Sunday, August 4, 2019

Thoughts and prayers are crocodile tears - America's national failure and disgrace for its acceptance of gun deaths.

August 3, 2019. Another mass shooting occurred earlier today at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas. Details are sketchy as I write this. The shooter, now in custody, is reported to be a 21-year old male. The victims, were at least 18 people including children aged 2 - 9 years. That number is likely to go higher judging from what I’ve heard about the number of people transported to local hospitals. The weapon used is reported to be a “rifle.”

UPDATE: August 3, 2019, 5:30 PM - from the NY Times - El Paso Walmart Shooting: 20 People Are Dead in Massacre. “20 people were killed in the shooting, the governor said. Twenty-six others were injured.”

What was the national reaction? Trump pledged “total support” of federal government. (Bad track record, that - he lies about everything.) Texas Gov. Abbott called it “senseless act of violence.” Mouthing those words is not leadership. Candidate Beto O’Rourke “teared up” and went home to be with his family. Crying is not leadership.

But the most iconic reaction came from Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec), WH Press Secretary, who, at about 1:15 PM, tweeted “Our sincere thoughts & prayers are with all of El Paso, Texas today.”

Pardon me, Madame Secretary but your thoughts and prayers, your crocodile tears, are worthless. Thoughts and prayers have pretty much been the only response to the thousands of Americans gunned down in their homes, their places of business, and even their places of worship. Gun violence is a cancer on America and it needs to be treated as such and excised.

Juli├ín Castro called for a national assault weapons ban and for universal background checks during an on-air interview with CNN. Mr. Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, sharply ridiculed the argument that mass shootings could be prevented if more people were able to carry guns. “Shooters like this are using weapons of war that don’t belong in the streets of America,” he said.

Following is the last half of Scriber’s post on October 3, 2017 (J’accuse). The occasion? The las Vegas killing of 59 people by a shooter armed with semi-automatic weapons. Nothing has changed in the last two years - other than for many more mass shootings. So, my post is as timely now as it was then.

J’accuse, 2017

I accuse. Since the French writer Emile Zola published his protest in 1898 those words have been a rallying cry for those who speak truth to power. Here is my protest.

I accuse the gun industry of promoting profits over people.

I accuse the National Rifle Association of propaganda in defense of weapons of mass murder. I accuse the NRA of abandoning their original purposes in favor of becoming a political machine divorced from anything other than its own ends.

I accuse our political leaders, every one of them, of being craven cowards. I accuse our political leaders of favoring the gun lobby that bribes them to do the will of the gun industry and NRA. I accuse our political leaders of trading the lives of their constituents for guns and bullets. I accuse Congress of being complicit in those murders.

I accuse the news media of being the means by which our aversions to blood and gore have been extinguished.

I accuse our religious leaders of accepting an association between God and guns. I accuse our religious leaders of doing nothing to prevent more murders of God’s children.

I accuse the American people for tolerating the murders of their fellow citizens - adults and children alike - in the name of an archaic document. I accuse my fellow Americans of rewriting their Constitution so as to bestow a right to bear weapons of mass murder. I accuse my fellow Americans of living in mindless fear, of being so afraid of all that surrounds us. I accuse my fellow Americans of being gulled by the gun industry and the NRA and the political leaders into believing that more guns mean more freedom and security.

I accuse, then, most of all, the United States of America for its failure as a nation. I accuse the USA of failing “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …” I accuse the USA of inflicting unjust injury on its citizens. I accuse the USA of fostering domestic discord. I accuse the USA of harming the general welfare. I accuse the USA of the dishonest equation of guns and liberty. I accuse the United States of America of accepting and condoning the deaths of its citizens.

J’accuse, 2019. To America of the NRA, America of the 2nd amendment rights, and American gun companies that profit from dead Americans, I say this. If you don’t like what I just wrote, then change. You can start by supporting life instead of death.

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