In the day following the devastating mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump addressed the nation. Yet in his speech, one crucial item was missing: the word "gun."
Instead of calling for tighter gun control policies, Trump vowed to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” without specifying any particular plan or agenda.
And while the media critiqued this intentional exclusion, the president’s fan base ate up the gun lobby’s propaganda as they proclaimed on Twitter the core of the mass shooting epidemic is mental health — not lax gun laws.
??As President Trump addressed our nation, he addressed REAL issues of mass shootings in schools. It isn’t more gun laws but better mental health options, attention to red flags & top security in schools. No price is too great! We can secure airports, why not schools? #LaareTT45 pic.twitter.com/ocOG8tFwOH— ??Laare Mazurik?? (@MazurikL) February 16, 2018
Y’all act like trump has a button he can press that will end all mass shoootings. Changing gun laws will not change a shooters motive, or mental health. Gun laws would do absolutely nothing to prevent this. IT IS THE SHOOTERS NOT THE GUNS.— Kyler_5 (@Kp_Kyler) February 16, 2018
Notice how trump addresses mental health. What did Obama do time after time? Cry for the ban on assault weapons. #MAGA— Hannibal Burgers (@nothing2s33here) February 16, 2018
Presumably, Trump supporters are either oblivious to Trump’s selective amnesia when it comes to mass shootings, or they are just as hypocritical as he is.
In November, after a man rammed his car into a crowd in New York City and killed eight people, Trump immediately politicized the tragedy and called for immigration reform.
This man is a Muslim immigrant.
Yet with Nikolas Cruz, the Florida shooting suspect, Trump immediately pinned the issue on mental health.
Cruz is a white male who possibly supports the president.
And this discriminatory response happens over and over again.
Here's how Trump determines a murderer's mental health:— #StableFelix (@FelixForTruth) February 15, 2018
If he's white - Mentally ill.
If he's not white and/or happens to be a Democrat - TERRORIST! ITS ALL THE DEMS' FAULT! #MAGA! NRA4LIFE!
To Trump and his supporters, when the terrorist isn’t white, banning people — whole races and religions — makes sense. Yet when the shooter is white, the idea of banning guns (or even white supremacists) doesn’t cross their minds.
Instead to conservatives, the solution to American’s gun crisis, is, ironically and ludicrously, guns. The right wing of the United States absurdly believes arming themselves to the teeth will save lives.
“I only want to talk about solutions. Real solutions that can be instituted today to save lives. More armed security on campus…we need more good guys with guns around because seconds count in these situations.” –@stinchfield1776 #NRA pic.twitter.com/MfKsZ7RJjo— NRATV (@NRATV) February 17, 2018
Im all for saving lives. Guns save lives as a deterrent. If everyone would practice their 2nd amendment rights and protect our kids by carrying.... this shooting might not have happened. If every teacher had been carrying, someone could have stopped him.— Ashley Sinclair (@PeriscopeAshley) February 16, 2018
Schools Are Often Considered a "Gun Free Zones" Which Leaves The School, Student & Faculty at Risk to Mentally Deranged Mass Murders. It Is Time To Arm Teachers With Guns to Protect Our Children & Save Lives. Lets Use Common Sense, Not Politically Charged Stupidity!— Kevin W (@kwilli1046) February 16, 2018
Another school shooting in Parkland Florida ????— ?????? ? (@SandraTXAS) February 14, 2018
This could easily be one of our children. More gun laws will not stop people who obtain and use guns illegally. We must protect schools the way we protect court houses and airports. Metal detectors, police officers. #MAGA pic.twitter.com/jLC0V9tCeE
I dont understand why our teachers are not armed. Every teacher should be well trained, get licensed & conceal carry. Nobody coming to shoot up a school would get far. This isnt about less guns, this is about more guns with the good guys. #Maga #GunControl #ParklandShooting— Real Johhnie Doe (@RealJohhnieDoe) February 16, 2018
Yet this logic is clearly flawed as countless studies have determined that the “good guy with a gun” narrative ultimately fails.
In fact, research has shown that areas with looser "right to carry" gun laws experience greater crime. And the U.S., the country with the most guns, also has the highest number of mass shootings in the world.
“If more guns made America safer, we’d be an awfully safe place,” University of California Los Angeles law professor Adam Winkler articulated to NBC News.
As the collective consciousness of the American public reflects on yet another mass shooting, gun rights advocates will call for more guns, but what America needs right now is the opposite.