Monday, November 6, 2017

The ultimate hypocrisy is Trump GOP response to Las Vegas & Texas church shootings & New York truck mayhem

By Marc Jampole
When a mentally ill ISIS supporter plows a truck into bicyclists in New York, killing eight
and injuring 15, Donald Trump calls for the ending of an immigration program that has
given our country hundreds of thousands of highly productive and patriotic Americans
over the years.
But when mentally ill gunmen perpetrate horror after horror, all Trump and the GOP can
do is ask us to pray and blame it on mental illness. Not a word about making it harder
for the mentally ill to purchase guns. Nothing about prohibiting automatic rifles,
expanding the national no-gun registry, prohibiting perpetrators of domestic violence
and people on the government’s terror list to buy or own a gun, extending gun waiting
periods and making them apply to gun shows or making people take gun tests to own a
gun license.
Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Charleston, Orlando, San Bernardino, Sandy Hook.
Those are some of the biggest shootings over the past few years. And so far in 2017,
there have been 307 mass murders committed by firearms in the United States. Most of
these were not acts of terrorism. All of them involved guns. Some of these mass
murders could have been prevented by more restrictive gun laws. Others, like Las
Vegas and Sandy Hook, would have been much less destructive if automatic weapons
were prohibited.
Survey after survey shows that most people—and most gun owners—want greater
restrictions on gun ownership. And yet, state legislatures and the Congress refuse to
pass any law restricting gun ownership and in recent years sought to expand gun rights.
As a group, legislators have displayed a craven disregard for life and a dismissive
disrespect for voters. A persistent theme in news media coverage is the fear that
candidates have of offending the voters. More often than not, however, and certainly in
the case of gun control, candidates and legislators don’t care a gnat’s hindquarters
about the voters’ wishes. What they care about is pleasing their corporate masters. The
gun industry was one of the first industries to recognize the value of investing in the
political process. It would be more accurate to write that politicians worry about what
their constituencies think, and leave it to the insiders to understand that big money
interests and not the voters are the constituencies being referenced.
The hard facts support gun control. While a federal law prevents federal dollars from
supporting research into gun violence (yes, Congress did that!), enough research does
exists to demonstrate without a doubt that the more guns in a society, the more deaths
and injuries from gun violence will occur. The causes are various: self-inflicted, friendly
fire, accidents, mass murders. But very few gun deaths and accidents occur in defense
of life and property. The conclusion is obvious: the more we restrict guns, the fewer gun
deaths and accidents we’ll have.
The facts disprove the main argument of the gun industry that owning a gun keeps you
safe. You may feel safer with a gun in the house or strapped to your side, but you have
actually put yourself at greater risk of injury or death.
Of course, gun ownership is not the only issue in which Trump and the GOP talk and
act against the facts. On immigration, education, the environment and taxation, Trump
and the GOP persist in spewing myths, lies and disproven theories.
There is a second edge to the Trump and GOP hypocrisy, which the events of the past
few weeks have sharpened. When a Muslim or immigrant commit a mass murder, it’s
terrorism. But when a red-blooded American commits a mass murder, it’s the act of a
lone looney. Make no mistake about it: this racialization of mass murder is another
attempt to distract us from the real problems. Sowing resent against Muslims and
immigrants helps to create an us-and- them world in which poor and middle class white
Christians learn to hate and fear people of color instead of hating and fearing the group
that is really hurting them—the rich folk who want to curtail social welfare, infrastructure,
healthcare and education programs that help poor and middle class white Christians
more than any other group.

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