Guns Are the Problem!

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Was reading last night about the vote in the South Carolina Senate to remove the confederate flag.

Good that it passed the Senate, but now it’s on to the House.

I was reminded of the issue of division, this morning reading Donald Trump’s statement about Mexico.  Because yesterday he referred to Jeb Bush’s wife in this whole thing as an illegal immigrant.

To be honest, I am not moved by either. One is long overdue to happen.  The other is getting more attention because of the winds of dissension in our country.

Personally, I look for what’s on the other side of the smoke screen.  Because too often, when the smoke clears, we go away.  That’s why politics has become the crafty art of games and deception.  A smoke screen!

The GOP took up the flag issue right after the President brought up guns. The Black community brought up race.  Race and the GOP’s focus on the flag, took our attention away from guns, again!

Remember how upset the nation was when those twenty young children and six adults were murdered in New Town, Connecticut by a man with a gun?

Polling then suggested, the nation was ready to reform our nation’s gun laws. But Congress ignored that by heeding the call of the NRA and a small number of gun owners in America.

After Charleston, the GOP saw an opening for the conversation to shift back to guns.  To calm the winds especially going into the 2016 cycle they “strategically” shifted our political attention always from guns to the confederate flag.

It’s a brilliant move even if the time has long passed for the flag to be removed and placed in a museum. The truth is it shouldn’t take a vote or debate. But the murders that took place in Charleston made it necessary to have this important discussion.  While on the surface it may appear to be about race, the men and women killed would still be alive, if we had the courage to reform our gun laws!

The murderer may be racist at the core of his soul. He may hate Blacks. So what?  He would not have had the courage to murder those nine innocent God loving people without a what?  Just as Medgar Evers, Dr. King’s, Malcolm X’s Johh F. Kennedy’s, Robert F. Kennedy’s murderers wouldn’t have had the courage without a gun!

In California, the murder of a young woman by a Mexican immigrant who had been deported five times caught fire when Donald Trump mentioned him in his comments.  The man said that he found pills in a dumpster and a gun.

Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants and Mexico overshadow the political debate that Americans keep missing.  It is the opportunity to talk about guns.

Forty people were wounded over the weekend by guns!

Ten people were killed in Chicago over the weekend, the home of President Obama, by guns!

The Chicago police chief is now calling for gun reform because too many guns are entering the city.

The political tide has not shifted enough to bring our nation together to discuss the important issue of gun reform. How many people have to die, before it does?

The issue of race, economic disparity, mental illness will not go away because we discuss and address guns. In fact, it is a hard discussion because it will bring up a number of other issues under the umbrella of guns in America.

Our nation is divided, yet it is One Nation Under God.  It is divisible, because we too often react first then quiet down when we the media and politicians divert our attention from major issues that we can solve together.

When will we find common ground to discuss the serious issues of today?

If we come to the table and discuss the out of control gun violence in our Nation, we will find ourselves at the table with Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, mental health advocates, LGBT, Muslims, Jews, Christians and many other cultures, ethnic communities and religions who have all been affected by gun violence.

At the table, on an issue we have all been affected by, we can find common ground to successfully tackle this hard issue together.

The relationships built there will provide avenues to build bridges of trust for further conversation on the issues of race, economic disparity and other pertinent issues of the day.

We can’t do this for one community.  We have to do this for One Nation Under God!

Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG), a Public Affairs firm in Washington, DC and creator of Cognitive Relevance (CR) and Party Politics (PP).  Follow him on Twitter @atibamadyun or Like Atiba Madyun on Facebook.

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