Donald Trump's Tweet About The 'Capital Gazette' Shooting Is So Sadly Familiar
When tragedy strikes, a lot of the Internet turns to the "thoughts and prayers" theme. It's a fine sentiment meant to hold out a comforting hand, so to speak, for those affected. But, it's also kind of the bare minimum, especially if you're the president. Well, that didn't stop our POTUS. President Donald Trump's tweet about the Capital Gazette shooting sent "thoughts & prayers," again.
On Thursday, June 28, a gunman opened fire on an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper office called the Capital Gazette. First reports of a shooting came in on Thursday afternoon. According to NBC News, five people have been killed and others injured. Phil Davis, a crime reporter on staff who was in the building during the shooting, tweeted after the fact and said that someone had shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on the staffers. He wrote in his tweet,
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't say much more and don't want to declare anyone dead, but it's bad.
Later that day, Trump tweeted that, though on the road, he had been briefed about the shooting — and he sent his "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families. He wrote in his June 28 tweet,
Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.
First of all, Trump had been tweeting (bragging) all day about his trip to Wisconsin on his quest to open U.S. jobs. So right off the bat, I think him including it was a bit of a plug and less of some vital information. More significantly, Trump relied on some cookie-cutter responses he had in his back pocket. Which was to send out his "thoughts and prayers, which would have been totally fine if he was also taking measures towards gun safety — but that hasn't been the case so far.
After the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which killed 17 people, the public cry for gun control reached a fever pitch. But while the president initially promised to support gun control reform, he quickly backtracked.
In a February 22 tweet, for example, he proposed more comprehensive background checks and an end to bump stocks, neither of which have happened yet. In fact, Trump himself is responsible for rolling back mental health restrictions that would have prevented mentally ill people from purchasing guns. Instead, the one Trump "fix" that has stood out in the crawl towards gun reform is that Trump thinks it would be a good idea to arm teachers. So I guess "thoughts and prayers" are all the president has to offer.
And he's offered them before. Trump's message about the Capital Gazette shooting is nearly identical to every other tweet he's sent about every gun-related incident that's occurred while he's been in office.
For instance, back in April after the shooting at YouTube HQ in San Bruno, California, Trump tweeted his "thoughts and prayers." He wrote in his April 3 tweet,
Was just briefed on the shooting at YouTube’s HQ in San Bruno, California. Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody involved. Thank you to our phenomenal Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders that are currently on the scene.
And after the Parkland shooting, Trump thought it was a good idea to send the same sort of "thoughts and prayers" tweet to the victims and their families. He wrote in a February 14 tweet,
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
It's nice of Trump to offer his condolences and "thoughts and prayers" — but that's not going to fix the problem and ensure that another shooting doesn't happen again.
Instead of nice thoughts, maybe the next time something like this happens, Trump can instead tweet about an actual way to fix it. At the very least it would be some variety.