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The red eye has flown over the United States again.
Just a few weeks ago, President Donald Trump threatened to “send in the Marines” and declare martial law in the country after a man in a black shirt brandished a homemade, AR-15-style rifle on a busy highway in Oregon.
That same night, a white man in an orange shirt fired a rifle into a crowd of demonstrators in Minneapolis, killing six people and wounding more than a dozen others.
The White House issued a “call to action” for those in the streets of America to defend themselves from the threat posed by the man in the orange shirt.
But the man who wielded a rifle in Minneapolis has never been arrested, and the Minneapolis police officer who fired the fatal shot was fired after refusing to open fire.
That is the backdrop for the latest episode in a growing pattern of shootings in the United State.
“We have to get past this fear that has gripped America,” said former President Barack Obama.
“There’s a sense of national security and we need to stand together.”
But that sense of collective safety has gone the way of the dinosaur.
While Trump has issued an executive order to boost the military, Congress has refused to approve any new military equipment, with the Senate recently refusing to give its approval to new ammunition.
In the wake of the Minneapolis attack, Congress passed a new package of $6 billion in spending for the National Guard, but the administration refused to fund it, saying it would hurt the military.
Trump’s critics, including many Republicans, have accused him of not standing up to the military because of his lack of political capital, and of being unable to make a dent in the opioid epidemic that has swept the country.
He has also taken a number of controversial executive orders, including one aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities, which allows local governments to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
In his new book, The America We Deserve, author and political analyst John Nichols said that, while the threat of a new terrorist attack in the U.S. is real, it’s also important to recognize the country has a long way to go before that happens.
He cited the recent shooting in Virginia, where a man who was believed to be a member of the Islamic State killed four people and wounded three others.
Nichols called that shooting “the start of a pattern of domestic terror attacks that will continue to be repeated.”
In a similar vein, Nichols said Trump has done little to stem the tide of gun violence.
He said it is hard to imagine a President Trump standing up for the right to bear arms in the way that he has done, adding that Trump “doesn’t believe the Second Amendment is absolute.”
Nichols said he believed Trump would be “a very different president” than Obama, saying the former president “had a sense that if he was going to try to put the nation on the right path, he needed to stand up to some of these issues.”
And while Nichols said the current administration is “too soft on crime,” he believes Trump would also be a better leader because of that.
Nichols said while he believes some people will “come out of this red eye” in the next six months, “that doesn’t mean the world is going to end.”
In other words, it may not be the end of the world, but it will be a time of uncertainty.
____ Follow Lori Johnston at: http://twitter.com/lorijonesAP