After 9/11, several of my coworkers with teenage boys talked about how their young sons were passionately expressing their desire to “sign up.” After Pearl Harbor, young men all over the country were clamoring to “sign up.” Our country had been “invaded.”

In response to refugees seeking asylum at our border, President Trump has been characterizing this humanitarian crisis as caravans of rapists, murderers and gangs “invading” our country.

His behavior at a recent rally is perhaps the worst and most dangerous thing our president has done. And that’s saying something, as he practices the art of fear and loathing better than anyone.

After asking, “How can we stop these people?” referring to the “invaders,” a crowd member responds, “Shoot them.” The crowd goes wild as Trump smiles and bathes in the cheers and laughter of the crowd.

Scores of people were murdered in El Paso by a shooter with an automatic rifle, who referred to the “invasion” at our border. He got his weapon and drove over 10 hours to a mall where he could find lots of brown people to kill.

President Trump claims, “There’s no place for hatred in our country.” But he has spent over $16 million on Facebook ads promoting the absurd idea that our country is being “invaded.”

It’s open season on people of color, especially those from south of our border. A “call to arms” to white nationalists and radicalized, resentful white men. Angry young men who can easily get their hands on military-style weapons.

This rhetoric is not only toxic — it’s deadly! Citizens are dying by the dozens. We need to shut down this rhetoric. And we need to do something about our gun laws. There’s no place for military weapons in the hands of civilians, especially in the hands of civilians “called to arms” by our president.

Julie Mayhew, Salt Lake City