Photography by D. Plasman
I wonder how President-elect Trump will offer comfort and support to grieving families and survivors of our nation’s next mass shooting? I’ve been pondering this ever since Mr. Trump received the most electoral votes. During his term, there will be another mass shooting on our soil, perhaps many more. This is inevitable. We are America.
Nearly two dozen mass shootings occurred during Obama’s presidency. We name them by their locales that include: Aurora, Newtown, Tuscan, Fort Hood, The Navy Yard, Charleston, Orlando (the most deadly with 50 killed/53 injured).
In the aftermath of mass shootings, we expect our Presidents to appear on TV to express sorrow, to share their grief, to offer comfort to mourning families and survivors — to all Americans. Often times, Presidents personally visit the families, attend funerals, and, as Mr. Obama did so eloquently at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, give the eulogy.
Though it is not written in the Constitution, it has become an essential duty of the office of the Presidency. In ways for which a Head of State never prepares, our Presidents, if only for a brief time, become pastors, counselors, soothers of troubled souls, hand-holders, and messengers of hope.
So, I wonder how President-elect Trump will offer comfort and support to grieving families and survivors of our nation’s next mass shooting?
How will this man, who divides the world into winners and losers, ease the pain of those who find themselves on the ash heap of unfathomable loss?
What will our soon-to-be President say to families of victims and survivors of the next mass shooting if those families and survivors include Muslims, the physically disabled, or recent immigrants (undocumented or otherwise)?
Late at night or in an early morning hour, will Mr. Trump activate his Twitter account and tweet: “I told you so, America. This is why you elected me as the law and order President”?
What will this next President, who is lauded as the golden boy of the NRA and considers its leaders, Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, his personal friends, say to a nation and to sobbing families about our epidemic of gun violence?
How deep into his own soul will President-elect Trump dig in order to get in touch with his own losses, his own vulnerabilities, and his own fragile humanity? If he digs deep, will he like what he sees?
Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to imagine a self-absorbed, thin-skinned narcissist able to do with dignity what past Presidents have done so honorably.
So, I wonder about such things, yet in this Advent season dare to believe: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.”