Man Tries To Shoot Donald Trump At Las Vegas Rally & His Assassination Plans Are Horrifying
During a rally in Las Vegas on June 18, a man tried to shoot Donald Trump. The 20-year-old Briton reportedly attempted to grab a police officer's gun in order to assassinate the presidential candidate. Michael Steven Sandford went to the rally in the guise of a Trump supporter. He told a police officer that he wanted an autograph from Trump as he made his way closer to the candidate, and then tried to steal the nearby officer's gun. Sandford was charged with an act of violence on restricted grounds, according to court papers. Sandford didn't enter a plea before he met with a judge in Nevada, and he was later placed in custody until a hearing on July 5.
Court papers reveal that Sandford told officers he had planned to assassinate Trump for a year, but saw the Las Vegas rally as the time to do it because he felt most confident then. Sandford reportedly waited in line for nine hours to get into the event. The day before his attempt, Sandford had gone to a Las Vegas shooting range to take a lesson. And things only get more horrifying from there.
Apparently, after his arrest, Sandford told police that if he didn't have the opportunity to kill Trump at the Las Vegas rally, he'd have gone to the subsequent rally in Phoenix, Arizona, to try to shoot him. Sandford already had his tickets booked to Phoenix.
This comes at a time when gun control has been at the forefront of the discussion. After the deadly mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, four gun-related bills failed to pass in the Senate on June 20. Instead of focusing on the 49 victims, Trump used Orlando to promote gun ownership, actually arguing that if more people had been equipped with guns, then they could've stopped the shooter.
The situation with Sandford's assassination attempt is interesting in light of these discussions, because although he did not own a gun, the thought of shooting a presidential candidate (or anyone, for that matter) seemed like a reasonable idea to him, for whatever reason.
It's 2016, and we've come a long way since the '60s, but this event is reminiscent of 1968, when Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy was assassinated. The assailant was a 22-year-old who shot Kennedy point-blank in a Los Angeles hotel after Kennedy won the California primary.
Politics aside, it would be utterly tragic if any presidential candidate were shot, especially at a public event. It'll be interesting to see if and how Trump responds to this news, and whether this will change his mind on gun issues or visa issues.