TRAGEDY has an inimitable way of unifying people.
The latest round of school shootings that killed at least 17 people – students and teachers – at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida appears to have triggered and consolidated forces seeking gun control.
From the initial shock and trauma, students and parents raged through the grief, a cacophony of rising voices in the national debate over gun violence.
Dubbed the “Mass Shooting Generation” of America, the Stoneman Douglas High School students received support from high schools across America. When politicians say it’s too early to talk about the mass murder in the school, Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group responded “it’s way too late.”
The number of students and teachers who died at Stoneman Douglas matched the 17 people killed at the University of Texas tower shooting in August 1966. The most number of fatalities was at the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting where 32 people were killed, followed by the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre with 27 dead.
Addressing the issue of gun control Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio said on Fox News that a law for greater gun control “might not have prevented the shooting.”
“I think it’s important to know all of that before you jump to conclusions that there was some law that we could have passed that would have prevented it,” Mr. Rubio further cautioned during the interview. US citizen and permanent resident perpetrators
In the top three school shooting incidents, two were US Citizens (Adam Peter Lanza in the Sandy Hook massacre and Nikolas Cruz for the Parkland Florida shooting) and Seung-Hui Cho, a green card holder from South Korea.
Paraphrasing Senator Rubio, laws preventing entry and deporting illegal or undocumented aliens would not have prevented the mass murders of students, teachers and members of the academic community.
But that has not stopped President Donald Trump and the Republican Party enablers from advocating the deportation of 1.8 million Dreamers – undocumented immigrants who were brought into the US as minor children.
In fact, Trump and the Republicans captured the White House mainly by criminalizing immigrants and calling for a stop to family sponsorships that cause chain migration. During the campaign, Trump called for a “great, big beautiful wall… that Mexico will pay for and prevent Mexico from sending its people bringing drugs, criminals, rapists.”
Immigrants and truth have been at Trump and Republicans’ cross-hairs.
After calling Trump a “con artist” during the campaign, Rubio has forgotten the anti-immigrant positions he accused Trump of taking, including a charge of hiring illegal workers for Trump’s projects saying that Trump will use illegal immigrants to build the wall just as he did for the Trump Towers.
Never mind that the billionaire-celebrity-businessman-turned President has bragged on the Access Hollywood tape that he can grab any woman by the genitals and do anything with women because he is a celebrity – and still be supported by Republican religious conservatives because the Devil you know is better than the Devil you don‘t.
Never mind the shaming of Republican politicians as well as those appointed to White House and Trump administration agency positions – notably Mitch McConnell and Jeff Sessions, reducing them to Trump minions by demanding personal loyalty instead of to the Constitution and the United States.
Never mind all the lies – which Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy insists is just hyperbole, exaggerated claims not intended to be taken seriously. Just how much and how often does the Republican’s standard bearer lie or mislead?
On November 14, 2017, by Washington Post’s count, “President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days.” By January this year, Trump’s “false or misleading claims has increased to 1,950 over 347 days.”
That would include the hyperbolic and fact-challenged claims by President Trump when he sat down with the New York Times for an interview late last year: the Post reported that Trump “said something untrue about every 75 seconds.”
For all that, Republicans have circled the wagons, enabled and defended the hyperbolic President who looks forward to a second term.
Apparently, the tragedy of the Trump presidency has unified the Republicans in shooting immigrants and truth as moving targets.
How many more students and facts must die, before you can call out the Man?
Bob Dylan responded: “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind.”