Tag Archives: Dayton shooting

Mr. President, the docs didn’t leave patients to shake your hand

Mr. President, your penchant for disgracing your office is utterly boundless.

You say that doctors in El Paso and Dayton left their patients’ side to greet you as you entered their hospitals? Is that right?

Your visit to the latest cities victimized by mass slaughter of people through gun violence was not about you, Mr. President … no matter what you might want us to believe. It ostensibly was about the victims, their loved ones and the communities that are grieving to this moment over the senseless loss of innocent lives.

Yet you continue to lie with a straight face. No doctor worth his or her medical experience would ever leave a patient while performing surgery. Especially to greet you, for crying out loud!

Your narcissism, your self-aggrandizing proclivities, your egomaniacal statements in the face of national tragedy simply demonstrates — as if we needed more demonstration — your abject unfitness for your high office.

“Our physicians and staff at no time leave an active operating room, procedural area or patient room to greet anyone,” said a spokesman for Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

I choose to believe him. Not you.

Speak to us, Mr. President, about violence against Latinos

Mr. President, your silence is giving me a headache.

The gunman who opened fire on Latinos at the Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, allegedly had declared his intention to “kill as many Mexicans as possible.” He allegedly was motivated by your own rhetoric that many of us have deemed to be hateful toward people of Latin American descent.

So the gunman took matters into his own hands, allegedly.

Why haven’t you spoken out? Why have you declined to categorically declare that you — the president of the United States — will not tolerate hateful actions against Latinos.

Yes, I saw your speech at the White House the other day. I heard you declare that the nation must fight against intolerance and hate. The nation, Mr. President? Yes, that’s right.

What about you, sir? What is going to be your role in that fight? Are you going to lead that fight? Will you speak directly and personally to the pain you are feeling — if you’re feeling it — in the wake of this monstrous act of hate?

Your visit to El Paso and earlier to Dayton, the other community that mourns the deaths of those at the hands of another lunatic gunman, didn’t go well. You must know what we’re saying about all of that out here.

What are you going to do to repair the grievous damage that has been? I am not going to lay the direct blame at your feet for the deaths of those folks. I do believe your rhetoric has played a role.

It now falls on you, Mr. President, to speak directly to what has occurred … and why.

I am prepared to wait for as long as it takes. That, of course, depends on whether the silence-induced headache gets the better of me.

Picture speaks volumes about POTUS’s unfitness

This picture well might provide one of the most glaring examples I can imagine of Donald Trump’s unfitness for the presidency of the United States.

There he is, standing alongside first lady Melania Trump. They were visiting El Paso, Texas, on what was billed as a mission to lend aid and comfort to those who experienced the horrific massacre at the Wal-Mart shopping center this past weekend.

The moment demanded solemnity. It required the president to embrace family members. To tell them he supports them.

So … what does the first couple do? They pose for pictures that included an infant who was made an orphan when his parents were killed by the lunatic who opened fire at the Wal-Mart complex.

Don’t they look happy? Aren’t they just so darn full of good cheer? Is that the image they should project while the nation mourns the deaths inflicted in El Paso and also in Dayton, Ohio? I’ll answer the final question: Hell … no!

When the president’s critics talk about his lack of empathy, his inability — or unwillingness — to express authentic sorrow, this is the image they might use to illustrate the point.

The baby has no idea what has happened. That is not even close to the point! My point is that president and the first lady ventured to the latest “ground zero” of gun violence in the United States. Twenty-two people died at the hands of a madman. There is mounting evidence that the shooter was inspired by the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has come from the president.

Has the president owned any of that? Has he suggested even the slightest hint of remorse or regret at the things he has said that could have spawned such insanity? No. He has not done anything of the sort.

The job of president compels the president at times of national grief and shock to speak from his heart. It’s an unwritten part of his job description, but it’s there. Did the president deliver on that responsibility? No. He went to El Paso and Dayton and sought to turn the tours of both cities into self-serving testimonials.

Then he grins like a doofus in the presence of an infant who is going to grow up never remembering the man and woman who brought him into the world, two victims of gun violence gunned down in the worst slaughter ever inflicted on the Latino community.

Absolutely sickening.

POTUS’s ‘outreach’ didn’t go well, or so we must presume

Donald Trump’s attempted outreach to two stricken American communities appears to have not gone according to plan.

I say “appears” because the White House did something quite unusual. It didn’t allow live coverage of the events involving the president. Instead, it released video prepared for public consumption.

You know the drill. El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio were victimized by lunatic gunmen. Twenty-two people died in El Paso; the suspect is a reputed anti-immigrant zealot from North Texas whose actions appear to have been inspired by the president’s own fiery anti-immigrant rhetoric. Nine more died in Dayton later the same day; the gunman there was shot to death by police just seconds after the loon opened fire.

Trump decided to go to the cities ostensibly to lend comfort. It didn’t go well.

Reports indicate he had a cordial meeting with the Dayton mayor and other public officials. Then he tweeted messages en route to El Paso aboard Air Force One criticizing them and the media coverage of the Dayton visit. Good grief, man!

