Reflecting upon the mass shooting that occurred last Sunday in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 innocent people and wounded 53 others, it’s safe to say that the United States is experiencing an epidemic of gun-related crimes that claim numerous lives.
Following recent shootings, we’ve been introduced to killers who have pledged allegiance to ISIS, shooters suffering from mental illness, and shooters driven by hate of another race such as Dylann Roof who carried out the Charleston, South Carolina shooting last year.
Regardless of motive; however, one thing these mass shooters have in common is that they are U.S. citizens who legally obtained the weapons they used to murder fellow Americans.
This point is extremely important as it relates to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-refugee rhetoric he has built his campaign upon.
Trump — who has been dubbed an “orange face coward” —has placed blame for this epidemic on “radical Muslims” and “Mexican rapists and killers” in order to push an agenda to ban all Muslims from the country and build a wall between Mexico and the U.S.
His rise to the forefront throughout the 2016 election year indicates that he actually has much of the population on his side, agreeing with his nonsense, despite the clear fact that keeping people out of the U.S. doesn’t stop the dangerous people who are already here.
Some of America's deadliest mass shooters, all of which are white. Is it still an "immigration issue"?? pic.twitter.com/xdAl7641mB— jenny (@jenchriistine) June 14, 2016
During a radio interview last November, Sen. Sherrod Brown highlighted what we’re really seeing happen in this country:
“Since the beginning of the Bush administration when we were attacked, Sept. 11, we’ve not had any major terrorist attack in this country. We’ve had individual crazy people; normally, they look more like me than they look like Middle Easterners. They are generally white males, who have shot up people in movie theaters and schools. Those are terrorist attacks; they’re just different kinds of terrorists.”
Trump’s backwards rhetoric proves to be totally inaccurate. Immigrants are not to blame for attacks on U.S. soil, lax gun control laws — among a list of other issues — are the problem.
As a presidential candidate, Trump should be addressing ways to rectify some of the root problems that have led to these tragic events such as gun control measures, mental health care and awareness, and racial tensions — but instead, he is adding fuel to the fire by publicly proclaiming that the appropriate response is more guns and shutting immigrants out of the country.
It’s evident that by spewing hateful rhetoric, Trump has inadvertently opened the floodgates to an increase in domestic terrorism in America.
Not only do his own supporters display aggressive, violent, and radical behavior but he has also pit neighbor against neighbor, planting xenophobic suspicions into people’s minds.
Trump does not even acknowledge that white U.S. mass shooters are committing acts of domestic terrorism, thereby sending the message that Americans can display terrorist behavior but not be considered terrorists simply because they are white and American.
The irony is undeniable that along the campaign trail Trump’s fear-mongering tactics that won the hearts of his supporters didn’t stop a single U.S. tragedy from occurring including the San Bernardino, California mass shooting, the Kalamazoo, Michigan shooting, the Houston, Texas shooting, the Oregon shooting at Umpqua community college, and of course the most recent back to back Orlando, Florida shootings that resulted in the deaths of a beloved singer and 49 innocent club-goers.
The bottom line is that, Trump is wrong on all accounts. The so-called “solutions” he proposes completely miss the mark and will not curb gun violence, as evidenced by the continued mass shootings we’re witnessing.
Reality check: Xenophobia isn’t going to fix America’s gun problem.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Gage Skidmore