Tribes have always existed in this country. You remember some of the old names of the tribes that once dominated the landscape Sioux, Apache and Cherokee. Over the last 300 years, that once cohesive group commonly referred to as “Americans” has split, sub-divided, morphed and chosen a side to the point that it would be very difficult to lump this nation into one category, the classification of an American.
I have contended since the very beginning that Trump was “pushed over the top” by tribes that felt disenfranchised, tribes with names like Evangelicals, Nationalist, Gun Rights Advocates, Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacist. On the outside, some of these tribes would seem to be very strange bedfellows, others, it makes perfect sense but what they have in common is this, somehow, someway, they all heard or saw some semblance of support for their ideology from Trump.
Like many of you my heart has been broken, once again, by the senseless tragedy at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 dead. 17 human lives wiped off the face of this earth by a child, one child with an AR-15 assault rifle. Sadly the same weapon used to murder human beings in Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs…..
This horrible tragedy has brought the kind of responses we have come to expect from the many different tribes of America and even more surprising, the lack of a response from some. The NRA crowd, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have asked everyone to take a deep breath and not over react. Don’t let the emotions of the murder of 17 people cause us to make hasty decisions. The NRA’s hope? That next week something else will via for the media’s attention and we, you and I, will forget about Parkland like we have forgotten about Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and Orlando.
But here is the problem with Paul Ryan’s and the NRA’s “logic” one tragedy replaces another with such frequency now that the memories of the old remain fresh in our minds, “our” being the tribe that is demanding tighter gun controls and restrictions. Did anyone else notice yesterday that Trump, in his consolatory address to the nation, one that lacked any resemblance of empathy, sorrow or grief, didn’t once mention the word gun? Ponder that for a moment.
So why didn’t he? Why didn’t he say the word “Guns”? As my Grandmother would say because he knows which side his bread is buttered on. I would bet that the NRA had a hand in crafting that most insincere speech Thursday. I would also suspect that is why it took Trump 24 hours to get in front of the camera. That is the kind of access and input $30 million buys you, leaving the word “Guns” out of a speech to the nation, a speech which is supposed to console us about gun violence.
Gun Violence Archive is a “not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.” You can click the hyperlink above and look at the numbers to-date (2018) yourself but here are just a few of the gun violence statistics 47 days into the year;
Total Number of Incidents- 6,739
Number of Deaths- 1,859
Number of Injuries- 3,213
Mass Shootings- 30
Number of children killed or injured- 428
The tribes of America aren’t going to come together on the gun violence issue. No amount of dead children is going to move or dissuade the leadership in Washington who the NRA have in their back pockets to make policy changes to protect us. What I have come to realize is that the deaths of innocents is simply collateral damage for the rights of a few. The right to own an arsenal of weapons under the tribal guise of Freedom.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said yesterday that “This is one of those moments where we just need to step back and count our blessings.” In my community, 700 miles away from Parkland, FL two grandparents mourn the death of their 15-year-old grandchild, one of the 17 murdered on Valentines Day. How do they step back? How do they count their blessings?
For to many years Ryan and other members of the take the cash NRA fraternity have been preaching against “knee-jerk” political responses to mass shootings. I think it well past the time for my tribe, the gun-control, gun-restriction tribe to use our knees for what they were intended for, to knee the NRA and its politicians in the balls. If the bodies of dead children, if the anguish and devastation of parents, siblings, friends and grandparents doesn’t get their attention maybe kicking them in the balls and kicking their ass out of Washington will.
I am tired of stepping back. I am tired of looking at the faces of mothers and fathers who have just lost their reason for living because one tribe believes freedom is spelled “GUNS”. How about you?