Hypocritical politics on mass shootings

By Luke Wathen

The Oregon shooting on October 2 added another tally on a grim list. Mass shootings, whether they be at movie theaters, high schools or college campuses continue to be a uniquely American problem with no clear solution.

In the wake of the tragedy, President Obama sparked controversy when he announced that he planned to use the killings as a platform to reexamine gun laws in the United States.

“This is something we should politicize,” Obama said in an address last Thursday. “It is common to our common life together, to the body politic.”

Following this statement, Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful, flocked to Twitter to voice his outrage on the President’s speech.

“With few facts, Obama is quick to politicize this tragedy to advance his liberal, anti-gun agenda.” Huckabee tweeted.

While you can agree with what the former governor said to an extent, his words can strike as being noticeably hypocritical, especially since he used a similar tragedy as a soapbox to publicize his beliefs.

Flashback to December 2012, when lone a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. While the nation mourned this senseless slaughter, Mike Huckabee chose to address the situation in a different manner.

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said “Should we be surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

Prayer in public schools has been a contentious issue for about the past 50 years and will likely be a topic for debate for another 50. Yet Mike Huckabee chose the aftermath of this school shooting to discuss it.

Whether or not you believe that, the aftermath of a tragedy is a time for mourning and contemplation or a time for discussing the way to handle future events is your own view. It is easy to understand and tolerate both approaches equally well.

What is intolerable is blatant hypocrisy. Huckabee was so quick to demonize the president for his actions before considering that he had done the same three years earlier.

In the meantime, mass shootings continue to be a major issue all across the country. Whether the solution is increased gun control, a greater emphasis on mental health evaluation or increased security in schools remains to be seen.

What is not a solution is political demonization. Instead of blindly attacking the president for his proposal, perhaps he should have offered a different approach to the issue.

Mass shootings will not just go away with wishful thinking and hypocritical tweets. The only way for this trend of violence to stop is with a sense of mutual teamwork from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Mike Huckabee and all other political leaders America implores you: Quit the hypocrisy. Stop competing and start cooperating.

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