‘What Are You Going to Do?': Trump Pathetically Shrugs Off ShootingIt's fine that he contradicted himself. Gun fans -- a group that includes pretty much all Republican voters -- regularly wave off questions about the much lower levels of gun violence in other countries, though when pressed, they tell us we have an excessive number of gun deaths because we live in a "diverse culture." So both parts of that contradiction are acceptable on the right.
... Asked [during an appearance today on Morning Joe] what he would do to prevent incidents like this one if he were president, Trump said, “Well first of all, you have very strong laws on the books. But you’re always going to have problems. I mean, we have millions and millions of people. We have millions of sick people all over the world.”
“It can happen all over the world,” he continued, before contradicting himself within the space of one sentence. “And it does happen all over the world, by the way, but this is sort of unique to this country, the school shootings, and you’re going to have difficulty no matter what.”
... Characterizing the issue as one that has more to do with “mental health” than guns, Trump said, “It’s awfully hard to put somebody in an institution for the rest of their lives based on the fact he looks like he could be a problem.” He then added, “You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold.”What's so remarkable about that? Republicans say that all the time.
Host Willie Geist pressed Trump to say whether he really believes that “some people are going to slip through the cracks and there’s not much you can do about it.” And, remarkably, the GOP frontrunner answered affirmatively.
“Well, you know, it’s not politically correct to say that but you’re going to have difficulty and that would be for the next million years, you’re going to have difficulty,” Trump answered, expressing an enormous degree of resignation on the issue of gun safety. “People are going to slip through the cracks and even if you did great mental health programs, people are going to slip through the cracks.”How different is that from what current Establishment dream candidate Marco Rubio said in the last presidential debate?
“It’s the same old story. But what are you going to do? There are many people like that and what are you going to do? Institutionalize everybody?” he asked. “So you’re going to have difficulties. You’re going to have difficulties with many different things, not just this. That’s the way the world works -- and by the way, that’s the way the world always has worked.”
So, essentially, Trump is saying that we are always going to have mass shooting events in this country and his solution is… do nothing?
RUBIO: There’s a broader issue here as well. First of all, the only people that follow the law are law abiding people. Criminals, by definition, ignore the law. You can pass all the gun laws in the world -- like the left wants -- criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals.Rubio just said about criminals what Trump says about the violently insane. And Rubio's answer is boilerplate Republicanism.
There may be an argument to be had over the best solution to the epidemic of gun violence in America, but the posture of pure indifference put forward by Trump should not be an acceptable position for someone who wants to be president of the United States.Well, Trump's position already is an acceptable one for a presidential aspirant, because what Trump says is what just about every other Republican candidate believes, except that Trump's opponents are careful not to say, "what are you going to do?" They don't think there are major problems with our gun laws. Maybe they'll make vague noises about mental health:
Ben Carson just happened to be on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday afternoon, shortly after news of the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon broke. The GOP presidential candidate delivered the standard conservative message about focusing on mental health instead of gun control....Certainly they'll say we have too much gun control already:
“Obviously, there are those who are going to be calling for gun control,” Carson said of the event, which left at least 13 people dead. “Obviously, that’s not the issue. The issue is the mentality of these people.” He said instead of focusing on guns, we should be looking for “early warning clues” to prevent incidents such as this one.
“Sadly, virtually every one of these shootings across the country has occurred in so-called gun free school zones,” [Ted] Cruz told conservative host Howie Carr of WRKO-AM, ahead of a two-day campaign swing in New Hampshire. “If you look at the jurisdictions that have really strict gun control laws, they consistently have among the highest crime rates.”Trump really would have aced this if he'd blamed the massacre on the removal of prayer from public schools, or on violent entertainment sold to America by the liberal entertainment industry. But he did fine. He passed this test with flying colors. Wanting to do nothing about gun violence is a sign that he's a genuine Republican.
By contrast, he cited relatively low crime rates in Houston and Dallas where, he said, “the citizenry can defend themselves…. There is nothing a criminal likes more than an unarmed victim.”
In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, "stuff happens."— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 2, 2015
This is the full "stuff happens" quote from Jeb pic.twitter.com/0CAOnNBf4f— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) October 2, 2015
He'll be attacked for that, but not from the right.
Trump supporters on Guns (Franklin, TN) pic.twitter.com/ljW70gzgxF— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) October 3, 2015