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Ever since his election Donald Trump has waged an all-out crusade against the mainstream media by calling certain publications “fake news”, ridiculing a disabled reporter, and even allowing the Justice Department to seize the phone and email records of a New York Times reporter. He has also encouraged his followers to be violent while saying that he would cover the legal fees of any follower who beats up an anti-Trump protester. And that’s not to mention how he said that both sides were to blame for what happened last year in Charlottesville and he refused to denounce the violence that came mainly from the alt-right.

But now his words and actions have actually harmed people and it all went down just 30 miles away from where I live. It happened today in Annapolis when someone walked inside the offices of The Capitol Gazette with a gun and fired a bunch of shots that killed five people and left scores of people injured.

I briefly did some freelance reporting work for The Capitol Gazette after I graduated from the University of Maryland with my newly-minted Bachelor’s degree in journalism in hand. I wanted to build up my journalism experience further but I soon left due to a pay dispute (I was supposed to get a stipend for each article published but that didn’t happen) plus my parents and my fiancee were all pressuring me to find a more steady job and they pretty much pressured me to take an office job. (The pressure started about two or three months after graduation. Those times were very stressful and I felt like I was being ganged up at times by three people who were supposed to be supportive of me and my goals but, in the end, they weren’t. When I discussed this with a therapist I was seeing at the time years later, she said that she understood the horrible pressure I was under. If I had found more steady work related to what I studied in college that paid well soon after I had finished my studies, I definitely would’ve moved from my parents’ house and into an apartment of my own with roommates—instead of accepting my fiancee’s marriage proposal—while waiting a few years longer before I got married but that’s another story.)

I haven’t worked there in years so I doubt I would know anyone who works there now. (And I wasn’t in the office very much to begin with since it was a very part-time freelance job.) But I am horrified at what happened. Imagine showing up for work only to get shot at.

The authorities have caught the shooter, who’s a white man with a long gun. Thanks to his leadership and the horrible example he has set for white men like himself, Donald Trump has blood on his hands. A nation’s leader sets the example for how his/her people behave. If a leader acts civil and dignified, especially around his/her own supporters, then the people will be encouraged to act civil and dignified. If a leader encourages violence while accusing various media outlets of producing “fake news,” especially around his/her own supporters, then we get situations like what happened in Annapolis today.

The fact that the U.S. has done nothing to curb gun violence on a national level doesn’t help at all.

So, yes, I blame Donald Trump for what happened in Annapolis today. He should be removed from office immediately but I’m not going to hold my breath on that happening, especially since there are too many sycophants in Congress who refuse to do anything about impeaching Trump, even though there are now several legitimate reasons why Trump can and should be impeached.

Today’s shooting in Annapolis is yet another reason why we all need to go to the polls in November so we can vote out of the Congress all those people who won’t stand up to Trump and replace them with new people who are unafraid of Trump and do what is right for the American people and the future of this republic.

UPDATE (July 2, 2018): Here is how much contempt that Donald Trump has for journalists. In previous mass shootings, he had ordered the flags to be lowered to half-staff. For The Capitol Gazette shooting, he has refused to issue any kind of calls to lower the flags. This indicates the zero respect that Donald Trump has for the news media, despite the fact that he only got to where he is today due to the same news media, which had provided far more coverage of Donald Trump in 2016 than all of his other rivals put together.

UPDATE (July 3, 2018): It looks like Trump has reversed himself and the flags are currently being lowered at half-staff in memory of the murdered journalists.



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