These are sorrowful times in America.
Once again, tragedy hit the United States the weekend of August 4, when shootings rocked El Paso in Texas, and hours later in Dayton, Ohio. Sadly, these shootings in the U.S., orchestrated with the use of high-powered guns, some considered as weapons of war in the hands of civilians, have become all too familiar. At the Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, a city around the U.S.-Mexico border, 22 people were killed by a gunman who reportedly confessed hatred for Mexicans.
The shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed 9 people and injured 27, according to NBC News.
It’s been barely a few weeks since the tragic events happened. America appears to be moving on, until the next big tragic gun event occurs.
Plenty of blame for the events in El Paso and Dayton has been placed on U.S. President, Donald Trump, who many argue, has fueled hatred with his use of language which appears to demonize immigrants, especially Mexicans. The President has been accused by many on the left, and also some on the right, and within his own party, for being anti-immigrant and for being a racist, a white nationalist, accusations which the president and his allies have rejected.
Politicians, including Trump, and the members of the Republican party (GOP), the people who hold the levers of power in Washington, continue to waver on the issue of gun control. Accusations and plenty of back-and-forth remain on both sides of the political spectrum about who is to blame for an increase in gun violence and about how to deal with it.
Just as Democrats blame the GOP and their allies; including the National Rifle Association (NRA), for keeping gun laws lax, the GOP throws its own accusations against Democrats. They say, for example, that Democrats would repeal the second amendment to the American constitution, the right to bear arms, if Democrats had their way. So – there is a lock jam in American politics about the matter.
But those in the American homeland, as well as others, outside the homeland, know the U.S. has a problem with guns and mass shootings. Writing in Bloomberg, Esme E. Deprez says “Americans own more guns than anybody else on Earth, even adjusted for population.”
Today, many in America are scared, frightened about what is taking place, and are looking answers.
Writing on July 4, prior to the events in Texas and Ohio, Dave Perry, editor and publisher of the Aurora Sentinel newspaper, stated that since 2012, over 220,000 Americans have been killed by gunfire. Recounting the pain and sorrow that followed the July 20, 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Perry said the U.S. Congress and state legislatures have “allowed the gun industry, and the billions of dollars it commands to heat the nation out of meaningful, practical and effective gun control laws.”
Writing on August 6, about how the U.S. became a shithole country, in apparent reference to language President Trump has used in describing other nations, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post provided a list of the many nations that have recently issued warnings against travel to America because of gun violence. Milbank adds, “Suddenly, we’re the banana republic, and the rest of the world is warning about the dangerous and hate-filled place under President Trump’s administration. Pretty soon they’ll be warning visitors to boil drinking water and to take preventive antibiotics.”
In a screaming headline, August 22, USA Today newspaper wrote, “People are on Edge,” following the shooting in El Paso and Dayton. The newspaper asked the question, why, why, why?, as it sought answers from people in the community.
Some of these things could only be imaged in so-called third world countries. But the truth it, they are happening in America. For example, many have spoken out and continue to speak out against the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Yet, others are caught in a quandary, asking whether they should say something or not say something. The fear is often that people would alienate their family members and friends who belong on the other side of the gun issue, if they dare say what’s really on our minds.
Beyond the shootings, entire communities remain traumatized and in fear about what may come next. Latinos in America, for example, are in fear about what comes next when their families are being targeted. “The families are in trauma,” said Maria Hinojosa, host of Latino USA, speaking on National Public Radio show 1A on Friday, July 16. Hinojasa said she had traveled to Texas and saw how terrified the affected families were following the shootings.
Journalists and news managers are looking for ways to deal with the issue. Colorado Public Radio (CPR) launched a radio spot, an outreach effort, that asked Latinos in the community how they are being impacted by the recent shooting. The CPR organization also brought some experts and politicians together to discuss the subject of gun violence which continues to be a problem in the community.
Meanwhile Media Matters for America, the left-leaning journalistic organization focused its fire on Fox News, citing a press release from Hugo Balta, President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in America, in which the organization rescinded an invitation from Fox News, because of apparent negative commentary from Fox, which it says fuels hatred for Hispanics in America.
Citing the Associated Press, CBS17 in North Carolina, carried the headline “Hispanic journalist group returns Fox News conference money.” AP writer Jesse Holland wrote, “Critics say President Donald Trump and his hardline allies in conservative media have helped fuel a hostile environment against immigrants and Latinos. Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and has described migrants coming to the U.S. as “an invasion.”