Gun Violence

Meme: Presidential in Time of Crisis

One of the defining characteristics of our country is the dramatic mass shooting. We’ve had so many of them. We’ve had many many more less dramatic mass shootings, many many many more shootings. While mass shootings don’t account for a large percentage of our deaths from gun violence, they certainly account for the national trauma of gun violence.

Every president has had to lead in grief and disbelief as we struggle to cope with shock and trauma. In many ways it is the measure of the character of the person in the office.

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

President Obama deepened my emotion bringing me to tears and to my knees after so many mass shootings, but especially after Newtown and Mother Emanuel AME Church. When Obama was moved to tears while grieving the children of Newtown lead brought me along with him into the depth of grief. His tears were my tears. We were literally expressing the intensity of our national pain together, a pain that we had not known before with so many children brutally murdered. It was comforting and healing to watch him wipe away his tears. It carved out the space for me to openly weep and convulse with the agony of the unspeakable unimaginable horror of Newtown.

I will never forget Obama singing “Amazing Grace” during the memorial for the dead of Mother Emanuel AME Church. It brought me to my knees. It moved my soul. As a nation and a person, that shooting hurt us me deeply. Walking into a prayer meeting, praying with the people who would be murdered, to be welcomed as a stranger into their midst, and then shoot every person there. Hearing his tenuous tenor once again made the space, opened my heart, accepted my grief, and mixed it with the entire nation’s grief allowing us to externalize and manage our trauma.

That was leadership in a time of crisis. It made us better people and allowed us to hope for the future.

Trump has shakingly read from his teleprompter that others wrote for him that he seemed to have never seen before finding them before him. He appears as if a deer in a headlight being drug to the limelight to say things he doesn’t believe and makes promises he does not want. His diction would suggest he is in pain saying them.

He does not create the safe space where I can deepen my emotion and express the shock and trauma of two mass shootings in 12 hours. At the moment that the ship of state is swamped by violence with brutality washing over the transom unabated.

His very reluctance to utter the words minimally necessary for the moment divides us. The vulnerable must work to cover and protect themselves from the imminent violence that seems to be around every corner. The violence that he seems to gleefully revel in.

That is deepening the division that is already between us in a time of crisis. It weakens us, worsens us, and coarsens us. We are worse as a people and nation because of it.

8 replies »

    • Howdy Bob!

      Well, okay then. I’m not sure what to make of your comment. I simply mean that we have a lot of dramatic mass shootings in our country. Perhaps the only country in the developed world who has these types of shootings that occur with this frequency. In that sense, it distinguishes us from our peers. That and our lack of healthcare and our high incarceration rate are among the most distinguishing and, therefore, defining characteristics of our country. It seems like a pretty unremarkable remark to me.



  1. It is so easy to tell when Trump is reading words not his own, without even watching him (which I try to avoid). He’s flat, monotone, strained, like a little boy forced to recite a poem in class that he thinks is stupid. We know that he dosn’t like to read in the first place (Dyslexia? Maybe it really is painful for him.) And, the real message is not lost on his followers that he does not believe what he is saying, that his real position and intentions have not changed. Only the few who still hope he can turn over a new leaf can be fooled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!
      That’s “funny.” I’ve long maintained that he is likely dyslexic, which dovetails to the second point that I’ve long maintained about his mental illnesses in general: he could afford to have them treated but chose not to. Same goes for his abuse surviving children. They don’t have to perpetuate their abuse. They can seek treatment. They are uniquely in a position to do so given their wealth. Something that many of the rest of us are not in a position to do. Instead, they continue gaslighting the country, perpetuating racism and violence, and otherwise traumatizing as many people as they can. We’ll all have PTSD by the end of his rein.

      It’s an act designed to fool the for-profit media and disinterested disaffected seldom voting “independent” voter, but no one else. Great observation. One that I’ll likely be adding to the mix in future blog posts.


      Liked by 1 person

      • As for PTSD, I think we are already there, including his supporters (The ones he’s screwing with his trade screwups. Stockholm Syndrome?) And, according to the UN Climate Report, things in the real world (i.e., the one outside of Reality TV) are gong to get a lot worse all over and dogmatic fantasies won’t be much help.

        Liked by 1 person

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