While pandering to his base at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention, Trump attempted to paint knives as even more dangerous than guns by claiming that in London, “which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital right in the middle is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds.”
“They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital,” Trump said. “Knives, knives, knives.”
Martin Griffiths, the leading trauma surgeon at the Royal Hospital London, tweeted a GIF suggesting that Trump missed the entire point about knife crime in London.
Happy to invite Mr Trump to my (prestigious) hospital to meet with our mayor and police commissioner to discuss our successes in violence reduction in London @SadiqKhan @metpoliceuk @NHSBartsHealth #WindrushAwards pic.twitter.com/G4vYqTkfbL
— Martin P Griffiths (@martinpgriff) May 5, 2018
The point, to which Mr. Griffiths deftly referred, was that while there might be knife crime in London, the amount of people injured or killed is only a fraction of what would have been had the assailant been carrying an AR-15 instead. Of course, painting a picture of knife crime as “bloodier” than gun crime is not only absurd – people tend to bleed from gunshot wounds, as well – but wholly disingenuous.
The October 2017 shooting in Las Vegas left 58 people dead and 851 injured at the hands of one lone gunman. It is safe to say that this would not have been possible had Stephen Paddock been wielding a knife. It’s also safe to say that the hospital floors were probably bloody– and maybe even looked like “the middle of a war zone.”
Karim Brohi, the director of London’s major trauma system, also spoke out against the American president with a statement praising the Royal London Hospital’s success in reducing the number of people injured by knife wounds.
“There is more we can all do to combat this violence, but to suggest guns are part of the solution is ridiculous,” Brohi said. “Gunshot wounds are at least twice as lethal as knife injuries and more difficult to repair. We are proud of our world-leading service and to serve the people of London.”
The fact that those in attendance at the NRA’s annual convention believed Trump’s tenuous rationale for guns is bad enough. The fact that those people have access to weapons of war, though, is truly cause for alarm.