SHAMELESS: Donald Trump Just Blamed Grieving Teenagers for the Valentine’s Day School Shooting
Donald Trump’s Victim Shaming Knows No Limits
Still reeling from the perception that he favors the rights of alleged domestic abusers over the casualties of domestic violence, President Trump doubled down on his penchant for blaming the victim Thursday morning. A day after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida left seventeen people (to date) dead, Trump appeared to point the finger at the school’s students and the community’s residents for any potential mental illness that the suspected gunman Nikolaus Cruz may have had. Of course, there was no mention of the AR-15 assault rifle that Cruz legally purchased when the president took to twitter:
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
The Parkland massacre was the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018. It replaced the 2015 San Bernardino, California workplace shooting as the 9th deadliest in modern American history. And much like the bloodbaths in Newtown, Orlando, Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas; the murderer’s weapon of choice was the AR-15 — a weapon that was illegal from 1994 until the 2004 expiration of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (more commonly known as the “assault weapons ban”).
But Trump — the recipient of $31.2 million worth of ad dollars from the NRA in 2016 — remained predictably silent about the root cause of the uniquely American epidemic of gun deaths. He not only pushed the disingenuous false narrative that mental health is the root cause of these extremely preventable tragedies, he all but placed the blame on teenagers and neighbors for not preemptively doing something to stop Cruz from opening fire in a high school.
What could they have done? Well, it’s pretty hard to even stretch the imagination to come up with an answer to that question. He was suspended and eventually expelled from Mary Stoneman Douglas High. Math teacher Jim Gard told The Miami Herald that teachers and officials were already aware he posed a threat:
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
But he still passed a background check. Which should come as little surprise, considering Trump himself made it significantly easier for mentally ill Americans to acquire firearms last February:
President Donald Trump quietly signed a bill into law Tuesday rolling back an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.
The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database.
While the rollback of Obama-era guidelines would not have prohibited Cruz from passing a background check, it’s a clear example of the uphill battle reasonable Americans are facing to protect the nation’s children from being the next casualty of this unspeakably shameful recurring nightmare.
That’s not the fault of high school students or neighbors. That’s the fault of the legislators with hands stained by the blood money of the gun lobby.
Featured image by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images.