U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on Aug. 5 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Fairfax Senior High School

Opinion: Don’t blame Trump for mass shootings

Over the month of August, we have witnessed two horrific events unfold in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. We saw two deranged males go out and open fire in public killing 22 in a Walmart, according to ABC News. Nine innocent people lost their lives in Dayton, Ohio, according to CNN.

The instant reaction from these two shootings was horror, anguish, and ultimately trying to find someone to blame. Many in the media and people alike have started to blame President Trump for the attacks.

A lot of news networks pointed to the El Paso shooter’s manifesto that “is filled with white supremacist language and racist hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos,” and the author says he opposes “race mixing” and “encourages immigrants to return to their home countries,” according to CNN.

These types of comments bring up an image of the president who has said some controversial statements regarding illegal immigrants, typically of those of Latino descent.

However, despite these racially inflamed comments that this deranged shooter made, blame should not be on the President. At the end of the day, the President has never publicly told any of his supporters to go out and shoot Latinos. Yes President Trump has made some controversial comments, but to blame the President for the horrific deaths of 22 innocent lives is a step too far.

The media at large seems to only target Trump when one of the right wing, “alt-right,” white-supremacist, or his supporter carries out a gruesome act and blames it all on the President. Just reading the morning headlines, they were all blaming Trump for his rhetoric or what not for these shootings.

For example: the New York Times reported “El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language,” Business Insider’s headline read “Trump’s tweet laying blame on media echoes El Paso shooter,” and Fox News reported “Beto O’Rourke says Trump’s rhetoric in part to blame for El Paso Mass Shooting.” A cultural reckoning over a president’s language as critics tie shooting to hateful rhetoric, and the list goes on!

However, the media seems to never blame whoever the shooter supported whenever they were left-wing. For example, the Dayton shooter was actually very left-wing. His Twitter account is full of retweets supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, according to CNN.

Are Sanders and Warren to blame for the shooting because the shooter agreed with certain aspects of their policy just like the El Paso shooter did with the President?

In Tacoma, Washington, a man who declared himself to be affiliated with ANTIFA or Anti-Fascists opened fire and threw incendiary devices at the ICE Facility in Tacoma according to Fox News. He was open about his hatred for the police and ICE and dubbed the facilities that were storing migrants on the southern border as “concentration camps” which was a term that has been used by “the Squad,” who is made up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressely. Is the squad to blame for this man’s act of terror?

At a practice for a Congressional Baseball Game in 2017, a man shot 70 rounds of ammunition into the GOP practice injuring many and critically injuring representative Steve Scalise according to CNN. CNN reported that the shooter was “espousing strong support for Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.” Is Senator Sanders to blame for this horrific attack that almost took the lives of many GOP senators?

In Texas and New York during the Obama administration, police officers were murdered by police-hating men, according to The Hill. During this time, Obama had been ramping up his anti-police rhetoric and even the the head of a law enforcement advocacy group to blame Obama for a “war on cops,” according to Politico. Is it Obama’s fault or Black Lives Matter for the taking of innocent cop lives because the shooters affiliated themselves with the two?

We as a people need to draw a line when it comes to the shooter’s motives and their political affiliation. The rush to attribute responsibility for mass atrocities to one’s political opponents is deeply grotesque and a nasty way to score political points and popularity.

Blaming politicians because we disagree with them or that we don’t like their comments is not a productive way to start conversation to promote new legislation to propose more gun control or new laws. We as a country must realize that blaming Trump or whoever is not only unproductive, but won’t solve a thing.

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