Trump's Silence On Gun Deaths Says So Much Compared To Obama's Many Speeches

by John Haltiwanger
Jack Gruber-Pool/Getty Images

After the recent terror attack in London, President Donald Trump sent a snide tweet about guns, which implied strict gun laws don't do anything to reduce violence or terrorism.

Handguns are outlawed in the United Kingdom and gun laws are highly restrictive, which helps save lives.

If the attackers in London had used guns, it's highly probable far more people would've been killed, but Trump conveniently overlooked that fact.

Trump's tweet, sent on June 4, came just a day before a work-related mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, where five were killed.

Monday's mass shooting occurred a week before the anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a terrorist attack involving guns that left 49 dead -- the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

In total, including the five individuals killed in Orlando, at least 28 people were killed by gun violence across the U.S. on June 5, according to data from Gun Violence Archive.

While it isn't a competition, that's four times the number killed in London (that attack claimed seven lives), and it happened within 24 hours.

Monday's shooting in Orlando had nothing to do with terrorism; it was just another sad example of gun violence in America.

In 2016 alone, gun violence claimed over 15,000 lives in the U.S.

Even still, Trump has yet to recognize it as a major problem in this country.

Trump apparently wants people to believe restrictive gun laws don't help reduce terrorism or death, but America knows from tragic experience that's simply not true.

Moreover, it's well-documented terrorist groups like ISIS view America's loose gun laws as an asset.

Harry Sarfo, a German man who joined ISIS and is now imprisoned, told The New York Times the terror organization aims to radicalize people over social media and encourage them to take advantage of how easy it is to get a gun in the U.S.

Sarfo said,

For America and Canada, it's much easier for them to get them over the social network, because [ISIS says] the Americans are dumb — they have open gun policies. [ISIS says] we can radicalize them easily, and if they have no prior record, they can buy guns, so we don't need to have no contact man who has to provide guns for them.

While Trump is fervently promoting a "travel ban" on six predominately Muslim countries in order to prevent terrorism, groups like ISIS are simply looking to radicalize folks online and send them to the gun store.

Relatedly, it's worth noting the gunman at Pulse nightclub was born in Queens, not far from where Trump was born. He legally purchased the guns he used in the shooting on consecutive days roughly a week before the massacre.

A travel ban wouldn't have prevented someone like him from getting into the U.S., because he was a natural-born citizen.

Restrictive gun laws, however, could've prevented him from obtaining the firearms he used to murder dozens of people.

Data shows states with tougher gun laws have fewer gun deaths, and there's extremely strong evidence background checks help save lives.

But Trump isn't seemingly unwilling to recognize any of this.

So far in 2017, over 6,500 people have been killed by gun violence in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Trump's silence on this issue has been deafening. The mainstream media's hyperbolic coverage of terror attacks hasn't helped either.

The president has sent numerous tweets in the past few days, but none have delved into gun violence.

Based on his past statements and actions, it seems safe to say Trump will not be prioritizing this issue whatsoever during his tenure, even as Americans continue to die.

Trump's approach to gun violence couldn't be more different than his predecessor's.

Obama made addressing gun violence one of the central aspects of his presidency.

When former President Barack Obama addressed the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub last June, it marked at least the 17th time he'd addressed a mass shooting as president.

Throughout his time in office, Obama was extremely vocal about the need for the U.S. to recognize how big of a problem gun violence is, and how desperately it needed to act to change this.

But he was consistently met by an obstinate Congress on this issue, led by Republicans with deep ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

In January 2016, Obama was reduced to tears in the White House when discussing the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and announcing executive actions he was taking to address gun violence.

Sadly, his efforts had a limited impact. But, to Obama's credit, he was always adamant that nothing would truly change on this issue without Congress, which has been unwilling to budge.

Now that Republicans have a majority in Congress and a Republican president who has made it clear he has no plans on prioritizing the issue of gun violence, they're under no pressure to act.

Citations: Gunman 'singled out' victims in Orlando shooting spree (CNN), Gun Violence Archive (Gun Violence Archive)