Fifty-nine died in Las Vegas – yet Donald Trump had more to say when eight died in New York. Can you guess why?

Where was the President’s passion and leadership last month when America so desperately needed decisive action to combat acts of home-grown terror? Where were all of the angry GOP talking heads arguing for sweeping legislative measures to help protect innocent men, women and children? 

Nash Riggins
Wednesday 01 November 2017 13:39
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Trump has vowed to step up vetting following the New York attack
Trump has vowed to step up vetting following the New York attack

Terrorism has evolved over the course of the last decade. Sixteen years ago, terrorism involved meticulous plans and a network of evil geniuses. It involved lots and lots of money, advanced weaponry and scary foreign governments.

Nowadays, all it takes is a driver’s license, 20 bucks and a heart full of hate.

Yesterday, it happened again. Just like it did in Nice. Just like it did in Berlin and Stockholm. Just like London, Paris, Spain and Edmonton. A lone wolf with a warped sense of the world around him rented a truck, turned into a Manhattan bike path and ploughed into anyone and everyone he could find. At least eight people are dead. Eleven more have been left injured.

And thanks to racial profiling and that archaic concept of terrorism we all love tossing about so much, you can already picture the lunatic that did it. In fact, twenty-something Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov is exactly the sort of guy Donald Trump is always warning us about (he’s a brown Muslim with a beard and a green card).

Footage shows New York terror suspect running through the streets following attack

It goes without saying Republicans are wasting no time politicising the murders.

Hawkish pundits immediately began banging the drums of war and pointing the finger at the globe’s Muslim community. And America’s fearless commander-in-chief took to the Twittersphere within hours, damning political correctness to hell, blaming Democrats and claiming there would be swift policy changes to strengthen our borders and keep bad people like Sayfullo Saipov out of America.

Say what you want about Trump, but that feels like some uncharacteristically decisive leadership with crystal-clear action items. It feels like he actually wants to get something done – and you know why? Because he’s on the hunt for a scapegoat.

There’s nothing wrong with vetting foreigners before they’re allowed to settle in America, and it’s okay to be wary of the unknown. Nobody’s going to argue we shouldn’t exercise due diligence when it comes to immigration. But right-wing America’s fiery calls for action in the wake of yesterday’s tragedy are so hypocritical it hurts.

Does anybody happen to remember the worst mass shooting in American history? It was only about a month ago, if that helps. Hundreds were injured and 58 people were gunned down in the middle of a Las Vegas concert by some psychopath who’d bought enough guns to take on an invading army. It’s impossible to describe the pain – those people didn’t stand a damn chance. It should have never happened. It was totally avoidable.

You see, America’s horribly relaxed relationship with the firearm has given birth to a whole new meaning of terror, and politicians like Donald Trump know exactly what it would take to eliminate the constant threat of getting shot and killed for no reason. Sweeping gun control measures; bans on assault rifles and high calibre weapons; shutting down disgustingly obvious loopholes on background checks – the list goes on and on.

It’s all pretty simple. So, where was Donald Trump’s passion and leadership last month when America so desperately needed decisive action to combat acts of home-grown terror? Where were all of the angry GOP talking-heads arguing for sweeping legislative measures to help protect innocent men, women and children?

There weren’t any – because white people committing crimes with legally acquired, miniature weapons of mass destruction aren’t an issue to conservatives. In Donald Trump’s dystopian, alternate universe, white people killing each other with guns is what America’s all about. Brown people renting pick-up trucks from DIY shops, on the other hand? That’s just not on.

These shameless, partisan attempts to steer American policy need to be shut down. Bumbling politicians like Donald Trump think they can buy our happiness by kicking immigrants to the kerb and actively discriminating against people based on the colour of their skin or how they’ve been raised to worship God. It doesn’t work that way.

Americans are living under constant threat. Terrorism has become a part of our daily lives. Getting rid of Uzbek outsiders won’t eliminate that threat at all – and if lawmakers spent just a fraction of the time they waste demonising foreigners on pursuing serious policy solutions that reduce acts of home-grown terror being committed by middle-aged white men, you can bet your bottom dollar America would be a whole lot safer.

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