More guns is Trump’s answer
Herb Boyd | 11/9/2017, 11:54 a.m.
In the wake of the terrorist attack and the indictment of his former aides, President Trump conveniently embarked on a tour of Asia. But he can’t outrun his inane conclusions about the tragedies that continue to confront the nation, particularly the latest one at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
As he has consistently done after a major shooting incident, Trump summed it up as “a mental problem at the highest level,” and said that the massacre had nothing at all to do with guns.
Trump addressed the issue from Japan, his first stop on the 14-day tour, describing the gunman Devin P. Kelley as a “very deranged individual.”
It should be noted that Trump rescinded the Obama’s administration rule that made it more difficult for mentally ill persons to purchase guns. Again, Trump is trying to have it both ways—blaming a problem he has aided and abetted.
While some speculated about the shooter’s motive, it became clear there had been a misstep by the Air Force, which failed to supply information to a federal database about Kelley’s history of domestic violence—information that would have prevented him from purchasing the weapon he used in killing 26 worshippers and wounding several others.
Trump went even further in his opinions about the slaughter, suggesting that if more people were armed like one of the men in pursuit of Kelley—who later died of an apparent suicide—there would have been fewer fatalities. More guns was his answer in a nation where there is a proliferation of gun owners, including Texas, where more than a million are in possession of some sort of gun.
Meanwhile, the tragic situation has renewed the debate about mental illness and guns. Some experts are cautious about pinpointing where the fault lies.
More money and resources certainly appear to be warranted for the treatment of mental illness in the country, and some are calling for stiffer background checks for obtaining guns, especially assault weapons such as the one Kelley used.
Because Kelley’s situation was improperly handled, the Air Force has promised to look into the possibility of other people with potential problems who might not have been included in the federal database.
If a major arm of our government is lax on this fundamental step, it’s no wonder the nation is plagued with such a rash of mass shootings.
What’s to be done? Well, the answer from Trump and Ken Paxton, Texas’s attorney general, is the need for more armed Americans, which would probably mean more dead Americans.