Trump blames democrats for not passing gun control laws

Trump commented on gun control following the Florida school shooting, and he blamed democrats

By Nicole Karlis

Published February 17, 2018 9:40PM (EST)

 (Getty/Mandel Ngan)
(Getty/Mandel Ngan)

Donald Trump took to Twitter to blame democrats amid demands from survivors and parents for gun control reform following the high school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that took 17 lives on Feb. 14.

"Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration. Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!" Trump tweeted on Saturday evening.

The Parkland, Florida, shooting marked the 18th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018. Trump’s comment follows his remarks from earlier this week when he suggested that the alleged shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was "mentally disturbed” and that these signs should have been reported.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 15. “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

However, as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma Gonzalez boldly said on Saturday at a Florida rally: “We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.”

Trump casting blame on democrats is insensitive and inappropriate, considering he has yet to address his own responsibility in the matter. Indeed, in February 2017 Trump signed an executive order to reverse an Obama-era regulation which would have required the Social Security Administration to submit quarterly documentation of those with mental disorders to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System which is the database used to determine if someone can buy a firearm. The ACLU did oppose this regulation, but not because it wanted more guns in America, but because the organization believed “adding more innocent Americans to the National Instant Criminal Background database because of a mental disability is a disturbing trend.”

However, former President Barack Obama strongly advocated for gun reform during his presidency, and vigorously after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. In 2016, Obama addressed Congress urging for stronger restrictions, calling out gun lobbyist.

“So the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage,” Obama said in his speech. “We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom.”

Some Twitter users are responding to Trump’s tweet that blamed democrats, telling him he can still do something.

Others are pointing out his hypocrisy.

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a staff writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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