There’s no benefit of the doubt when it comes to President Donald Trump.
He can always stoop lower on the totem pole of decency.
On the morning after his “listening session” with student survivors of the Parkland school shooting and their parents — and other souls, too, rocked by previous mass shootings, this being the normal state of the nation — President Trump made it clear what side he’s on from his favorite pulpit.
“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted at 9:31 a.m. Thursday, setting the table for the day’s agenda.
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The tears of grieving students, their voices rising demanding change the day before, had already been lost on the president. On this Thursday morning when the students’ beloved and heroic football coach was being buried, Trump offered no concrete, effective gun control solutions.
Instead, the first order of business for Trump was to offer comfort and praise to Wayne LaPierre and his National Rifle Association staff before moving on to a meeting with law enforcement and state officials to talk about everything but what the country needs and wants: sensible gun control. (Call it gun safety or gun reform if it makes you feel better, but Trump and company are going to fight it either way.)
Surrounding him was a choir of Republicans, including Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi. They all played their part marvelously well, deflecting the conversation in front of the cameras from the AR-15 rifles favored by mass shooters to expanding mental health programs and arming teachers, because the bottom line is serving the NRA franchise.
And what better way than with policy that entails buying more guns and arming everyone to the teeth? (No mention that the Broward Sheriff’s deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was in position and armed but never entered the building. He remained outside for minutes while the shooting went on and resigned Thursday after he was suspended.)
Well, besides non-disclosure of relevant facts, there’s also censorship, the autocrat’s handy tool. On top of turning schools into militarized compounds and opening up “mental institutions” to house suspects who haven’t been charged, Trump wants to “do something about what [young people] are seeing.” He doesn’t like “the movies that come out,” he said.
Because it’s not about the gun-worshiping culture that turns people like the Sneads — the couple that took Nikolas Cruz into their home, along with his AR-15 and an assortment of other weapons — into unwitting enablers of the horror.
“It was his right to have it,” James Snead keeps telling every network television show that will feature him and his wife. They appear contrite until Cruz’s right to have the gun is challenged. They didn’t question Cruz’s obsession with the assault rifle he ultimately fired more than 150 times, killing 17 students and teachers and inflicting life-threatening injuries on 15 others.
Because in the United States of America, when your kid brings home a friend with a satchel of military-grade guns, that’s just peachy. You “set up rules” about when he can take out the assault weapons, and as far as you know, he followed them.
You know, except that one time he slaughtered his former classmates and teachers.
What a country.
Children and teachers die so that an 18-year-old with a history of delinquency, disobedience and harassment (which led to no confinement, very likely because he was white and middle-class) can have his precious right to own a military weapon.
What a country. What a president.
Trump hunts for scapegoats but doesn’t dare address that Cruz was a fan of his divisive Make America Great Again campaign and in his Instagram profile picture wore the red MAGA cap. Nor does Trump discuss that Cruz made racist pronouncements. But hey, let’s talk about movies defining culture, and not the radicalization that takes place when the president constantly spews what amounts to hate speech, the nasty always at the tip of his tongue.
So much so that in the middle of the televised session about mass school shootings he brings up, out of the blue and for the umpteenth time, the infamous M-13 gangs, noting that they don’t use guns but knives so they can kill their victims slowly.
“They aren’t human beings,” Trump said.
From there he goes on to boast that ICE and the Border Patrol are going to “go get them and grab them by the neck.” And from there he threatens California for not cooperating enough with the feds. “The sanctuary city situation,” he says. And he’s just going to pull out all federal law enforcement from the state and let them have it.
Nikolas Cruz, though, he’s just “a sicko” who needed treatment so he could live happily ever after with this guns.
Every killer has his enablers.
Despite the Republican smokescreen, we see them.
Chief among them is this truly pathetic president.