Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 10, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, August 10, 2019 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee


We’re at a turning point. 


We’re again at a moment 
in our nation’s history 
where we can decide who we are as a people, 
what matters most and what kind of country we 
want to hand to our children.

Are we again going to be a state and nation that 
passively bears witness to carnage in our streets? 
In our shopping malls? Our schools? Our houses 
of worship? Our bars and restaurants? Or are 
we simply going to shrug, throw our hands in 
the air, and conclude once again that this is just 
the price of being an American?

The decisions our elected leaders make over the 
coming days and weeks on whether to debate 
proposals that are so common sense, so basic, 
so simple that we shouldn’t even have to debate 
them will be our legacy to history, our grant to 

Again, we find ourselves asking simple questions. 
They’re the ones we failed to answer after 
Sandy Hook, Orlando, San Bernardino, Las 
Vegas, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, and Parkland 
- after every mass shooting that’s shattered lives 
and families, destroyed bodies, and upended entire 

And they’re the ones we fail to answer every day, 
when people are gunned down in violent events 
that are all too routine in cities like Philadelphia.

Do we surrender to fear? Do we give into hopelessness? 
Do we let violence triumph over that 
most fundamental of American rights, the one 
that Gov. Pennsylvania Tom Wolf alluded to 
during a packed rally in the state Capitol rotunda 
on Wednesday evening - the right to life, 
liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

“We all live in the same country,” Wolf said, answering 
a critic in the crowd. “We have the right 
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. … 
We’re not trying to take anybody’s rights away. 
We’re trying to preserve our own.”

That’s the only answer that matters. The only 
one that makes any sense.

We’re talking about approving universal 
background checks, which, in poll after poll, 
Americans support in overwhelming numbers 
- irrespective of their party affiliation or tribal 

We’re talking about authorizing so-called “red 
flag” laws that would allow police and loved 
ones to obtain a court order, while respecting 
due process, to seize someone’s guns if they 
think that person poses a risk to themselves or 
to others.

The laws work. Look to Connecticut and Indiana, 
where studies have shown a reduction in 

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania 
is leading the push for expanded background 
checks on his side of Capitol Hill. The Senate 
also has a more vigorous background checks bill 
approved by the House.

So far, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch 
McConnell has proven stubbornly resistant to 
bring the House bill to a vote. But with control 
of the Senate on the line in 2020, Republicans 
could pay a dear price for inaction. McConnell 
has to know that.

But even if Congress does vote, it’s an open 
question whether President Donald Trump - 
who has supported reform measures in the past, 
only to wilt in the face of NRA pressure - would 
even sign the bills if they made it to his desk.

Trump, who shattered his call for civility on social 
media almost as soon as he made it this week, 
cannot be looked upon as an honest broker.

But something has to change.

Otherwise, what do we say to the next Julia Mallory, 
a Harrisburg mom whose 17-year-old son, 
Julian, was gunned down in 2017? The young 
man was “peacemaker” with a community advocacy 
group known as Breaking the Chainz. 
Do we say, “Tough luck? We tried? You’re on 
your own?”

What do we say to the classroom teachers like 
Lauren Peck, of the activist group Moms Demand 
Action, who has to swallow back her own 
fear so that she can be a self-described “superhero” 
to her child and to her middle-school 

Those are choices we should never have to ask 
our parents, our educators, our middle-school 
kids to make. But every time we fail to act, that’s 
exactly what we do.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’re at a 
turning point.


We have the solutions within reach, a remedy 
within our grasp. There’s only one path forward. 
We have to be brave enough to take it.

It shouldn’t be this hard.

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Amidst the latest bloodshed - the worst of it triggered 
by a white racist domestic terrorist whose El 
Paso manifesto echoes Trump’s racist rhetoric - I bet 
you’re jonesing for some good news. I’m happy to 
share what I have. Admittedly it isn’t much, but at 
this point we should probably be grateful whenever 
a few Republicans wake up and smell their party’s 
white supremacist stench.

