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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dafoe

“I can’t believe we’re not all screaming … 24 hours a day.”

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

When a talk show host/comedian makes the following statement, you know we are at a loss as a country right now: “There are just certain things that are so crazy I can’t believe we’re not all screaming about them 24 hours a day,” said Jimmy Kimmel during an interview at a recent Television Critics Association’s press tour. Kimmel’s recent remarks addressed the mass shootings at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and the mass killing in Newcomb’s Tavern in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio, all within a couple of days.

Three people, including a six-year old boy, were killed and dozens injured in Gilroy, California when a white male gunman opened fire. Twenty-two people were killed and dozens horribly injured in El Paso, Texas, including a two-year old child shot by another white male. Fifteen hours later, 9 people were killed, and twenty-six are suffering maiming gunshot wounds by a white male in Dayton, Ohio.

The gunmen are specifically not named here, nor should they be elsewhere. Their notoriety must disappear as swiftly as their hate and racism entered our national conscientiousness. Domestic terrorism has not garnered the same kind of attention due to specific mandates from the Trump administration.

After golfing and partying at Mar-a-Lago, Trump finally and haltingly read a stiff, emotionless statement in which he blamed mental illness and video games for the attacks. He also mixed up the cities where the attacks occurred, as if it did not really matter to him or the country. He appeared to be trying to deflect blame. These attacks, however, followed days of Trump delivering scathing, racist attacks on five Congresswomen of color and one Congressman of color. Among many racist remarks he has made of late include the question delivered at his rally in Panama City, Florida: “How do you stop these people? You can’t,” Trump lamented. Someone from his crowd shouted, "Shoot them," and Trump smiled and shrugged.

Trump concluded his reading off a teleprompter with the remark that guns were not the problem: “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger. Not the gun,” said Trump, ending his hollow remarks.

If Trump's concern was that gun sales would go down, it was an unwarranted fear. Gun sales typically spike after every mass shooting in the United States. Sturm Rugger stock immediately went up after the mass killings, as did other gun stocks.

The Gun Violence Archive lists 250 mass shootings in the United States by guns since the year began. GVA uses the formula of multiple victims by guns as a mass shooting classification, and it does not define mass shootings as having to result in multiple deaths, as some sources do. One thing is certain, the United States is in a Hell of its own with gun violence.

Arguments favored by gun advocates point to mental health as the problem with gun violence. This reasoning is suspect, however, since every country in the world has commensurate issues with mental health, yet without the gun deaths.

Clearly, tweeting and texting “thoughts and prayers” by "leaders" in the Senate and Congress are not working.

Rather than scream, let us remember which political party is in the pocket of the NRA's blood money. Let us remember that democracy still allows us a vote as to whom we put in office.

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