I’m a card carrying member of the NRA, and every time some asshole decides to shoot a lot of people, I’m blamed and told I have blood on my hands before the bodies are cold. Before families have even had the chance to identify their loved ones, there’s a politician calling for gun control — and it’s disgusting. It was disgusting thing to do at Stoneman Douglas High, and it’s disgusting to do to Mollie Tibbetts and her family.
Immigration is probably the issue I’m the most conservative on. There’s literally no one that wants a wall more than I do. I understand why people come here illegally — and if I was born in a poor, violent country I’d probably do the same — but it doesn’t change the fact that the United States has no obligation to anyone here illegally. You run the risk of being deported when you make the choice to enter or remain in a country illegally — no matter your story, noble intentions, award winning smile or work ethic. And Mollie Tibbetts would still be alive if our immigration laws were more strictly enforced. A conversation about our joke of a border needs to be had.
That being said, the way her death is being used feels wrong. It’s exploitative and opportunistic. Like, have they even finalized funeral arrangements? Her family is grieving, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to see people that never knew her reduce her to a mascot for their platform.
If I’m being completely honest, if her murderer wasn’t a valuable pawn for a narrative I wonder if she would’ve just been another dead girl. If she had died in some freak accident or been killed by a random hillbilly would anyone care? Would the people that claim to be fighting and hash tagging and soap boxing for her give an actual shit? Or is she just another talking point? Is her death just convenient tragedy to push policy for some of the people claiming to care the most?
When I first saw that Mollie Tibbetts had gone missing, I’m going to be honest with you…I didn’t care. Don’t get me wrong, it was sad and I was glad her family was able to gain traction, but people go missing every day and given that I can barely make out my friends in crowds of people I would be of zero help trying to identify her. The last time I was actually moved by news was when I saw a video of five grown men hacking at a boy my little sister’s age with a machete because it was THAT graphic and shocking. I thought it was sad that a sweet-looking girl was missing, but I’m desensitized to horrible things in the worst way. I spend hours every day scouring for news stories because of my job, and as a result I see a lot of really fucked up things on a regular basis. I read about a father beating his son to death in a hotel room over a cookie he ate, and about an 8 year old homeless boy in Pakistan being violently gang raped by 4 heroin addicts. Another missing person was just…another missing person.
So to an extent I understand why immigration hawks like myself so far removed from Mollie are able to use her name without flinching or thinking twice. We’re all numb. But seeing her family week after week eventually broke through. When her father said “She’s a real person. She’s just not a face on a poster. She’s our daughter, she’s our sister, she’s our friend. We just want her home” it actually struck me. But the people I agree with on immigration aren’t treating her like a real person, a daughter, a sister or a friend. And she — and her family — deserve better.