Of course we know by now that President Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are the impeachment articles. Can we talk about abuse of responsibility and language in our current hyperbolic and partisan atmosphere?
Whatever you think about impeachment at the least the comments should be measured since the public and social media get to hear what you have to say with the speed of light. Such is the case with comparisons to Jesus and the bombing of Pearl Harbor during last night’s vote.
And so, when a Colorado radio talk show host said that he wished for a school shooting in the midst of the impeachment vote, his comments were taken seriously:
Denver radio host Chuck Bonniwell began a segment of his afternoon radio show Tuesday by lamenting the “never-ending impeachment of Donald Trump,” and then saying, “You know, you wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt the monopoly.”
Chuck tried to walk it back but he failed miserably showing his total lack of empathy and common sense.:
Bonniwell hasn’t apologized on air yet, but immediately after Hayden’s response to his comment, he told his audience that he meant shootings in “which no one would be hurt.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
In this era of a President and a party that seems to think anything goes and accountability for their insane and cruel remarks doesn’t happen quickly enough, it was refreshing to find out that Chuck’s show was canceled.
No Chuck, you can’t joke about school shootings. It’s not done in a polite and democratic society. But the bully in Chief has made remarks like this one “normal”. They are not normal. It’s been said that Trump could shoot someone on 5th Avenue ( NYC) and get away with it. God help us if that is actually true.
The lack of accountability for words and actions is more than concerning. It’s dangerous. Going forward in this divided country where incendiary language could result in a tragedy, everyone needs to be accountable for what they say and do. Our democracy depends on it.
School shootings have made the lives of our kids dangerous. Shootings at home has made the lives of our kids dangerous. Gun suicides have made the lives of our teens dangerous. Easy access to guns has made our country dangerous. There are real consequences for not being accountable.
And so let’s talk about not being accountable with guns. I want to highlight this awful story about a father who left a loaded gun around for one of his children to find. The child shot his sister dead. And the father? He hid in the basement with his AR-15 at the ready:
Pataskala police had received 60 phone calls to that address involving guns and knives since 2009, according to the bond recommendation.
You can’t make this stuff up.
What about an Extreme Risk Protection Order law Ohio?
And lastly, I want to highlight a story, just released, about a private security company that has managed to “lose” over 600 guns in possession of their security agents. What kind of accountability is this? Well, here is what happened with some of the guns that were “lost and/or stolen”:
The largest private security company in the world can’t keep track of its guns.
And the consequences are clear: One of their missing guns was held to a woman’s head as a man threatened to rape her. Another was used to pistol-whip a pizza delivery driver. A third ended the lives of two men playing video games.
Before they were used to hurt or kill people, each of these guns was assigned to a security guard whose job was to protect the public. Then they were stolen from G4S, a company that brings in billions of dollars with promises of “securing your world.”
Surely this company realizes that guns are dangerous weapons designed to kill people and that everyone who carries one or uses one in their employ must be accountable for their weapon?
And surely this company realizes that safe storage of guns saves lives and is crucial for responsible gun owners.
From the article about the company’s agreement about accountability:
Under a firearms license with the federal government, G4S is supposed to make sure its weapons are secure and accounted for at all times, like gun shops do. But the company saves time and does more business by shifting much of that responsibility to individual guards, trusting them to safely store the weapons at home.
Too often, they don’t.
No. They always have to be accountable for their weapons.
In these times of anything goes, we all have to accountable for our actions and our words. Words matter. Our own President uses incendiary and dangerous language in his campaign rallies. Last night was no exception. This is not who we are. Chuck’s language was not OK. The consequence was quick. The father left a gun out for a child. The consequence was deadly. A large security firm has “lost” guns they promised they would not because they wanted to save time and money. The consequence was deadly.
We are better than this.