It’s been over a year-and-a-half since thousands joined forces to attack the U.S. Capitol in a failed, but nonetheless bloody coup attempt. The violence on that day, the calls to ‘hang Mike Pence’, still makes me sick to my stomach. The fact that the attempted coup was approved of by the ‘man’ who called himself ‘president’ still gives me nightmares. Violence seems to follow Donald Trump wherever he goes, and he seems to incite a great deal of it. Since that fateful January 6th, violence and calls for violence have increased … even more so in response to a search warrant that was executed to retrieve national security documents Trump illegally stole from us and possibly shared.
Threats of political violence and actual attacks have become a steady reality of American life such that some days I feel we’re living in Somalia instead of the United States. And the violence isn’t all political … there have been 27 school shootings so far in the first 7 ½ months of 2022! School children!!! Yes, 27! No, you haven’t heard about all of them, for the media only makes a big deal if a relatively large number of children are killed such as was the case in Uvalde, Texas in May, but in total, 83 people, mostly children, have been shot in those 27 school shootings this year. Can’t blame these directly on politics, but you can sure as hell can blame the politicians who have consistently blocked any form of gun legislation such as banning assault weapons or far more stringent background checks. So, their answer is to arm all teachers … put even more guns into the hands of people unqualified to have them!
The political violence, however, is out of control and the feeding frenzy isn’t helped by social media, certain mainstream media outlets, and the politicians who keep telling people that the ‘other’ party is the one responsible for all of our woes.
A man named Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Donald Trump, posted the names and personal information of the FBI Agents who assisted in the execution of the search warrant to retrieve classified documents from the home of Donald Trump. He even included the social media account of one of the agent’s children! Within minutes, the families of these agents began receiving death threats. DEATH THREATS … against the families of law enforcement agents who were merely doing their jobs!
After the brutal murder of George Floyd in 2020, there were numerous Black Lives Matter protest that were, for the most part, peaceful. What little violence there was, was property damage, not lives threatened. But people were up in arms because the protests existed. Yet some of the same people who hated on Black Lives Matter protestors are the very ones cheering those who are threatening civil war, threatening to execute Merrick Garland! So … apparently they aren’t against violence at all, but are just against Black people, against LGBTQ people, and against anyone who attempts to hold the ‘man’ they have put on a pedestal accountable for his actions. And speaking of the LGBTQ community …
In late June, a former Marine stepped down as the grand marshal of a July 4th parade in Houston after a deluge of threats that focused on her support of transgender rights. A few weeks later, the gay mayor of an Oklahoma city quit his job after what he described as a series of “threats and attacks bordering on violence.” A five-year-old girl was evicted from her kindergarten because her parents are gay. As I reported a week or so ago, a town in Michigan will shut down its library because the library refuses to ban books by LGBTQ authors or about LGBTQ people or issues!
The judge who signed the warrant to search Trump’s home for the missing classified documents is now receiving death threats, as is his family after some on social media called for a “rope around his neck”. Then Fox “News” exacerbated the situation by posting a photoshopped fake picture of the judge sprawled out with Ghislaine Maxwell giving him a foot massage. These are the kinds of things that stir the masses and get people KILLED!!!
Political violence, racial violence, school shootings … what the Sam Hell has this nation turned into??? What are we humans turning into??? Have we sold our humanity downriver, traded it for bigotry, hatred and violence???
I don’t have any answers, my friends. We can … we must … each do our part by controlling our own tempers, by shutting down any conversations where someone is speaking of or calling for a violent act, but that isn’t going to be enough to solve the problem. We can report those we see on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, but that still won’t solve the problem. I think the answer lies in a direction none of us particularly want to go, but that perhaps we must go, and that is to put some limitations on the 1st Amendment right to free speech. I don’t like it anymore than you do, but as I’ve long said, every right comes with an accompanying responsibility, and the people of this nation have abused the right without accepting the responsibility. It is highly irresponsible, criminal even, to call for violence, to call for someone’s ‘execution’ just because you don’t like what he says or does. We absolutely MUST start holding social media outlets and mainstream news accountable to a higher standard than they currently observe.
And … I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say this, but we must have some gun control laws that do something more than pay lip service!!! Ban assault weapons altogether! Deny a gun to anybody who has even a single incidence of violent behaviour. Raise the gun ownership age to 25! Yes, 25! And make gun ownership a “one strike, you’re out” thing. We have to do this!!! And we must make the punishment for any violent act so harsh that it actually serves as a deterrent! Every person who was in the Capitol on January 6th without authorization should automatically be serving a 5-year prison sentence. Those who had weapons or harmed anyone should be in prison for 20 years, no exceptions. If the price of violence is high enough, people will think before they mouth off or worse yet, grab their guns and go on a shooting spree!
I’ve said it enough times, but I’ll keep on saying it … VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!! We are truly, and this is not hyperbole, turning into a third-world nation where random shootings are becoming the norm, where even children are targets, and where nobody is quite safe anywhere anymore. Write to your Senators and Representatives and tell them that THEY have the power to make changes and they damn well better do it NOW!!! I really don’t know what more we can do, but we better start doing something.