We don’t want him here! Tell him to stay at the White House! He doesn’t like immigrants!
All of these were comments made by people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, directed at the President of the United States of America.
Patrick Crusius, carrying an AK-47 weapon, killed 22 people on August 3rd at a local Wal-Mart in El Paso. He later surrendered after the carnage and told Detective Adrian Garcia, “I am the shooter.”
In addition to those killed, approximately two dozen people were injured. Crusius is 21 years of age.
The shooter wanted to hurt and harm Mexicans, and he was intentional about doing it. Crusius doesn’t live in El Paso or even near that city. He had to drive about ten hours from his Dallas-area home to commit this horrendous act.
How do you register hate on a meter? When does your hate boil over so much to the point of wanting to kill someone?
You can dislike a person so intently that the dislike is played out on maybe a social media post or a face-to-face argument. But to hate and then kill another person takes you to the lowest point of humanity. You are in a gutter with no escape route.
You can hate a person because of many factors.
Crusius hated Mexicans because of their ethnicity and their skin color. But why? Did he have a bad experience with someone of Mexican heritage? At this point, the reports don’t say. Maybe something in the near future will uncover some sordid detail.
As Americans, we were in shock and in disbelief over what happened in El Paso. When the phrase “breaking news” comes on the television screen, you know it probably isn’t good. And it wasn’t.
Listening to the reports made me think immediately of Las Vegas and Charlottesville. Violence in El Paso was caused by someone who was racist and wanted to see large numbers of people dead. You see, it is one thing to have a handgun, but when you have a weapon of mass destruction your intent is to kill as many people as you can.
I wondered how can mass murderers like Crusius and Dylann Roof, who killed 9 Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, operate so easily in the dark underbelly of America. Both are White nationalists, and are a part of a larger group of people crawling the streets of our country.
With the El Paso shooting still fresh in our minds and the grieving continuing because of it, another mass shooting occurred the very next day in Dayton. This time, nine were dead and 27 were injured. The shooter was Connor Betts. He was 24 years of age and was killed by the police.
So now, August 3rd and 4th represent, not just two days where people are on vacation or children were anticipating returning to school, they represent consecutive days of non-stop violence. Citizens, who were alive over the past week, month or year, are now dead because of hate. Hate that has been locked up in these two men for an unspecified amount of time.
When Megan Betts was with her brother Connor, did she realize her own brother would become a mass murderer? Did she realize her own brother would take her life? Did the victims who died have any idea it would be their last day on earth, not because of illness, but because of hate?
The answer to these questions is the same. No! This is bad and sad beyond belief and understanding. Now what do we do?
Of course, we have a chorus of responses and recommendations. Advocates for stronger gun control laws are pleading for tighter and tougher gun regulations. At this very second, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has legislation on his desk ready to be acted upon. Will he do anything with it? Not if the National Rifle Association has anything to do with it.
The sitting president has extended his condolences to the families, yet continues to fire off unwelcoming messages on his Twitter account. This president plays around with hate-filled words, racism and sexism like no other president in the history of our America. As a result, he was unwelcomed in El Paso and in Dayton.
Let us pray for the victims and their families. It’s them today. It could be us tomorrow.