A Narcissistic Sociopath Reacts to A Gun Massacre (Anatomy of a Trump Tweet).

by Pitt Griffin on June 11, 2019 · 0 comments

in Guns, Trump presidency

A disgruntled employee takes his second amendment rights down to his place of work and massacres 12 people. The reactions are typical, liberals demand action, conservative offer mealy-mouthed pap. Not to be left out, Trump weighed in with a tweet this morning, a day after the event:

Spoke to Virginia Governor @RalphNortham last night, and the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Virginia Beach this morning, to offer condolences to that great community. The Federal Government is there, and will be, for whatever they may need. God bless the families and all!

He starts with what he did. Already the subject of the piece is the author. He goes on to enumerate all the people he talked to as if to stress how hard he had been working — padding out his work like a lazy school-kid. 

He could have started with: “I offer my condolences to that great community” — which, even though it still starts with “I”, offers an action that focuses the attention on the people at the center of the deed. 

Next, he leaves unsaid what he is offering condolences for. Or even for whom. Who are the “families and all”? What happened to them? I am sure if the disaster were a tornado strike, he would have alluded to the tornado. But because it is another mass shooting — inconvenient to his political narrative — he omits the reason for his tweet. 

Which brings us to the next part — the big lie. The usual fig leaf for the politician who plans to do nothing is “thoughts and prayers”. But that has been so thoroughly derided only the most God besotted offer that vacuous sentiment anymore.

In its place, Trump offers the meaningless pablum: “The Federal Government is there, and will be, for whatever they may need.” As tragic as it is, this massacre doesn’t need a material response. There is little structural damaged. The four injured are being attended to. The 12 dead are beyond care. The FBI has already contributed to the forensic investigation.

The community doesn’t need more federal help, but America does. And nowhere does Trump allude to that.   

Part of the federal government’s constitutional responsibility — spelled out in the preamble —  is to “insure domestic Tranquility … [&] … promote the general Welfare”. The government isn’t supposed to sit around and wait in case someone asks for help. Its responsibility is to address national crises — like the epidemic of gun violence.

But when it comes to that, whether it be high-profile massacres or the far greater, but less noteworthy, daily grind of gun violence, the Republicans lie passive, hunkered down, waiting for the storm to pass. 

Trump may see threats from brown asylum seekers, trade partners, long-term allies and the ‘deep state’ but he, along with his fellow right-wing travelers, ignore the clear and present danger of lunatics, domestic abusers, violent men, and domestic terrorists with unfettered access to guns.

There is no panacea. The pro-death, gun-lobby will say that this law or that regulation couldn’t have prevented this murder or that massacre. And often they will be right. Even Japan, with few guns and a pro-life culture, still has gun murders. But to say that smarter gun laws wouldn’t prevent any of the c.40,000 annual gun deaths is absurd.

Even a 5% reduction would save 2,000 lives — that’s 40 fewer grieving families a week.

But Trump has no intention that his words should imply he will do anything. Any more than the mouthing of “thoughts and prayers” were a call to action.

Here ends the tweet analysis. Following is an opinion from Antoin Scalia gun zealots won’t like.

Barroom lawyers with a GED join conservative ‘scholars’ who protest that nothing can be done because the second amendment is ‘clear’. To them, the right to own guns is sacrosanct. No law shall be passed which inconveniences the potential gun owner. The rights of the potential packer take precedence over the lives of school kids and office workers.

But Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia — a conservative textualist, a constitutional originalist and a juror who opined that the second amendment guaranteed the right of an individual to own a gun — did not agree. In the Heller vs. DC decision, Scalia wrote that although 2A did grant the individual gun rights it did allow limits placed on these rights.

To wit, he wrote, “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited”. It is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”.

Bans on semi-automatics, large magazines, ‘cop-killing’ bullets, etc. pass constitutional muster.

Further, he added: “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

The meaning is clear, universal background checks, waiting periods, ‘red-flag’ laws are constitutionally permissible. And they are a valid reason to deny ownership to felons, maniacs, and people intending harm to themselves or others.

Lastly, Scalia pours cold water over the idea that guns should be allowed everywhere.

Ironically, the gun debate has moved so far right that Scalia’s position on the second amendment now sounds more liberal than conservative. 

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