Friend, over the past twenty-four hours, we have lost at least 29 Americans to mass shootings. More than 50 people are injured, and countless more will suffer from the trauma of these events for years to come.
Let me be clear: Donald Trump is giving license to violence. He’s responsible.
Because his racism and bigotry directly inspires white supremacists who carry out attacks like the one we saw yesterday in El Paso.
Because he hasn’t moved a finger to rid our streets of weapons of war.
Because he blames everything but the easy access to guns for people who have no business possessing them.
Because when these shootings occur, he and other Republicans like Texas Governor Greg Abbott tell us that it is time “to focus more on memorials before we start the politics.”
We don’t have time for that. Before we’re even done mourning one shooting, the next one occurs. We saw that overnight.
I was in church last night — and one of the lessons in my faith is that you reap what you sow.
When Donald Trump uses words like “infestation” and “invasion” and “shithole countries” and tells congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from, when he refuses to condemn neo-Nazis and calls them “very fine people” after they run over a woman with a car — he is giving license to this kind of violence.
He is sowing the seeds of white supremacy. He is sowing the seeds of violence. He is engaging in politics that leads directly to the stream of violence we are witnessing.
We cannot continue to live in this reality.
There are so many steps we can take to end this uniquely American problem. We can ban the weapon of war the El Paso and Dayton shooters used, as my plan would do. We can require federal licensing for everyone who wants to buy and possess a gun, because if you need a license to drive a car, you should need one to get your hands on a gun too.
We need moral clarity and healing and love in our nation. We need leaders who are capable of pursuing that — and we must come together to help our fellow neighbors.
Please, if you are able, consider making a donation to help victims in El Paso and Dayton.
El Paso Victims’ Fund: https://payments.epcf.org/victims
Dayton Foundation: https://www.daytonfoundation.org/
This is a time for moral courage. It is a time for more courageous empathy.