Nov 24, 2018 Letters Comments Off on America’s bigger threat—Man and Gun not a Caravan
It is utterly impossible to heal what you cannot acknowledge.
America has now become a nation where mass shootings occur often enough that some people experience more than one. Nonetheless, Americans are told to fear a caravan of migrants walking through Mexico.
Yes, thousands of migrants from across Central America have been travelling north for weeks towards the US-Mexico border, claiming that they are escaping poverty, persecution and violence in their homelands of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
In the weeks prior to the mid-term elections, President Trump called many of the migrants criminals, called the caravan an invasion, and ordered troops to the border.
He also frequently suggested that it was politically motivated. So far about 3,000 members of the caravan have arrived in Tijuana, the Mexican city bordering the United States. On Monday the US temporarily closed its San Ysidro border point, its busiest crossing with Mexico in order to install new movable, wire-topped barriers.
On the issue of fear in America, one should immediately invoke the term displaced. In truth and reality what America and Americans should really fear is not a caravan of migrants, but instead, the contemptuous disregard that will permit yet another massacre to go by without any legislative action to remove guns from those who should not have them.
Over the years, we have blamed the shootings on everything from bullying to Batman to video games to mental illness to the inability to get a date. An ongoing, all-too-familiar routine that never seems to make madness make sense. Yet we continue trying, as evidenced by the latest shooter who killed himself after opening fire in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, which killed 12 people, among them Sergeant Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the “good guy with a gun” whom the NRA has always assured us would be our protection from random slaughter. Incidentally, in a post left on social media platform in the middle of his killing spree, the shooter gave the motive for his actions: “Fact is, I had no reason to do it,” he wrote, “and I just thought, f— it, life is boring, so why not?”
So the reason is, there was no reason. The reason is, why not?
For all the pretentious positivity of television talking and newspaper buffs, that is probably the explanation that reaches closest to the truth. Not just for Thousand Oaks, but also for Littleton, Colorado, Las Vegas, Parkland, Orlando, Aurora, Annapolis, Tucson, Sutherland Springs, and for all the places where Americans have printed up T-shirts declaring themselves “Strong” after bullets have shattered the peace. Granted, some of us will find the motive proffered by the Thousand Oaks shooter for his actions difficult to process.
The Borderline Bar & Grill shooter Ian Long, like every other mass shooter, be it Stephen Paddock, Omar Saddaqui Mateen, Cho or Adam Lanza, killed whole universes of meaning and possibility.
In arrogant disregard of its own bloody truths, America gives the power to do that to virtually every adult. Sadly, that power has been used so frequently. On November 11, two basketball teams the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks took to the court with T-shirts that carried the names of the victims on the back, and the word ENOUGH emblazoned on the front. Enough has passed. Americans wait in body bags for leaders to recognize this fact.
President Trump is placing fear into the living via the moving, while politicians remain reluctant to act to control guns, especially when the American public supports some degree of gun regulation. American citizens are free to stockpile weapons, free to order ammunition online, free to outfit their guns with bump stocks, like the Vegas shooter did. Free to not give a damn. And whole universes die while they do.
The caravan and its illegal migrants is certainly not the vehicle to fear, instead attention should be paid to those displaying a lack of care, while America patiently wait for the next mass shooter to appear.
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