It’s Sunday and I should be compassionate. But it’s difficult when you read the headlines and wonder what happened to America.
I use the past tense because I do believe our best days are behind us.
As I scan the landscape I see evidence of a colder, darker nation. One less tolerant, more bigoted, increasingly divisive and quick to play the victim card instead of owning up to one’s own failings.
If the slaughter of 20 school children between ages 5-10 by a crazed gunmen doesn’t melt your heart, what will? In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre four years ago President Obama said the tragedy had broken America’s heart.
But Congress’s heart was untouched. Lawmakers in Washington remained cold hearted, deaf and blind to the nation’s sorrow. Action on gun control—zero.
Fourteen persons were gunned down by suspected terrorists in San Bernardino last December. Thousands of people took to social media to express their outrage.
Once again Congress did not nothing to curtail possible gun violence by demanding background checks on potential purchasers.
This morning I awoke to learn of yet another mass shooting in America. This time at least 50 persons were mowed down in a Florida nightclub by a single shooter.
Authorities have identified the suspect in the bloodbath as Omar Mateen in what is described as the worst mass shooting in the nation’s history.
The White House will issue its standard bromide–a tragedy, senseless shooting, innocent victims, and our broken hearts. This happens so frequently in America we just have to trot out the template and fill in the blanks with the name of the city and number of deaths.
Job done and nothing else will happen.
Our two de facto presidential nominees responses are equally predictable.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has posted her anti-gun violence on her website. She’ll use this latest shooting to condemn Republican intransigence in Congress for not passing meaningful gun reform legislation. And she will fault GOP contender Donald Trump for contributing to a culture of violence with his pronouncements against immigrants, women, and Muslims.
It’s election year so Clinton will point fingers.
Trump will rehash his defense of the Second Amendment, say we need more authority and respect for law enforcement, and repeat his demand for stopping illegal immigration. You can read it all on his website.
It’s election year so Trump will blame others.
Tragedy of America
It’s sad enough that we’ve experienced another mass shooting. But the details will only deepen suspicions and division in America rather than unite.
The 50 victims were in a gay bar in Orlando. So there will be speculation about homophobia.
The shooter was Omar Mateen—is that an Arabic name? Some will suspect so and the anti-Muslim bigotry will resurface.
Was this ISIS-inspired terrorism? There will be no shortage of persons who believe that.
This could have been prevented if there were no guns. This could have been prevented if everyone carried guns. We can find lots of believers on both sides.
Don’t expect anything to change.
There will be no gun-control laws passed by Congress.
The President, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will all decry the violence in the nation and call for change. But they won’t act.
Americans will express anger and accuse others. But no one will suggest that we meet, discuss and solve the root causes of our dysfunctional society. It’s easier to find fault than to find solutions.
So it is today and so it will be tomorrow.
This is our national tragedy.