History is repeating itself as the National Rifle Association (NRA) lacks the decency to postpone their annual convention taking place in Houston, Texas, just days after the tragic mass shooting of children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Before a single funeral has been held, the NRA is celebrating their sick and deadly obsession with gun culture and the manufacturers who profit from it.
The NRA’s decision to proceed with the convention did not have the universal approval of their participants. Many canceled their planned appearances, including cowardly politicians Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Sen. John Cornyn, as well as entertainers Don McLean, Larry Gatlin, and Lee Underwood. However, among those remaining on the schedule were Sen. Ted Cruz and, of course, former reality TV game show host, Donald Trump.
In the opening to his address, Trump exalted himself saying that “Unlike some, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up,” Which is true. If anything, showing up was the actual disappointment. His speech was littered with tiresome tirades that have been festering within the pro-gun community for decades.
For instance, Trump whined about what he called “a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda.” Which, of course, is what he and the NRA are doing. The allegedly “grotesque efforts” he is attacking actually reflect the majority will of the American people to prevent future massacres.
Then Trump added that “Even more repulsive is their rush to shift blame away from the villains who commit acts of mass violence and to place that blame onto the shoulders of millions of peaceful law abiding citizens who belong to organizations, such as our wonderful NRA.” Which, of course, no one is doing. Rather, concerned citizens are acknowledging the role that lax regulations and access to military-style assault weapons play in the body count of innocent victims of the “villains.”
Central to Trump’s message to the NRA-Theists is the classic gun-nut doctrine of absolving firearms of having any connection to the harm they cause, and chastising Democrats for daring to want to do something about it. Trump babbled that…
“Whatever our differences may be on other issues, what on Earth is stopping Democrats from immediately passing measures to ramp up school security? How many more tragedies will it take until they agree to set aside their far left political agenda and do what is really needed and actually works.
This is not about virtue cycling, and signing. This is about blaming your enemies. No, we don’t wanna do that. This is about saving our children’s lives. Yes, that’s what we want to do. Surely we can all agree that our schools should not be the softest target. Our schools should be the single hardest target in our country.”
TRUMP: "Whatever our differences may be on other issues, what on Earth is stopping Democrats from immediately passing measures to ramp up school security?" pic.twitter.com/xug21beodV
— Newsmax (@newsmax) May 27, 2022
Let’s unpack that nonsense step by step. To begin with, Trump’s citing security cannot be taken seriously when the Uvalde massacre occurred despite the presence of many police officers who were too scared to confront a perpetrator armed with an assault weapon. Secondly, what Trump is maligning as a “far left political agenda” is actually the mainstream view of most Americans. Thirdly, what works are measures that restrict easy access to weapons of war. Fourth, accepting the definition of schools as “targets,” whether soft or hard, is patently offensive. They are learning institutions, not battlefields or prisons. The teachers are not soldiers and the students are not combatants.
What’s more, it’s hard to ignore how Trump stumbles in his remarks in a manner that exposes his mental frailty when he gets to the part about “virtue cycling, and signing.” The words he is mangling off of his TelePrompTer is the phrase “virtue signaling,” a derogatory reference to expressions of moral character. No wonder Trump is so agitated by it that he can’t even utter it correctly. But then he goes on to positively embrace the notion that “This is about blaming your enemies.” But when he heard himself make that gaffe, he pretended, as he often does, that he did it on purpose. This is the “stable genius” speaking?
Both Trump and the NRA refuse to acknowledge that guns are a significant factor in tragedies like the one that just occurred un Uvalde. They prefer to blame mental health, an issue that they are also resistant to resolving. In fact, they deliberately make it worse. The first bill that Trump signed when he began his occupation of the White House was one that reversed an Obama-era regulation that restricted gun purchases by people with mental illnesses. And Texas governor Greg Abbott cut $211 million dollars from mental health care services in his state.
The one constant in all of this is the determination of the right to shield guns, and the corporations that manufacture and market them, from any and all responsibility for the pain they inflict on innocent victims, including children. And Trump is only to happy to obediently subjugate himself to his corporatist masters in order to secure their assistance in his quest for wealth and power.
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