WASHINGTON — Another week, another tragedy and another different response from President Trump. On Sunday in Texas, a gunman opened fire inside a church, killing 26 and wounding at least 19 more — making it the largest mass shooting in state history.
Commenting on the violence while overseas in Japan, President Trump said it was “not a gun issue” and “a little soon” to discuss policy changes when asked if gun control was needed after the shooting. “I think that mental health is your problem here,” he said. “This was based on preliminary reports this was a very deranged individual — lots of problems over a long period of time. We have mental health problems in our countries, as do other countries. This is not a gun issue, it is a little soon to get into. Fortunately somebody else had a gun that shot in the opposite direction. Otherwise, it would have been much worse.”
Trump’s remarks stand in stark contrast to what he said after eight were killed last week in New York in an ISIS-inspired attack in the city. “We have to get much tougher. We have to get much smarter. And we have to get much less politically correct. We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything,” Trump said, calling to change the country’s immigration/visa laws.
Indeed, compare Trump’s tweets after the mass violence in Texas (which killed 26), New York (which killed eight) and Las Vegas (which killed 58):
May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.
..Americans do what we do best: we pull together. We join hands. We lock arms and through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong…
After New York:
In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person. Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!
We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!
My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!
I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!
The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.
We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends
“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems” said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness! @foxandfriends
After Las Vegas:
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
I am so proud of our great Country. God bless America!
Leaving Puerto Rico now for D.C. Will be in Las Vegas early tomorrow to pay my respects. Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers.
It is a “miracle” how fast the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police were able to find the demented shooter and stop him from even more killing!
Of course, there are important differences to these tragedies. The violence in Las Vegas and Texas was committed by an American citizen with an unknown motive, while in New York it was by an Uzbek immigrant who was inspired by ISIS.
Still, the differences in tone — and in whether there should be policy responses to the violence — are striking.