In Guns We Trust
It’s been over two years since then 2016 Presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump made the infamous statement, "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters.” The statement was made during a campaign rally at the South Point Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in January of 2016.
U.S. voters elected that person to serve as President. America... this is our leader.
Since the Valentine's Day Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead and dozens wounded, the gun control debate has once again controlled headlines across our nation. Questions of how this can continue to happen in our schools is one that lingers due to inaction, and worries Americans that nothing will change.
Many teenage survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting massacre have assumed the role of leader and activist. Their passion is motivated by the deaths of their friends and classmates. Thousands of supporters, members of the community and fellow students used the opportunity to face gun control supporters at a town hall hosted by CNN.
Student, Cameron Kasky asked Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, “...Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?” The crowd applauded as Rubio answered, “...No. The answer to the question is that people buy into my agenda. And I do support the Second Amendment. And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe.”
But, is that true? Do people buy into Senator Rubio’s agenda, does he support the second Amendment and most importantly does he believe that everyone has the right to be able to go to school and be safe? Trump, along with his supporters such as Rubio, has continued to make claims to want to make America "great" despite their ongoing efforts to ignore more than half of America.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association of America ("NRA") addressed the nation at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland stating, “As usual, the opportunist wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain.” LaPierre continued, “They hate the NRA. They hate the second amendment. They hate individual freedom.”
Making claims of being able to shoot someone without repercussions isn’t ideal coming from a presidential hopeful, but it happened. Telling a crowd of grieving victims that the NRA should continue to receive deference because they support your agenda isn’t ideal, but it happened. Making false accusations that desiring a reduction of gun violence equates to hating the NRA or the Constitution, is morally bankrupt, but it happened.
The survivors and America are pleading for those who are in power to make a change, but instead, we’ve seen countless efforts of those in power trying to dismiss the students who survived this massacre. Are we shocked by the actions of the Trump administration?
America is watching.