Then he went to El Paso. Reports came out today that said several of the victims who are hospitalized refused to meet with the president. A spokeperson referred to the terrible stress the victims are enduring, suggesting they were too traumatized to meet with the president of the United States. OK. Whatever.

I am trying to recall a time when a president of the United States experienced such profound repudiation from communities stricken in the manner that befell El Paso and Dayton. I cannot remember it happening. Not to President Reagan, or President Clinton, or President Bush 43 or President Obama.

This president, though, is different in every manner one can imagine. The chilly reception well might have something to do with the way he sought to compare the reception he got in El Paso with what greeted Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, when he poked fun at the “meager” crowd that O’Rourke allegedly attracted.

How in the name of self-indulgent narcissism does a president say such a thing in public, out loud at a time he should be concentrating solely on the victims? I guess it has something to do with what has been undeniable for a very long time: Donald Trump does not possess the capacity for empathy.


Rep. Taylor is feeling the pain a little more deeply

I spoke by phone today with U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, the newly elected congressman from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Taylor is a young freshman Republican in the People’s House. He didn’t say so directly, but I am sensing a deep personal pain in the wake of the El Paso massacre that erupted over the weekend, mere hours before another gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine victims. Twenty-two people died at the hands of a lunatic who allegedly traveled more than 600 miles to El Paso to do harm to “as many Mexicans as possible.”

Why is Taylor feeling so much pain? The alleged shooter is a constituent of the congressman.

The alleged gunman graduated from Plano High School. He had lived with his grandparents in Allen, which is right next door to Plano.

Rep. Taylor told me that the act of one individual shouldn’t tar an entire community. He spoke to me today of the standard of living in Plano, how it ranks highly among cities of comparable size in any study one can name. It has a stellar per-capita income, along with the education level of its residents, he said.

One man’s moronic outburst doesn’t tar the community. That’s what I heard Van Taylor say this morning.

He hasn’t visited El Paso in the wake of the massacre. I am not sure when he’ll go. Taylor did tell me he has spoken with El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, with whom he served briefly in the Texas Legislature.

I ended up telling Taylor that I was “in your corner.” I am pulling for him and his colleagues as they seek answers to this dual-track tragedy. I only intend to demand them to explore deeply any possible avenue they can to curb this gun-violence insanity.

Indeed, I believe this young man is hurting.

If only POTUS could ever learn from his predecessors

Donald Trump ventured today to two American cities that are suffering intense emotional pain.

He went to Dayton, Ohio and then to El Paso, Texas, communities ripped to pieces by gunmen. One’s motives remain unclear. The other one, the young man who killed 22 people in El Paso, was fueled by hatred of Mexican immigrants. He drove to El Paso from North Texas intent on, as he told police, “killing as many Mexicans as possible.”

Donald Trump ventured to those cities today, ostensibly to lend support and comfort. It remains to be seen whether this president has a hint of compassion anywhere within him.

Indeed, he fired off Twitter messages blasting Democrats, the media, and assorted critics who said he was unwelcome, particularly in El Paso. Why? The Latino community has been subjected to insults and invective from Trump, and millions of Americans believe the shooter was inspired by Trump’s angry rhetoric aimed at the Latino community.

So … he came to Texas after visiting Ohio. Is this man capable of performing his unwritten role as Comforter in Chief?

I doubt it strongly.

I am thinking at this moment of a previous president who was damn good at talking exclusively to those who were in pain. Indeed, there have been many presidents who’ve exhibited that skill. President Reagan showed it when the Challenger exploded on liftoff; President George W. Bush stood among the rubble at Ground Zero and rallied the nation with the bullhorn and his arm draped around the shoulder of a firefighter; President Obama went to the church in Charleston, S.C., where a racist gunman killed nine worshipers and led the congregation in singing “Amazing Grace.”

I want to talk about President Clinton. He had his Comforter in Chief moment, too, in April 1995 when the bomber blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The president spoke to us from his heart. He called on our better angels.

I am reminded at this moment of an anecdote that former U.S. Rep. Larry Combest once told me. Combest was a West Texas Republican congressman who opposed Bill Clinton repeatedly on policy matters. He voted to impeach the president in 1998.

However, Combest held a healthy respect for Clinton’s ability to hear you. Combest told me that the president possessed a unique skill of talking to someone as if the two of them were the only people on Earth. Combest said, “I know because he did that with me … in the White House.”

We need that skill now from the president of the United States. We do not need a thin-skinned individual who cannot cease sending Twitter taunts to his foes, or cannot stop dividing this nation along racial and ethnic lines.

‘El Paso Strong’ stands as a powerful rallying cry

A community in far West Texas is reeling. Twenty-two people died over the weekend at the hands of a madman who opened fire at a Wal-Mart shopping center.

I am struck by a couple of elements about that community’s response to what befell it.

One is the insistence among many public officials, community leaders and even some in the media that the shooter does not live in El Paso. They have pointed out repeatedly that the killer allegedly drove six-plus hours to El Paso from Allen, Texas, just north of Dallas. He stopped at the Wal-Mart, reportedly sized up the situation and then re-entered the store to open fire.

