dozens of injuries and up to 33 deaths. Or the stabbing rampage in May at a Tokyo bus stop (2 dead and 16 injured, including over a dozen schoolgirls.) But you’d think she would at least remember the shooting at the mosque in Christchurch in March that killed 51 people and injured 49 more. That was cited by the El Paso shooter. FYI: that shooter was Australian, and Christchurch is in New Zealand. Both are nations other than the USA. And he used a gun to shoot people.
Former President Obama also spoke out on the shootings, tying them to racism with the obvious implication of blaming Trump and Trump supporters (he conveniently forgot to mention that the Dayton killer was a Warren-supporting, Trump-hating, pro-gun control socialist.)
By the way, considering what I just wrote, it took real chutzpah for Elizabeth Warren to send out tweets trying to blame the shootings on Trump.
Lastly, Joe Biden chimed in, claiming that the shootings are being fueled by Trump’s divisive rhetoric, which is “causing people to die.”
Putting aside all the violent rhetoric Biden has used about wanting to punch Trump, I wonder what kind of divisive presidential rhetoric might have been responsible for the shootings at the Sandy Hook school, the Aurora movie theater, the Washington Navy ship yard, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and the racially-motivated shooting of police officers in Dallas, to name just a few, all of which happened during the Obama/Biden years?
Amid all these misquotations, innuendoes and convenient edits of history, here’s an unassailable, provable fact:
When you point your finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you.