Last Wednesday, President Trump took his second trip to El Paso, Texas, this year.
His second visit wasn’t as well-received as his first.
In February, he held one of those traveling show/rallies in El Paso, when he spent much of his time denigrating Mexican immigrants.
He fearmongered about caravans of murderers, assailants, kidnappers, and rapists heading north from Mexico.
“Thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas it’s one of America’s safest cities now,” he told his swooning rallygoers.
That was a lie.
Violent crime peaked in El Paso back in 1993 – long before there was a border wall.
We all know that Trump never lets the opportunity to pat himself on the back get sidetracked by a thing we call the truth.
He used as proof of his thesis about border walls, nearby Juarez, Mexico, which is just beyond El Paso’s city limits.
According to Trump, Juarez has had 1,200 murders, compared to El Paso’s 23 murders.
He implied that a border wall prevents murderers from entering El Paso.
He was wrong.
On Saturday, Aug. 3, a crazed gunman shattered the Texas calm.
He’s no wild-eyed, Mexican who scaled any border wall - hellbent on destroying the lives of dozens of innocent Texans.
Patrick Wood Crusius is a white 21-year-old U.S. citizen. He didn’t need to climb a wall. He’d driven the 650 miles from his home in Allen, Texas, in an apparent adherence to Trump’s vicious rhetoric about bloodthirsty Mexicans staging an “invasion” along our southern border.
The word “invasion” is key.
Not only does Trump use that word frequently in his campaign speeches, but since January his reelection campaign has posted over 2,000 Facebook ads that mention the word “invasion” in them.
It’s notable that the young shooter in El Paso made significant uses of the word “invasion” in the manifesto that he published online just before gunning down his helpless prey.
"This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigator, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion," Crusius wrote.
Trump, though, vehemently denies that his racist rhetoric could have possibly lit the fuse that led Crusius to act.
He did, however, make a stilted statement about the events of El Paso, and the mass shooting a day later in Dayton, Ohio (the 255th mass shooting in the United States in 2019, according to multiple media reports).
Trump eventually did what he always does. He blamed everything but the gun for the gunmen’s actions.
He did, however, promise to make some efforts to help solve the growing problem of gun violence in this country.
He wants us all to just get along, don’t you know?
His subsequent visits to El Paso and Dayton to engage in a little presidential handholding, produced visible protests from people who believe he is the source of their grief.
It was reported that several of the hospitalized survivors of the El Paso tragedy refused to allow Trump to visit them.
In the meantime, we have a president who says he’d like to bring us together.
This I gotta see.
He says he’ll take a look at proposing some small changes to the country’s gun laws.
He’ll have a very hard time convincing his fellow Republicans to go along with anything substantial.
Here’s the problem.
The National Rifle Association, which hilariously claims to be “America’s longest-standing civil rights organization,” has its hands all over the Republican Party.
In 2016, the NRA contributed $821,850 to Republicans running for Congress. It only gave $10,500 to Democrats.
During the 2018 U.S. House races, 191 Republicans got NRA money, while only five Democrats did. Of the Republicans and Democrats in races for the U.S. Senate, the NRA only threw money in the direction of Republicans.
You can’t expect any Republicans to go along with any legislation that could curb the easy access to guns.
Trump, while he talks a good game, won’t pay much more than lip service in that regard.
Edward A. Owens is a multi-Emmy Award winner, former reporter, and anchor for Entertainment Tonight and 20-year TV-news veteran. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.