The Mass Shooting Hillary Clinton Never Cared About

The Mass Shooting Hillary Clinton Never Cared About

Is Hillary Clinton The Gun Control Champion She’s Made Out To Be?

It’s a key component of her campaign’s narrative, and for some of her supporters, it’s her greatest selling point: Hillary Clinton is considered by many to be one of our nation’s leading gun control advocates, and a voice worth listening to.

Hillary Clinton’s stance on gun control is often used by her supporters when mounting verbal offensives against her campaign rival, Bernie Sanders. They believe Hillary is better on the gun control issue in general than Sanders, an argument Clinton herself has made in the Democratic debates. The NRA doesn’t exactly love Hillary, either, which sells that stance even stronger.

But for nearly seven years now, I’ve thought the exact opposite about Hillary Clinton. I refuse to acknowledge her as some great gun control champion. And that view isn’t based on statistics, or speeches, or her votes on Capitol Hill. For me, it all boils down to one tragic incident back in April of 2009, right here in my hometown. barely more than a mile from where I’m writing this article… an event Clinton has never once acknowledged in public.

The Worst Mass Shooting You’ve Never Heard About.

On April 3rd of 2009, the city of Binghamton, New York — the city that I call home — endured one of the worst mass shootings in American history, resulting in the senseless deaths of 14 people, including the psychopath pulling the trigger, all perpetrated using legally-owned firearms.

At approximately 10:30 in the morning, Jiverly Antares Wong walked into Binghamton’s American Civic Center and opened fire in a classroom that was offering citizenship to immigrants, a classroom Wong, a naturalized US citizen, had previously attended. He murdered 13 people and injured four others before turning his gun on himself.

The story made only a brief blip on the national news, most likely because the victims were immigrants pursuing American citizenship. Apart from those of us who live here, the event is all but completely forgotten in the United States. President Obama very briefly mentioned it a couple of times… that’s all we’ve ever really heard about it out of Washington.

The Person Who Should Care The Most Cares The Least.

You would probably guess that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would’ve spoken at great lengths about this tragedy. It’s a sensible assumption, isn’t it? After all, this event was in her wheelhouse in every conceivable way.

These were immigrants pursuing citizenship, which makes it a State Department issue. This happened to her former constituents in New York State, in a city she had visited several times… if she cared about said constituents, she’d want to show us some form of solidarity, right? And her supporters today tell me constantly that she’s the best gun control advocate in the field, so you’d imagine she’d want to shine a light on one of the worst mass shootings in this country’s history, and the biggest mass-murder in New York State since September 11th.

You could assume all of that, but you’d be wrong. To date, she hasn’t uttered a single word about Binghamton’s mass shooting, not once, in nearly seven years. She’s talked about nearly every other mass shooting, from Aurora and Sandy Hook to San Bernardino — well known stories that give her room for political maneuvering — but the only time the word “Binghamton” has crossed her lips in the past twenty years has been when she was visiting this city.

I Can’t See Hillary Clinton As A Leader On Gun Control.

For me, this isn’t a political issue, so much as it’s a human one. I realize there are strong arguments to be made against Bernie Sanders’ gun control positions, many of which are a lot stronger than the hurt feelings of Binghamton’s progressives. This has less to do with the election, and more to do with me wondering if Hillary Clinton’s heart is really in the right place on issues such as this one.

I’m not asking for anyone to politicize a tragedy, especially one that so metaphorically and literally hits close to home. I’m grateful Hillary Clinton has never tried to use Binghamton’s mass shooting as political capital or falsely attempted to use this horrible event as an outlet for scoring points with potential voters. Binghamton dodged the worst of politics, for sure.

But this was a horrific event, one that deserves its rightful place in this country’s gun control narrative. And we should be talking about it as it relates to immigration as well; allowing the families of the victims a chance to share their stories and emotionally prove to those hateful voices on the right that immigrants are people too, and how their pursuit of the American dream illustrates what’s best about this country of ours.

If there’s one political figure in the United States for whom every star has aligned to bring Binghamton’s tragedy into the public spotlight, for all of the right reasons, it’s Hillary Clinton. She’s the best-suited for the task, and in many ways, she has a responsibility to do so. But she hasn’t, and I doubt she ever will.

For me personally, the story of Binghamton’s mass shooting does more to harm Hillary Clinton’s credibility and the respect I hold for her than anything else. I’m voting for Bernie Sanders because of his positions on any number of issues, but I’m voting against Hillary Clinton, in the primary only of course, because she refuses to be a human being when we need her to be one.

If one of her staffers finds this article, we might hear her mention Binghamton in passing, but it’ll be too little, too late. I can’t see Hillary Clinton as a leader on gun control. I can’t consider her to be a champion of immigrant rights, either. And if she wins this primary, I’ll be voting for her only as the lesser of two evils, but my heart will never be with her. Why? Because her heart is never with us.

Featured image by Exakta, courtesy of Flickr

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App