Student Campaign Volunteers 5

Nick Leidahl works out of a classroom in Carver Hall making cold calls for the Bernie Sanders Campaign. 

When the perpetrator of the El Paso shooting walked into Walmart on Saturday, he didn’t kill 22 people just because of lax gun laws or mental health problems, and certainly not because of violent video games. No, he came with a mission lifted from rhetoric from the president himself. 

He came to “kill as many Mexicans as possible,” because of the “Hispanic invasion” threatening our country — the same incendiary, racist wording used by our president, the same ideology of white supremacy that is growing like wildfire under supremely unconcerned GOP leadership (looking at you, Mitch McConnell). It’s exhausting to see mass shootings become a more-than-daily occurrence. It is frankly terrifying to see the people in power avert their eyes from the bodies piling up and choose instead to fixate on the NRA money lining their coffers

So, I’m speaking right to those readers who are sickened, afraid, even panicked, about the state of our country right now, when I say that we can still make change. 

When the kind of change that we seek — big, structural change, reshaping of laws and change in our culture — seems too enormous to tackle as an individual activist, it’s easy to wonder what the point of trying even is. Grassroots movements can accomplish a lot, but at this point, change has to come from the top down. The El Paso shooter could have been stopped if we had different gun laws, if we didn’t have a tide of Hispanic hate in this country, and mostly if that hate wasn’t stoked by the president and Fox News. (Yeah, at this point? Fox News is a platform for white supremacy and that needs to be addressed.) And all of those changes that could have prevented him from taking 22 innocent lives can really only be implemented by the people in charge. 

So, what can we do? We can change the leadership of this country. 

Elections in the Senate and House of Representatives are coming up. Those elections matter so much, because if the president doesn’t have Congress on their side, a lot of what they try to accomplish will get blocked anyway. If Sen. Elizabeth Warren gets elected, for example, but then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wins his reelection and maintains control of the Senate, it would be very difficult for her to push through those gun control laws we so desperately need. 

A little less than half of the eligible population didn’t vote in the last presidential election. Millennials routinely have the lowest voter turnout, even though they have much more to lose from the results of elections than older generations who are — pardon me — nearing the ends of their careers as voters. It doesn’t make sense that we 18-29 year olds don’t vote even though we are the ones who will be primarily dealing with a burning planet, a collapsed economy, and an epidemic of gun violence. 

If we want change, we have to vote it into office. But even that can feel pointless at times, so I implore you: Do more. 

Pick a Senate race and join the fight. 

Campaigns are run on donations and volunteers and spreading the word and getting new voters to join their side. You, dear reader, who may be feeling like there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the way things are — you can do that. It’s really easy to volunteer for a candidate and start making cold calls, signing up new voters and going door-to-door.

There are a lot of really important races to be run next fall — including here in Iowa. Sen. Joni Ernst, who voted to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court is up for reelection. So is Rep. Steve King, who has a long and detailed history of supporting white supremacy. 

The presidential election is important, but so are the upcoming Congressional campaigns, and their margins for success or failure are small enough that a few well-placed efforts, such as a solid campaign on Iowa State’s campus, can have a much heftier impact. Donate to campaigns you support, volunteer for ones you can impact. This is how you can make a difference. 

Tired of seeing this country go to the shredder? Yeah, me too. Now pick a race.

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Letter to the Editor Submission Link

(1) comment

Steve Gregg

What a pack of liberal lies, a fetid expression of the lefty political bigotry that lost you the last election.

The El Paso shooter was talking about killing people en masse in high school long before Trump was elected. Back then, he wanted to kill people for personal reasons. Now, he came up with political reasons. However, even at that, most of his rant is lifted from liberal rhetoric, which the dishonest liberal media, the Daily included, did not report, lying by omission. Even his hateful comments about Hispanics were part of a larger complaint against capitalist corporations hiring illegal aliens instead of US citizens. The liberal media clipped off the last part because it tied the racism to liberal rhetoric.

Trump is not ordering people to perpetrate mass shootings, you malicious dolt. That’s just nutty lefty hate talk. It’s worth noting that half of mass shootings are perpetrated by black men as part of turf wars between gangs or drug disputes or retaliating for disrespect. Iowa State experienced such a mass shooting when some black punks did a drive by in Campus Town a couple years ago. Those young black shooters are not Trump supporters. And, really, the mass shootings during Trump’s administration are no more his fault than the ones under Obama nor Clinton. Who the president is has nothing to do with it.

And, really, mass shootings are not becoming more common. Gun crime in general is on the decline since the 1990s. Obama had the qualifications for mass shootings reduced to dishonestly claim that more were happening. That false claim lingers in the rhetoric of low information liberals.

There is no white supremacy spreading around America except in fevered skulls of liberals. I’m a flaming conservative who has met a lot of flaming conservatives in my life. I’ve never met anyone who believes in white supremacy. We conservatives believe in middle class culture and the assimilation of legal immigrants into it, just like Asian immigrants have done so admirably. The loony lefty editors of the Daily, and liberals in general, fling such racist slander because they lack real arguments for their positions. It’s desperate lying by liberals who can’t come to grips with losing the presidential election. They simply can’t understand why normal Americans are not buying their crap.

Fox News is not spreading hate nor white supremacy. It’s a network that presents a conservative view, which liberals hate and condemn because they hate free speech. Rather than present a rational rebuttal against such conservative ideas, they screech their hate of it. And, really, the El Paso shooter’s screed was full of liberal rhetoric that he did not get from Fox News.

We would have the same mass shootings even if you outlawed assault weapons, confiscated all of them, and ground them up. Most mass shootings are done with handguns, which are more suited to the task. You can make just about any gun in a home machine shop. Soon, you’ll be able to make guns overnight by pouring some metal toner in a home 3D printer. Such stereolithography makes gun control futile.

The NRA does not force people to do anything. It represents millions of people, like me, who support the right to bear arms as a check on tyrannous government. It’s money is only a tiny single percent of that of unions and environmental lobbies which liberals favor. What the NRA represents is votes of the majority of people who want the Second Amendment conserved. This is how democracy works.

None of these shooters are members of the NRA. The NRA does not advocate gun homicide nor mass shootings. The NRA is mostly committed to teaching gun safety and making sure gun ranges are safe. It’s worth noting that guns save lives. There are two million gun defenses in the US every year, more than 90% of which involve no more than brandishing a weapon in a criminal’s face. If the citizens had no guns and one half of one percent of those confrontations escalated to homicide, that would double the gun homicide rate.

And the planet is not burning. Such are the wild claims of credulous and panicky liberal ninnies. Global warming is another liberal claim that is false from front to back, meant to dupe people into giving liberals trillions of bucks and unaccountable political power.

This editorial is so over the top and full of wild claims that normal people should roll their eyes and dismiss it.

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