“The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy 
in our country. As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s 
the truth,” wrote Nebraska state senator John McCollister. “We have a 
Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base. He 
calls certain countries ‘sh*tholes,’ tells women of color to ‘go back’ to 
where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth.”

Senator Ted Cruz - yes, Cruz - said on Sunday morning, “What we saw 
yesterday was a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy. There is 
no place for this in El Paso, in Texas, or anywhere across our nation.”

And early Monday morning, the conservative, pro-GOP Washington 
Examiner posted an editorial that assailed El Paso’s “white nationalist 
terrorist,” and declared: “Some conservatives and Republicans have hesitated 
to acknowledge that this a growing scourge, but after El Paso any 
such reluctance is unacceptable … Trump needs to make clear that he 
hates white nationalism as something un-American and evil.”

So at least some on the right are finally speaking out, but rest assured, 
they won’t get much help from Trump, who on Monday blamed the 
slaughter of Hispanics on the media and “fake news.” 

The problem for Trump is that “The Media” accurately showed him at 
a May 8 Florida rally railing about immigrants crossing the border, and 
when he asked, “How do we stop these people?” somebody yelled, “Shoot 
them!” - and when his cultists laughed, cheered, and applauded, the cameras 
caught him smirking. He didn’t admonish the crowd, he indulged 
it: “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”

 “The Media” has given him ample opportunity to renounce his incendiary 
bigotry. On the White House lawn last Thursday, as he prepared 
to leave for another rally, he was asked how he’d respond if the crowd 
chanted that four Democratic congresswomen of color should go back 
to where they came from. Instead of saying that the chant was racist, that 
the four women were Americans, he said this: “I don’t know if you can 
stop people (from chanting). You know what my message is? I love them, 
and I think they really love me.”

 Trump didn’t order the El Paso shooter onto the killing field. But ever 
since he descended his escalator in June 2015 to attack Mexico for sending 
“criminals” and “rapists,” he has given verbal aid and comfort to aspiring 
white domestic terrorists. The shooter’s manifesto assails an Hispanic 
“invasion,” echoing a word that surfaces in a number of Trump 
tweets. The shooter also once retweeted a photo of the word “Trump” 
spelled out in firearms. 

 Trump himself has long winked at the potential for violence. Meanwhile, 
his regime has cut off funding to a national terrorism database 
that has charted the rise of right-wing domestic terrorism. You have to be 
willfully dense, or deep in denial, to not connect the dots - case in point, 
acting Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who said “no politician is to 
blame” for El Paso.

 David French, a conservative lawyer who writes for the conservative 
National Review, has connected those dots. On Monday, he pointed out 
that the rise of the violent right is “directly related” to Trump’s rhetoric.

 “Most Americans remember the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in 
Pittsburgh. Do you remember the white supremacist who killed a black 
man in New York with a sword? Do you remember the attempted church 
massacre in Kentucky, where a white supremacist who couldn’t gain access 
to the church gunned down two black victims at a Kroger grocery 
story instead? Do you remember that a member of an ‘alt-Reich’ Facebook 
group stabbed a black Maryland college student to death without 
provocation, or that a white man in Kansas shouted ethnic slurs before 
shooting two Indian engineers in a bar, killing one?” French wrote. “Substitute 
‘jihadist’ for ‘white supremacist’ or ‘white nationalist’ and then 
imagine how we’d act.”

 Monday from the Oval Office, Trump read from his TelePrompTer and 
said that white supremacy is bad. We’ll soon find out whether he has the 
gravitas to say that to his rally fans.

If the circumstances weren’t so awful, the 
predictability of the response would almost 
be laughable.

Every mass shooting inspires new calls 
for gun control, as politicians and pundits 
retreat to their partisan bunkers and lob 
blame where they believe it will do the most 

I believe in the Constitution, though I don’t 
view every piece of legislation designed to 
keep firearms out of the hands of criminals 
or the unstable as a slippery slope toward repeal 
of the Second Amendment.

