In the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 which left 17 people dead, President Donald Trump has often addressed topics like gun control, mental health, school safety and the history of the shooter. On Monday, Feb. 26, he revisited the tragedy in a meeting with governors and his statement is pretty confusing. Trump said he'd go into Parkland school without a gun to diffuse the situation, but seeing how he totally avoided being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, I kinda find that hard to believe.
Trump's comments are in response to reports of an armed guard who was present at the scene of the shooting but had failed to act. Though the officer, Scot Peterson, has since resigned, Trump has openly criticized him in recent days for reportedly choosing to stay outside of the school during the Parkland shooting. He alleged that Peterson "doesn't love the children, probably doesn't know the children," and "called him a "coward," saying,
He trained his whole life. But when it came time to get in there and do something he didn't have the courage or something happened. But he certainly did a poor job. There's no question about that.
Peterson's lawyer said in a statement shared with CNN that his client had acted as was "appropriate under the circumstances," and added that "the allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue."
Obviously Trump seems to believe that he could have done a better job than Peterson, because on Monday, he said he would've entered the school and intervened the shooting, even if he didn't have a gun.
Trump said, "You know I really believe, you don't know until you're tested, but I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon and I think most of the people in this room would've done that too."
However, Trump avoided fighting in the Vietnam War, which make his comments about running in to fight now confusing.
Trump's comments just don't make that much sense considering the fact that he avoided the Vietnam draft. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump had registered for the draft in 1964, which was a requirement for 18-year old men. However, he received educational deferments four times from 1964 to 1968, until he graduated college. He then received a fifth medical deferment on the basis of bone spurs in his heels.
In the years since, Trump has been vague on the details about what led to his deferments. He told The New York Times in 2016 that the bone spurs had been a "temporary" problem that healed on their own, and said that he'd been seen by a doctor who gave him a letter to obtain a medical exemption. He said he couldn't remember the name of the doctor who provided the letter.
He's also said that he missed the war for a different reason. In 2011, he said that he wasn't drafted because of the luck of his high draft number, according to The New York Times. Trump said, "I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers, and I got a very, very high number."
Since then, some have called out Trump for supposed cowardice in avoiding the draft.
And his statements now aren't helping.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders clarified Trump's statement during a news briefing later in the day. Sanders said that, rather than trying to storm the school, the commander-in-chief meant that he would've been "a leader" who'd hopefully be "able to help." She said,
I think he was just stating that as a leader he would’ve stepped in and hopefully been able to help. He was saying he would be a leader and would want to take a courageous action.
But some people weren't buying Sanders' comments.
@Michaelhorowicz took the words right out of my mouth.
Well, almost no one.
Hindsight is honestly 20/20, which makes Trump's claims of intervening the Parkland shooting easier said than done. I just hope that this back-and-forth ends sooner than later and that some real action happens to put a stop to these types of tragedies.