The interview that Donald Trump did with Good Morning Britain‘s Piers Morgan which aired recently went off the rails more than once, with Trump at one point even claiming that simply being President of the United States was “making up for” having avoided military service during the Vietnam War. But as much as one might have even expected a sit-down between Trump and England’s answer to Bill O’Reilly to be off the wall, this one got significantly worse than that.
In a segment in which Morgan brought up America’s unhealthy fascination with guns — handguns have been effectively outlawed in the UK for more than two decades, so even conservatives there are puzzled by American policy — Trump insisted that an attack that took place near Paris would never have happened “if there was a gun on the other side, if one or two or three of those people had a gun.”
Morgan correctly noted, however, that more people died the same week as that attack “than have died from guns in Paris since the Second World War.”
The host went on to question Americans’ need for semiautomatic rifles, which Trump excused as a form of “entertainment.”
Well, a lot of them use it for entertainment, they do. For some people it’s entertainment. They go out and shoot and go to ranges.”
Then Morgan brought up the Vegas mass shooter, Stephen Paddock, who opened fire into a crowd of concertgoers in 2017, telling Trump that he’d owned 82 assault rifles, 52 of which he had bought in a single year. And that’s what apparently prompted Trump to praise Paddock:
If it wasn’t guns, it would be bombs or something else. He was actually a pretty smart guy. He was a good, successful gambler and there’s no such thing as a successful gambler and what he went out and did is incredible.”
Despite Trump’s inexplicable admiration for the mass murderer, the fact is that he wouldn’t have been able to kill nearly as many people with anything but guns. Only the specific actions that Paddock took could have led to him killing 58 people and wounding more than 400 more with gunfire, and an additional 400 in the ensuing panic.
Featured image via screen capture
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