Look: There are crazies on both sides of the political spectrum. The perpetrator in last year’s Congressional baseball shooting, for instance, was a Bernie Sanders guy, but Bernie’s policies did not allow that shooter to gain an arsenal of weapons (Bernie is a gun rights guy, to be fair, but he also believes that assault weapons should be banned and that criminals and the mentally ill should not be able to own a gun). And you don’t see a lot of these school shooters with Obama hats. Or Hillary 4 President bumper stickers. Why? Because the culture of the left does not exactly encourage violence or put into position policies that allow men to gain the weaponry necessary to kill large numbers of people.
This kid down in Florida? He was violent with women, not unlike Donald Trump or some of the men among his staff. He was a white supremacist, a category of people with whom Trump has empathized (or, at the very least, refused to condemn). He was also mentally disturbed and able to gain access to an assault weapon thanks to the policies of the Republicans, endorsed by President Trump.
You might not be surprised to learn, then, that he was also a Trump supporter.
He was also part of a hate group, the Republic of Florida, which is not only a white supremacist group but an organization that actually provided the shooter with paramilitary training. “He probably used that training to do what he did yesterday,” Jordan Jereb, captain of the Republic of Florida, told The Daily Beast.
Remember last year, when Donald Trump cut funding to A Life After Hate, an outfit that combats white supremacy? Or when Trump sought sharp cuts to programs that sought to prevent domestic terrorism? Trump often turns a blind eye to white supremacist groups, which allows organizations like the Republic of Florida to flourish, and ultimately offer paramilitary training to future school shooters, and to buy guns for teenagers:
“I think somebody bought him a Mosin-Nagant, but that’s bolt action. He had a semi-automatic in the school,” Jereb said, adding, “He may have buried it in his survival cache. We encourage members to do that.”
I’m not saying that the kid would not have shot up a school if Hillary were elected, but what I am saying is that Donald Trump has created an atmosphere where white supremacists and domestic abusers are not appropriately marginalized. The cultural license that Trump gives kids like this, not to mention the access to assault weapons that he allows, is exactly why we’re in a predicament now where there have been 18 school shootings since the beginning of the year, and where just two miles away from where I am sitting a 15 year old was arrested this morning for threatening to shoot up his own school on social media.
Donald Trump may not be the root cause of what is happening today in America, but he is a symptom, and he sure as hell isn’t part of the solution.