The reason Kate Steinle is dead has nothing to do with “Illegal” immigration or sanctuary cities or building border walls. But that’s what you’ll hear. And without a sense of irony, or forensic insight, that’s the conclusion you might draw.
But you’d be wrong.
Kate Steinle is dead because elected US Government officials in Washington and state capitals across the country have placed gun ownership, and the money that comes with it’s defense, over the lives and values they swore to protect. Kate Steinle was killed by a federal agent’s gun that was stored improperly. It’s true that the man who shot her was Mexican. And he was undocumented. And he repeatedly came back to the US after being deported. But none of that is germane because the gun fired accidentally, struck the pavement and the ricochet killed Steinle. Her death was a horrible tragedy, but not a murder. The jury ruled after hearing both sides. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate will be punished and spend time in jail, but not for her death. That’s the truth.
The American justice system did what Trump, Jeff Sessions, and their racist followers are unable, incapable, and unwilling to do; embrace the principles by which we were founded. John Adams, our second president some 200 plus years ago, defended British soldiers at the Boston Massacre. He successfully defended them against the unholy spirit that embraced Boston in the 1700’s. There was fear, and there was hatred for the British. Adams understood that the rule of law must come before fear and ignorance. And despite the anger of many, justice ruled the day.
But Trump is no John Adams. Just one day after Trump attacked Muslims yet again, this time with fraudulent videos and ad hominem attacks, the president directed his vitriol at Mexicans and Mexican-Americans; as though somehow they are responsible in Kate Steinle’s death.
These are important times for our nation. Trump is more than a menace. He is a virus. And the only immunization is information, action, and a rejection of their cynical world.