I have been mulling, if not stumbling over words for the past several days about some of the catastrophes of the last several weeks. Obviously, some of them are of the natural disaster variety, and sadly some are completely man-made like the devastating massacre in Las Vegas and the heartless, ill-fitting words of a President.
We are all over stimulated by messaging throughout every waking moment of our day, maybe it's a child swiping away at a tablet, while mom swipes away on her phone or someone mesmerized at their desk at work. It goes beyond even Baby Boomers glued to their 24-hour cable news. The biggest problem with it is how easily desensitized we've become.
First it was Harvey then Irma, and like some alphabetical serial killer came Maria. Living in Southwest Florida, we saw the destruction Harvey left behind in Texas. We then watched Irma seemly dance out of control for seven long days before it hit landfall. Then before we could count our blessings, Maria rose out of the Atlantic and completely destroyed Puerto Rico.
We watched all these monstrous storms come and go before news networks were deployed to Las Vegas! I was lying in bed when Shaina said, "something must have happened in Vegas” after holding her phone for seconds. Unfortunately, I think we all now go through the same mental progression immediately hearing about a mass shooting. Was it terrorism? Is it over? How many dead? And why?
It was like the reporters were working in front of green screens! They were magically teleported from the ruins of Puerto Rico to the polished facade of Vegas. I don't blame the news networks, that's their job. To get on the ground, find the story, gather the facts and report. My biggest frustrations right now lie with gun regulation (not control) and our Commander in Disbelief.
How is it possible for a someone, anyone actually to easily purchase a piece of equipment that turns a semiautomatic rifle into a full military grade automatic weapon? The gunman's hotel room was littered with guns using "bump stocks", essentially a plug and play device. It is this piece of legal, readily available addition that allowed him to literally take countless lives while never releasing the trigger. Why do we allow this add-on to be sold to anyone but ask soccer moms for ID when buying certain over-the-counter drugs?
How is this possible? What if the by bike industry came out with an accessory that turned Bobby's Schwinn into a Ducati for $65? Absolutely not, right? Reckless, unnecessary, and irresponsible. Or started adding little bonus baggies of magic powder with every purchase of alcohol? "This six pack not enough? Want that extra kick? Want to do it like in the movies? Just snort this powder to feel like a real man!
Of course that last scenario would never happen. Our government would see that as a reckless, unnecessary, and irresponsible.
From the shock and disdain of the lack of regulation and active governance to the incredibly insensitive, illogical, and yet not surprising comments from President Trump in Puerto Rico, I am depressed. First thing that I noticed about the President was how his camp set up the presser in front of the biggest plane possible. Previous Presidents found standing behind the presidential seal as enough of subtle strength necessary.
Trump, instead decided to sit in his ill-fitting khakis like he was at a local Kiwanis meeting. As if the dressings weren't bad enough, then came words that still leave me realizing that true empathy are skills that cannot just be picked up or bought.
Trump and his limited vocabulary managed to compare the loss of life from Katrina and Maria like they were baseball stats. He is incapable of showing real human connection and compassion. He had the audacity to half jokingly bring up the negative impact Puerto Rico has had on the economy. Too soon man! These are American citizens! Do you think he would have made that comment about Texas?
Next up, Trump tossing out rolls of paper towels like he was at a supermarket grand opening! Smugly saying to the camera, "you don't need this anymore" when handing a single flashlight to a resident. That would be like skipping someone in line at a soup kitchen because they are overweight.
I feel like somehow that one uncle that drinks too much and just barely makes the invite list every time, became the President of the most sacred, complex, family business in the free world.