During the campaign Donald Trump bragged that he could shoot someone in the face and still get elected, like that showed how popular he was, how big, how powerful.
Shooting someone on the street is easy – unimportant losers shoot people every day, on the street, in schools, in churches, on baseball fields, at office parties.
Shooting someone isn’t the sign of a big man. If he wanted to do something that shows how big he is, how important, he would stop people from getting shot in the street.
How popular would that make him? Someone said this morning, if he did something to prevent these shootings, I could put up with him.
I had to stop and think about it. Could I put up with him? Could I suck it up until 2020, hold my peace, find a zen place to wait it out? If he could implement stronger gun laws, laws that would protect children in schools, worshipers in church, movie-goers whose only mistake was watching Batman, or concert goers who wanted nothing more than to get their country music groove on. If he could re-empower law enforcement and the NIH to study the problem and try different solutions, and keep trying until something works. If he could forward legislation and enforcement that would stop gangs and terrorists from shooting up military bases and the streets of Chicago.
If his behavior reassured me that my six nieces and nephews and the children of my friends and my relatives, and all the children, the tall, strong, bright, promises to the future would be safe in school.
If… If he did that, would I find something good to say about him. Would I praise his bravery in facing down the NRA and the crazies? Would I commend his leadership and his negotiating skills for moving the congress to action, herding the democrats from the left extreme and inspiring the republicans to brave the attack ads sponsored by the gun companies?
Would I take a deep breath and say, “Yes…but under his watch, the gun violence stopped.” and leave it at that?
Could I do it?
In the classroom where I read to small children two Saturdays a month, above the light switches, beside the door, is a colored poster showing the teacher where, during an active shooter incident, s/he must gather the children. And, on a regular basis, during active shooter drills, these children, who cannot sit through a Doctor Seuss book without a wiggle break, must huddle on the floor without moving, in silence; these children whose tongues must be fastened in the middle instead of the end, they talk so much nonsense so constantly, these children must remain there, motionless, without talking, until the end of the drill. Do you remember seeing old black and white footage of school children in bobbie socks and wide ties practicing duck and cover in nuclear drills? I want active shooter drills to become as obsolete as those useless duck and cover drills.
So could I? Yes. I could and I would, if Trump reduces gun violence by getting congress together to put sensible laws in place and enacting enforcement reform, I will hold my peace and advocate for his place in history.
I would sacrifice my anger and my frustration, the fire that burns within me against what is happening in our country, I would sacrifice that for the victims of gun violence. I offer it up. I put it on the altar. I will give up the moral victory of knowing that I am right and the ideal for a compromise.
What will you sacrifice to stop the violence?