In a move that likely shocked no one, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the shootout that killed over a dozen in San Bernardino last week could have been made less catastrophic with more guns.
Speaking at a rally in Iowa over the weekend, he told a group of supporters things might have gone differently at the southern California social services center had the victims been armed themselves.
"If you look at Paris, they didn't have guns, and they were slaughtered. If you look at what happened in California, they didn't have guns, and they were slaughtered," he said. "They could've protected themselves if they had guns."
Trumps comments came in response to a question at the rally about the latest New York Times staff editorial, which called for stepped-up gun control in the wake of last week's shooting.
The details of particular case make Trump's notion all the more ridiculous—additional guns would have been of little help in San Bernardino, since the attackers entered with assault rifles and tactical gear, including body armor. But it fits a running trend in Trump’s campaign so far, in which rampant fear mongering, especially about Muslims, is at the forefront.
Before another crowd in Washington last Thursday, Trump suggested US President Obama's "failure" to say 'radical Islamic terrorism' was to blame for last week's shooting, the New York Times wrote. "There is something going on with [Obama] that we don’t know about,” he told the crowd, according to the newspaper.
And in case you forgot, this is all on the backdrop of a campaign of insisting that Obama "wants to accept 250,000 Syrian migrants, even though no such plan exists, and repeats discredited rumors that thousands of Muslims were cheering in New Jersey during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks,” just to name a few.
Meanwhile, he conveniently left out the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting two weeks ago, when a gunman wounded seven and killed three, including an armed police officer, from his Iowa rallying call for more guns in the hands of citizens.
The reality is that San Bernadino is the latest in a long list of mass shootings in America—according to Mass Shooting Tracker, which counts incidents in which four or more people were shot, the case marked the 353rd mass shooting of 2015.
Such a number should certainly spark conversations in America, but as Trump rages on about needing to fight back against Muslims, he seems to (unsurprisingly) be ignoring the idea that, had it been harder for everyday citizens to get things like assault rifles and body armor, maybe San Bernardino never would have happened in the first place.