President Trump has a simple solution for gun violence: give everyone a gun. Arm the school teachers! Arm the churches! Arm the synagogues!
He repeated his variation on the false and tired NRA slogan that “the only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” in response to the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania yesterday that killed 11 people.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto vehemently disagrees with the president on this contentious issue.
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“I don’t think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or our schools filled with armed guards,” Peduto told Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press this morning.
“I think we’re dealing with an irrational person who acted irrationally,” he continued. “And trying to create laws around that is not the way that we should govern. We should try to stop irrational behavior from happening at the forefront.”
Peduto: "I don't think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards." pic.twitter.com/sExD5DVZ7l
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 28, 2018
While Mayor Peduto refrained from demanding stricter gun control laws during the interview, he did mention that he is a member of a bipartisan group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Robert Bowers, the man arrested for committing the hate crime slaughter, was a licensed gun owner with at least six registered firearms purchases over the years and no known criminal record, so current gun regulations would not have prevented him from acquiring his deadly arsenal.
The Democratic mayor was also asked whether he’d like to see Trump attend a community vigil for the victims of the massacre but deferred the decision to the victim’s families.
Trump has condemned the attack with scripted “thoughts and prayers” comments, labeling it “an assault on humanity” and exhorting Americans to defeat “the scourge of anti-Semitism,” before continuing to drum up antipathy towards Democrats, foreigners, and diversity at another yet another political rally yesterday in a speech that continued to employ anti-Semitic dog whistles.
The president continued to claim that the synagogue could have defended itself against the attacker if it had employed armed security on the premises.
“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they would have been able to stop him immediately,” Trump told reporters.
The proof of the fallacy of the president’s statements comes from the fact that police in full tactical gear responded to the shooting within minutes and then took 20 minutes to subdue the gunman, leaving two police officers, two SWAT team members, and two bystanders seriously wounded in addition to the 11 people slain. A rent-a-cop with a pistol is no match for an unexpected intruder with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
Mayor Peduto is intelligent enough to realize this. Unfortunately, the president lacks the mental capacity to grasp anything beyond his programmed talking points and his instinct to serve his own interests exclusively.
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