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Terry H. Schwadron

Aug. 5, 2019

Thank you for the words.

Whether he believes it or not, Donald Trump took to the bully pulpit to read a teleprompter to denounce in general terms racism, bigotry and white supremacy in extending public mourning for mass shooting victims in El Paso and Dayton (which he referred to as Toledo). He said hate has no place in America.

That was good. Lots of people thought he would never say even those words.

— He said social media and authorities should identify shooters before they act, adding that social media has help spur hate and violence. Just how remains just a little vague.

— He said that mental illness pulled the trigger: Mental illness was the killer, not guns. He said the authorities should deny or remove guns from those with mental illness. He didn’t explain that the United States probably has the same proportion of mental illness as other countries on the globe, but the vast majority of mass shootings happen here.

— He said video games were to blame, a line fed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA. What happened to rap music, long hair and sass, forerunners to video games as object for blame?

— He said we should put mass shooters to death.

And he said Congress should be able to do something about all this in a bipartisan manner, as if it isn’t the Senate that has refused to act on a Democratic House bill calling for more background checks and other such moves. Earlier he tweeted a proposal to possibly link any gun-control bill to his immigration proposals.

— He did not say that his own tweets, rallies, public remarks and exhortations have anything to do with turning the culture more violent.

— He did not say that we should equip the FBI and law enforcement with full ability to go after white supremacists as domestic terrorists, with powers to wiretap, stop funds, really interfere with supremacist operations.

— He did not say that assault-style weapons should be removed.

In Trump World, apparently, there’s nothing wrong with having more guns than people in the country. There’s nothing wrong with an increasing array of legal gun-carrying laws in the country. There is nothing wrong with on-the-spot gun purchases.

It’s an open question as to whether the teleprompter speech will live through the next tweet cycle or rally.

Let’s Give America Common Sense Again.

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Journalist, musician, community volunteer

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