Donald Trump addressed a National Rifle Association of America convention in Houston, Texas on Friday night, only days after a mass shooting in Uvalde led to the tragic deaths of 19 schoolchildren and two adults.
The former president had strong criticism for current President Joe Biden. Watch:
“We need to expand funding, recruiting and training for police departments nationwide,” Trump said. “This is not a matter of money. This is a matter of will. If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we should be able to do whatever it takes to keep our children safe at home,” he said to applause.
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“That’s true,” he added. “We spent trillions in Iraq, trillions in Afghanistan. We got nothing. Before we nation-build the rest of the world, we should be building safe schools for our own children in our own nation. Right?”
President Trump also slammed Biden’s divisive rhetoric, which came within hours of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
“Now is the time to find common ground sadly,” Trump said. “Before the sun had even set on the horrible day of tragedy, we witnessed a now familiar parade of cynical politicians seeking to exploit the tears of sobbing families to increase their own power and take away our constitutional rights.”
“Every time a disturbed or demented person commits such a hideous crime, there’s always a grotesque effort by some in our society to use the suffering of others to advance their own extreme political agenda,” he added. “Even more repulsive is their rush to shift blame away from the villains who commit acts of mass violence and to place that blame onto the shoulders of millions of peaceful, law-abiding citizens who belong to organizations such as our wonderful NRA.”
“When Joe Biden blamed the gun lobby, he was talking about Americans like you,” he continued. “And along with countless other Democrats this week, he was shamefully suggesting that Republicans are somehow okay with letting school shootings happen.”
“They’re not okay with it,” he went on. “This rhetoric is highly divisive and dangerous, and most importantly, it’s wrong. It has no place in our politics as always in the wake of these tragedies, the various gun control policies being pushed by the left would have done nothing to prevent the horror that took place. Absolutely nothing.”
“Unfortunately, ever since Columbine, we’ve been afflicted by a contagion of school shootings carried out by deeply evil, violent, and mentally disturbed young men,” Trump added. “Well, we don’t yet know enough about this week’s killing. We know there are many things we must do. We need to drastically change our approach to mental health. There are always so many warning signs, almost all of these disfigured minds share the same profile.”
“When people see something, whether on social media or in school, they need to say something,” Trump said. “Teachers, parents, school officials and community members need to be recognizing and addressing these alarm bells promptly and very, very aggressively. And our school discipline systems instead of making excuses and continually turning a blind eye need to confront bad behavior head on and quickly.”
Joe Biden on Tuesday formally addressed the nation on the Uvalde mass shooting and blamed the gun lobby for the atrocity.
“But these mass shootings never happened with the kind of frequency that happened in America?” Biden said. “Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?”
“Where in God’s name is our backbone?” Biden went on. “To have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbyists? It’s time to take this pain and turn it into action,” he said.
“I’m sick and tired, we have to act,” Biden argued.
While prominent Democrats seized on the Uvalde tragedy to renew their calls for “gun control,” the mass shooting has many other people questioning the community’s failure to act on red flags, the school’s unacceptably lax security, and the inexcusable unwillingness of local law enforcement to act quickly to stop the shooter.
Donald Trump makes the case that America has its priorities out-of-line. Before going around looking for issues to solve, the nation has more than enough problems of its own: Securing the nation’s schools now being among the foremost priorities.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.