It seems pretty naive to think that someone 
bent on mass murder is going to forget the 
whole thing because he can’t get his hands 
on a particular weapon. Criminals tend to 
be resourceful. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 
people in Oklahoma City and never fired a 

“Assault weapon” is a made-up political 
term designed to expand the list of firearms 
that gun control proponents believe should 
be banned. The AR-15, which is a hunting rifle, 
falls into this category. It fires one round 
at a time, like a pistol or a revolver. It can fire 
about 50 rounds in a minute as opposed to a 
fully automatic, military issue carbine which 
fires about 1,000 rounds per minute. The 
U.S. banned the sale of new, fully automatic 
weapons in 1986. 

You want to ban the AR-15? Fine. There are 
tens of millions of legally-owned AR-15s in 
the U.S. And keep in the mind that the man 
responsible for the deadliest school shooting 
in American history - Virginia Tech in 2007 
- used two handguns.

So-called “red flag” laws, which President 
Trump supports, and more expansive background 
checks make sense. Seventeen states 
already have a red flag laws, which allows for 
a court order to prevent someone deemed a 
danger to himself or others from having access 
to a firearm. 

That’s a start, though it will be difficult to 
move forward, mostly because of the shameful 
politicization of the issue. Within minutes 
of the shooting in El Paso, Democratic 
presidential candidates were blaming the 

If that’s the case then perhaps we should 
blame the left for the Dayton shooter who, 
according to published reports, was a socialist, 
gun control advocate and Elizabeth Warren 
supporter. We can also blame the left for 
the man who shot up a Washington D.C. 
baseball field and tried to kill several Republican 
members of Congress in 2017. The 
shooter once worked for Bernie Sanders. Or 
maybe we can blame President Obama and 
his criticism of police for inspiring a gunman 
to kill five cops in Dallas in 2016. 

I don’t buy it.

And the reality is that while mass shootings 
generate the most attention, 
we’re killing 
each other in ways 
and places that inspire 
a conspicuous 
lack of outrage.

Since the infamous 
clock tower shooting 
on the University 
of Texas campus in 1966, there have been 
165 mass shootings in the U.S., according 
to an analysis by the Washington Post. For 
purposes of the analysis, a mass shooting is 
defined as one in which four or more people 
are killed by a single shooter. The analysis 
does not include domestic or gang-related 

Using the Post’s criteria, 1,196 people in the 
U.S. have been killed in mass shootings since 

In 2018, the number of homicides - by firearms 
or otherwise - in Chicago, Philadelphia 
and Baltimore totaled 1,223.

Over the weekend in Chicago, 53 people 
were shot, seven killed. You probably haven’t 
heard much about it.

I’m more interested in why we’re killing 
each other wholesale, on a daily basis, rather 
than how we’re doing it.

Perhaps we need to look deeper than the 
simplistic explanations - political rhetoric, 
social media, video games, the availability 
of firearms - and consider a society in which 
people are willing to take lives without considering 
the impact or the consequences.

We dismiss the presence of evil in the world 
until a massacre reveals it in neon. And soon 
after, we dismiss it again.

 We foster a culture of victimhood, where 
our dissatisfaction with life is always someone 
else’s fault.

 We lack empathy for those who disagree 
with us.

 We value revenge over forgiveness. 

 We talk about diversity only as it relates to 
physical characteristics; never diversity of 
thought or opinion.

 We allow our children to retreat into the 
isolation of virtual world, devoid of genuine 
human interaction.

 We fight the rule of law and wonder why 
our young people don’t respect authority.

 We dethrone God and exalt ourselves.

As Christians, we do a great job of telling 
people what they shouldn’t be doing and a 
lousy job of showing them Jesus.

Yes, the one who pulled the trigger is ultimately 
responsible and accountable.

Maybe the rest of us need to look in the 

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