Former U.S. Rep. and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, who’s running for president, has insisted that El Paso is among the safest cities in the country. He has noted how its proximity to Juarez, Mexico, creates a metropolitan area of more than 2 million residents. He said over the weekend that the death toll at Wal-Mart exceeded the average annual murder rate in El Paso.

And so the beat goes on, with residents still looking for answers, for relief from their mourning and seeking to tell us that the killer isn’t one of them. He came from far away to do grievous harm.

The other is the “El Paso Strong” memorabilia that has cropped up. El Paso is trying to exhibit a common bond forged in tragedy. The same can be said of Dayton, Ohio, which experienced a similar tragedy later that day. A gunman killed nine people in the span of about 30 seconds before Dayton police killed him in a fire fight. The Dayton killer’s motives aren’t as discernible as the individual who allegedly killed those in El Paso.

The apparent hatred the El Paso killer has for Hispanic immigrants has helped bond the community together.

None of this cures the intense pain they are feeling in El Paso. However, if the sense of unity it brings to a grieving city helps it fight through its pain, then we all should join in declaring ourselves to be “El Paso Strong.”

Our hearts will take time to heal from the wounds delivered by the gunmen in El Paso and Dayton. We should stand with our fellow citizens — and with their neighbors — in solidarity.

POTUS faces lose-lose encounter

Donald J. Trump is set to plunge into a place where he is likely to get bloodied — politically speaking. He intends to venture to El Paso, Texas, in the next day or so.

He will presumably speak to folks who were affected by the mass slaughter of 22 people at the Wal-Mart shopping center over the weekend.

The president is being told he isn’t welcome. Why? Because many Americans — including myself — blame Trump’s fiery, divisive rhetoric for spawning the shooter to massacre Latinos gathered at the store for some last-minute, back-to-school shopping.

Should he go? I believe he should. It’s a critical part of the job he agreed to do when he got elected president of the United States. Is this president good at lending comfort? Is he adept at saying just the right thing, in just the right tone, to just the right audience in its time of intense grief? No. He isn’t.

Will he step up and acknowledge the role his rhetoric has played in the tragedy that exploded in El Paso? I doubt it seriously.

I am left to wonder: Has there ever been a recent U.S. president who has felt the scorn of stricken communities the way this one is feeling it now in the wake of the El Paso tragedy?

Did Bill Clinton feel it when he went to Oklahoma City in 1995 after the bomber blew up the Murrah Federal Building? Did George W. Bush feel it when he ventured multiple times to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Did such recrimination fall on Barack Obama when he went to Charleston, S.C., after the madman opened fire in that church, or when he went to Newtown, Conn., after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed all those precious children and their teachers? No, no and no!

This visit, and the trip he plans to take to Dayton, Ohio — another city stricken by gun violence during the same weekend— likely won’t go well.

All I can say is: Suck it up, Mr. President.

Should the POTUS visit El Paso?

Donald J. Trump is set to fly to El Paso, Texas, later this week in the wake of the massacre of 22 victims at the Wal-Mart shopping center.

The alleged shooter reportedly hates Mexican immigrants. He was prodded to act reportedly by rhetoric uttered by — that’s right — the very same Donald J. Trump.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said today that the president should stay away. So has O’Rourke’s successor in the U.S. House district he represented for six years in Washington, Veronica Escobar, another Democrat. They both say the president isn’t welcome in their city.

“He’s helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday,” O’Rourke told the El Paso Times. “He’s helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal.”

Oh, boy. I happen to believe the president should go to El Paso; he also plans to visit Dayton, Ohio, which erupted in gun violence hours after El Paso suffered its grievous wounds. And, yes, he faces the prospect of getting an unfriendly welcome from angry El Paso residents.

Donald Trump is facing the most serious quandary perhaps of his presidency. What in the world does he say when he visits with victims? Is he capable of holding himself accountable for the actions of a lunatic who drove 660-plus miles from the Metroplex to inflict such damage?

If lightning strikes and hell freezes over, perhaps there’s a chance he’ll do what he needs to do, which is take responsibility for fueling the anger that erupted at the Wal-Mart in El Paso.

I am not going to bet the farm on it.

Astonishing lethality in Dayton massacre!

If it’s true — and I believe it is — that Dayton, Ohio, police officers shot a gunman to death just 30 seconds after the first shots rang out in the city’s entertainment district, then we need to ponder a serious question.

How in the world did the shooter act with such lethal efficiency to kill nine people and injure many others in such a short amount of time?

More to the point, what kind of firepower was this moron packing before the cops “neutralized” in a hail of gunfire?

We’re talking about two horrific massacres in the span of hours this past weekend. A Wal-Mart shopping center in El Paso, Texas, was the scene of the slaughter of 22 people. Then came the Dayton tragedy later that evening.

The police were able to respond rapidly to the Dayton tragedy. They deserve the highest praise imaginable for acting as quickly and decisively as they did, gunning down a shooter who was dressed in body armor.

But still …

He was able to kill all those people in a mere blink of time!

To think, therefore, that many within the gun lobby resist efforts to legislate restrictions on the purchase and ownership of such weapons of mass destruction. What’s more, our political leaders knuckle under to their demands to keep their hands off inadequate existing laws.