Donald Trump's Oregon Shooting Remarks Highlight The Need For Gun Control (Though He Didn't Mean Them To)
Donald Trump, still an actual 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, had some interesting statements about Thursday's school shooting to share on MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday. The mass shooting, which took place at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., left at least nine people dead on Thursday. When asked about the Oregon shooting, Donald Trump said that "these things happen," even though it was a "horrible" event, he added. Trump's remarks, at their face, might seem callous, but for anyone who supports gun rights, there's really nothing politically correct you can say after tragedies like the one on Thursday. Trump's statements, while incredibly disheartening, perfectly illustrate that point — even though Trump is trying to show sympathy, it's impossible to word these comments without coming off as insensitive.
During the program, Trump made clear didn't agree that the shooting was cause for stricter gun control laws. When he was asked what his plan would be, if he were elected president, to stop school shootings from happening, Trump said that there will always be disturbed people who "slip through the cracks," unnoticed until it's too late. There are "millions and millions of sick people all over the world," Trump said, adding that "you're going to have these things happen, and it's a horrible thing to behold, horrible."
The businessman and 2016 presidential went on to say, though, that tightening laws aren't the answer, because you won't be able to find all of these people. "What are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?" Trump said.
Trump also said that when authorities begin investigating the alleged shooter, identified as Chris Harper Mercer, who was killed Thursday, Mercer will likely be revealed as a "loner." According to Trump, many of the others who instigate school shootings are "loners" who may have stood out from their peers — but at the same time, "it's awfully hard to put somebody in an institution for the rest of their lives based on the fact that he looks like he could be a problem."
Trump is right — and that statement is exactly why the United States needs tighter gun control laws. The Oregon community college where the shooting took place was already a gun-free zone, and that wasn't enough to prevent Thursday's tragedy from occurring. While Trump and other gun rights proponents may be right that criminals will still find access to guns, tightening gun control laws would still make it more difficult for these "loners" to obtain guns. Saying that "these things happen" isn't enough for a presidential candidate — politicians need to be working to make sure these things don't happen in the future.