In any given situation, Donald Trump has a consistent habit of blaming the victims and/or siding with the perpetrators. Just this week he publicly sided with a former White House aide who was accused of beating up two ex-wives, despite the compelling evidence that backs up the women’s stories. Now Trump is once again reprehensibly blaming the victims, this time when it comes to the latest school shooting.
Here’s what Trump tweeted about the deadly mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida: “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!”
Trump is correct in that those around the teenage shooter knew he was disturbed. But what were they supposed to report? Thanks to Trump and his Republican Party, semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 used in the shooting are perfectly legal. Were his former classmates supposed to call 911 and report that this nineteen year old kid was buying legal weapons? Thanks yet again to Trump and his party, access to mental health treatment has been drastically reduced over the past year. How exactly were those around this kid supposed to steer him toward increasingly nonexistent mental help?
Donald Trump knows full well that he’s the primary reason the shooter walked into that school with an automatic weapon which allowed him to quickly mow down seventeen people, as opposed to a handgun or a knife which would have surely left a much smaller body count. Trump is also the primary reason that society can’t get mental help for people like this kid before they start shooting. How dare Donald Trump try to blame the victims for not having done something about this kid beforehand, when Trump himself is the main reason nothing could have been done?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report