The nectarine Neanderthal is at it again. In the wake of the London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attacks, Donald Trump tweeted that “we are not having a gun debate right now” because the terrorists “used knives and a truck”.
This is, of course, factually accurate. But, as Michael Moore pointed out yesterday, since the London attack on Saturday, approximately 241 Americans have been killed by guns – a number likely higher in the 24 hours since he tweeted this statistic from Every Town Research, a think tank dedicated to tracking gun violence in America.
In fact, by the US government’s own reckoning, between 2001 and 2014, only 369 Americans were killed by terrorism at home or abroad, whilst a staggering 440,095 were killed by guns on American soil alone. Doing the maths, that means Americans are 1,193 times more likely to be killed by a gun than in a terrorist incident.
Of course, most of these gun deaths aren’t committed by Muslims, so it doesn’t really serve the president’s agenda. In fact, he’s been completely silent on a mass shooting that happened in Orlando earlier this week, whilst tweeting vociferously about London – including attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan for being “weak” on terrorism.
I get this from Trump acolytes all the time: how can I, as a gay man, condemn their Islamophobia when Isis throws gay men off roofs? Simply put, it’s because I don’t think all Muslims are part of Isis. I do, however, fear anyone with a gun, no matter their race or religion. Growing up in America, I have every reason to do so. Ideology alone doesn’t kill. You need a weapon to get the job done.
I spend a lot of time in London. It’s my second home, and I hope to soon make it my permanent home. There are many reasons for this, but in large part it’s because I don’t want to live and raise my future children in America, where they could be shot in their school only to be considered a sacrificial lamb on the alter of the second amendment.
Donald Trump has no authority to comment on terrorism – or violent crime in general – in the UK when his own people must live in fear of being shot at school, a shopping mall, or even in a house of worship.
I’ve written before on how gun crime has affected my generation as we’ve grown up as our parents, our peers, and our children have been gunned down by crazy white men who are labelled as “lone wolves.” The country cried after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Aurora, and after Sandy Hook, when 27 innocent people – including over 20 primary school children – were killed. Yet we do nothing.
After Dunblane, the deadliest mass shooting in British history, the UK government enacted some of the strictest gun laws in the Western world to ensure this never happened again. Eighteen dead children was simply too much to bear.
Not in America though. That’s the price we pay for white people to have guns. And make no mistake – this is about white people and their guns. After the Orlando massacre, in which a Muslim gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub, Donald Trump tweeted that he “appreciated the congrats” on being right on “radical Islamic terrorism,” even though the perpetrator was born and raised in America. And Trump has plenty to say about gun crime on the South Side of Chicago – a predominately impoverished black area of the city where gun crime is rampant due to poverty and lack of community development – both things Trump refuses to acknowledge as he calls my city a “war zone”.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about dead Brits or dead Americans. If he did, he would have criticised Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham after the Manchester Arena bombing. He would have spoken out after the white supremacist attack in Portland. He would do something to combat mass shootings in America. No, Donald Trump doesn’t care about victims – he cares about political point scoring. His reaction to the London attack is entirely predicated on it being perpetrated by Muslims in a city run by a Muslim.
To my fellow Americans, I would implore you not to fear London. It is, as Sadiq Khan said, the safest global city on the face of the earth. You have more to fear from crazy white guys with guns at home than you do with Isis-inspired terrorists abroad.
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