Day 926: Another mass shooting by a white domestic terrorist. Trump has mostly ignored it.
He moved on from the El Paso shooting to focus on a UFC fight in 14 minutes.
Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Aurora, and so many more. Saturday, tragically, El Paso was added to the list of cities that have suffered mass shootings in recent years when a domestic terrorist killed at least 20 and wounded at least 26 more at a Walmart in the border town.
The suspect is a 21-year-old white male, who likely drove many hours to get to El Paso. .The suspect appears to be a white nationalist who targeted El Paso because of its heavy makeup of Hispanics.
“…El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen confirmed earlier reports that authorities are looking at what appears to be a manifesto that the suspect posted shortly before the shooting. “Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree a nexus to a potential hate crime,” Allen said.
Although nothing is confirmed, online sources quickly linked to a four-page document posted on 4chan and 8chan and other places online. Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” the document is an anti-immigrant screed that takes particular aim at the Hispanic community and expresses support for the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter who opened fire at two mosques in March and killed 51 people. “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” begins the screed. The manifesto includes lots of white supremacist language, such as claiming that the writer was “against race mixing.” It hardly seems a coincidence, then, that the shooting took place in El Paso, a city that is just across the border from Mexico.
While the suspect’s social media accounts were quickly pulled down, according to Slate, “[h]e liked tweets that had the #BuildtheWall hashtag as well as “a photo using guns to spell out ‘Trump,’ and posts from Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right Youtuber who works with Alex Jones at InfoWars,” notes the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Donald Trump finally weighed in on the attacks, many hours after the rampage was over.
However, just 14 minutes later — 14 minutes! — he was focused on a UFC fight (while also retweeting and praising his supporters).
He was so focused on the fight, and not El Paso, that he even spoke with Colby Covington after his Saturday win.
The shooter seems, at the very least, to have been emboldened by Trump’s rhetoric. He was a fan of Trump. The pot of shit that Trump has stirred for years came to a boil in a border town Saturday. And rather than acting even slightly contrite, or having a moment of quiet reflection, or offering actual empathy to the victims, Trump wanted to focus on himself and a mixed martial arts fight because the dude that won likes to wear a MAGA hat.
And while Texas’ governor Greg Abbott spoke solemnly about the shooting as well, he has been pushing for Texans to buy even more guns for years. He’s firmly in the NRA’s pocket and proud of it.
Abbott asked for prayers and hugs, as if that will bring any shooting victim back. He added not a word about guns, but mentioned plenty about mental health, one of the go-to crutches for the GOP in times like this.
To be clear, all of the typical-GOP talking points were exposed as shams on Saturday. Thoughts and prayers saved no one in this cowardly attack, and they won’t save anyone from the inevitable next one. Guns were easily accessible and used with ruthless efficiency. No “good guy with a gun” could save anyone, despite the prevalence of open carry and concealed carry holders in Texas. “Mental illness” is already being cited, but this appears to be a horrible act committed by a hateful person. If mental illness is as big a problem as elected officials like to claim, every single one of them should be pushing for substantially enhanced background checks for would-be purchasers.
Meanwhile, while the shooting was going on, Trump’s campaign was spreading the usual “Democrats will steal your guns” narrative.
Sadly, if nothing changed after Sandy Hook or Parkland or any of the other shootings, nothing will change after El Paso. There will be more statements calling for thoughts and prayers, but that’s more worthless than the paper they’re written on.
926 days in, 536 to go