Late Thursday morning, President Trump followed up his previously tweeted comments (“prayers and condolences,” “shooter was mentally disturbed”) regarding the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida with a brief address. “We comfort the grieving and the wounded and we hurt for the entire community,” he said. “We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” But as several news outlets and Twitter users quickly noticed once the six-minute address had wrapped, not a single mention of guns was made. Not even once.
Much like his tweets on Wednesday and Thursday, Trump instead highlighted the horrific event itself and the persons who experienced it. He praised the teachers and school personnel who did everything they could to protect their students, and offered his condolences and prayers to the families of the victims. However, neither guns, gun control, nor even the word “gun” were mentioned throughout the televised address.
Some were quick to point out the Trump campaign’s lucrative ties to the National Rifle Association during the 2016 presidential election.
Plenty of others were quick to note the approaching anniversary of Trump’s decision to quietly rescind Obama-era gun control measures that prevented mentally ill persons from legally obtaining firearms.