Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trump aides would blame Chicago than try to address Las Vegas situation

I’m Chicago-centric enough that I really didn’t want to write anything about the mass-shooting incident that occurred this week in Las Vegas.
The home-town perception

Yes, I’m aware there were Chicago-area people – including some members of the Illinois General Assembly, who were in Vegas at the time of the incident where a somewhat-wealthy white guy decided to start firing gunshots into a crowd of people attending a country music event.

BUT IT SEEMS trite to rant and rage about such an incident to say how tragic or sad or depressing it is. Yes, it’s a shame that some 59 people are now dead and more than 500 suffered injuries while visiting a city that I personally find depressing even when people aren’t getting hurt.

But the reality is that it is highly likely nothing significant will change in the way we as a society handle things. Our public officials are so split in their ways this isn’t going to push us toward any kind of consensus.
Will we do anything?

For all I know, there are a significant number of people who think that the “tragic” part of the incident is that people in the crowd who were being fired upon weren’t themselves armed. As though the key to our public security circumstances is to arm everybody so that outbursts can turn into gun battles.

With the best shot surviving.

SO I WASN’T really surprised to learn that aides to President Donald J. Trump felt compelled to try to change the subject of the Las Vegas violence by bringing up Chicago – which has already had more than 500 homicides this year.
Does it really all come back to 9/11?

Presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a point Monday of deflecting questions about possible tougher federal laws (that might attract bipartisan political cooperation) by claiming that attempts at tough laws in Chicago have failed.

Or at least the Trump-types want to believe have failed – even though it could be argued that many of them got struck down by courts that let their own politically-partisan leanings interfere with the situation.

As Sanders put it, “I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there, so I think we have to … look at things that may actually have that real impact.”

THE ACTUAL HOMICIDE total for Chicago for 2016 is 762, although I’m sure there is some way of exaggerating the total number of victims for each incident so that you could get a figure in the thousands. So I’m not necessarily calling out presidential aides for their numerical exaggeration.

Besides, I don’t doubt that political people of all partisan persuasions will find ways of spouting off rhetoric meant to create the impression they’re concerned, without actually having to do anything to try to improve conditions

That’s what we’re going to get in coming days and weeks – a whole lot of talk that is cheap.

If anything, the most interesting thing I have encountered in relation to this incident were Twitter posts by Caleb Keeter, who is the guitar player for the Jason Aldean band that was playing on stage at the time of the shooting incident.

The perception from DubaiD
AS KEETER PUT it, his band had security with members carrying concealed weapons on their person and the permits required to use them. “They were useless,” he wrote. “We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us.

“A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power Enough is enough,” he wrote.

The other intriguing bit was how, early on, terrorist interests in the Middle East tried claiming responsibility for the incident as some sort of statement against the decadence of Western society – only to have officials who actually comprehend what they’re talking about discredit such speculation.

While as for Trump himself? He showed an incredible grasp of the obvious when he stated the shooter was “sick” and “demented.” Beyond that, his visit to Las Vegas on Wednesday is likely to produce little more than a chance to check up on the namesake hotel and casino his company operates in the Nevada desert.


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