No one believed that the president would talk about real-world solutions to the problems of gun violence following the shooting deaths of 17 people in Parkland, Florida. What no one could have expected, though, is that he would take the opportunity to blame the victims of the shooting rather than the fact that an extremely mentally disturbed 19-year-old was able to legally get his hands on so many powerful guns.
Trump is certainly not the first Republican to avoid discussions of common sense gun reform following a mass shooting, but he is without a doubt the first president to blame the “neighbors and classmates” for not reporting someone they saw as odd and trusting that those reports would keep them safe. As far as “victim blaming” goes, Trump has truly taken the cake with this tweet.
Other lawmakers had different messages that spoke to the heart of the problem.
— Casey Wilson (@caseyrosewilson) February 15, 2018
While Trump blames the shooter’s traumatized neighbors and classmates, he avoids all of the crucial issues that need to be discussed following this tragedy and all the others. The fact is that the shooter legally purchased the guns he used to slaughter 17 innocent people, some of them children, and that could have been prevented. The fact is that mental health services should be readily accessible to all Americans, and Trump has prevented that from happening with his efforts to defund the ACA without a viable replacement plan. The fact is that the GOP has refused to address school shootings, 25 fatal school shootings since Columbine in 1999, because the NRA funds their campaigns.
What Trump wants to talk about is how “neighbors and classmates” are to blame for not reporting his “bad and erratic behavior again and again.”
Twitter had their own thoughts on Trump’s tweet. See some of their responses below:
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong