Regarding the recent mass-shootings, Mr. Trump said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families ... we are here for you." First of all, prayers have been empirically proven to do nothing as evidenced by shooting after shooting and thoughts are meaningless unless followed by action. And ... no Mr. Trump, you aren't here for us. You have kowtowed to the NRA and now Mitch McConnell has refused to bring sensible gun legislation to the floor of the Senate for a vote. We have tried easy access to guns and that has resulted in the United States being the leader in mass shootings as compared to other comparable developed nations. Simply put: If easy access to guns made us safer we would have the lowest death by gun rate, not the highest.

Mr. Trump also stated that the shooter in El Paso posted a hate-filled manifesto. That statement is especially ironic since the manifesto contained many of the same words and phrases that Trump uses to gin-up his base as he prepares for the 2020 election. Mr. Trump is excellent at the art of diversion as he blames everything but loose gun control laws. Violent games and movies have been proven in study after study to have zero effect on gun violence and is simply a red herring used to divert attention from the real problem. Canada has virtually the same exact hunting and social culture in terms of video games and movies and yet they have a small fraction of the gun deaths (even after adjusting for population size) that we in the USA have. Mr. Trump's racist and rhetoric has added to our culture of violence and given his followers a green light regarding actions directed against those who do not fit Trump's ideal of an all white America. Will gun safety laws solve all our problems? The answer is no but proposed gun laws are the only laws held to a standard of 100% deterrence.

A journey of a million miles begins with but a single step and law-abiding gun owners should have no problem dealing with minor inconveniences in order to promote public safety and no gun safety law will stand if it conflicts with the Second Amendment. Meanwhile, an immediate first step would be for Mr. Trump to, for once, put our country over his politics by stopping his race baiting.

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Thomas Hanley


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