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One can only live in fear if one listens to Republicans and watches their campaign ads. Republicans consistently decouple gun control from crime. Criminality is a real problem, but Willie Horton is not waiting around every corner. I have lived in Philadelphia for over 16 years and have not been chased, beaten, or shot. The most harassment I have been subjected to so far is from a neighborhood stray cat who sits at my front door every morning, hoping I continue to give him a can of tuna and water. Crime anywhere is frightening, and I would be foolish to minimize or ignore the deaths and muggings that go on every day in both urban and suburban big and little cities. On September 1, 2021, the current Governor of Texas [Greg Abbott] permitted Texans over 21 to carry firearms without a permit.

Since that point…

In an article published by Reform Austin, statistics were amassed using the Stanford University MSA Data Project databases, the Mass Shooting Tracker, Vox’s Gun Violence Archives, Mother Jones, The Washington Post, the FBI, and the Congressional Research Service painting a clear picture of the result in the change in the law. The year before the law, 187 murders—including mass murders took place in Texas. In the intervening year, the number rose to 375.

The inconsistency of the GOP when it comes to violence and crime is not just in the numbers; it is in the immorality. Republicans excused cop killers on January 6. Using words like it did not happen “on-site” to minimize the deaths of the four officers who committed suicide following the insurrection or a fifth, Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the next day of a stroke exacerbated by exposure to bear spray, is sickening. We all remember the cheers and yelps from Republicans for former President Trump when he called Mexicans murderers and rapists, later ignoring and excusing the credible accusations of rape by writer E. Jean Carrol and sexual assault allegations by 19 other women. Yet criminality is reasoned away without a black face or a Hispanic surname attached. Clearly, despite the former President claiming government documents are his personal property, it is unassailable that he took them under dubious circumstances. Conservative media outlets were outraged when a literal party of two black men—identified as members of the New Black Panther party stood in front of a polling place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2008, one man carrying a club. Even the GOP poll watcher who took the film, Stephen Morse, laments that his video has become a recurring “Republican anthem” to prove black voters are cheating.

The men in the Philadelphia case, one of which was a legal poll watcher, were identified, and their faces were in plain view. Compare that to Arizona’s current and blatant intimidation, where cosplay soldiers in tactical gear and covered faces sit (unauthorized) brandishing semi-automatic weapons and cameras, menacing voters. The fascism of the voter suppression tactics that have moved from the state legislatures to the streets is an affront to free and fair elections. Thousands of poll workers have been forced through fear to either resign their positions or no longer volunteer. So, when Ruby Freeman and her daughter [Wandrea Shaye Moss] were forced to leave their homes, businesses, and lifestyle because of a lie, and they only wanted to serve their communities and country, we owe it to them and people like them to vote.

Continue to Vote for Change          

  • October 26, 2022