While at a campaign stop in Beaumont, Texas, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump addressed the Friday attacks in Paris, suggesting that the city’s restrictive gun laws created a soft target for the perpetrators.
“You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would have been a much, much different situation,” Trump said Saturday Afternoon at the rally, reported The Washington Post.
“I hear it all the time, you know. You look at certain cities that have the highest violence, the highest problem with guns and shootings and killings — Chicago is an example, toughest gun laws in the United States, nothing but problems,” said the billionaire real estate magnate. “So our country better get smart because we’re not smart right now.”
Not known as a longtime supporter of gun rights, Trump has changed his tune on the issue since announcing his candidacy, becoming a much more vociferous backer of the Second Amendment.
“Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried,” said Trump upon releasing his official stance on the Second Amendment, adding that a concealed carry permit should be like a driver’s license in that it should be “valid in all 50 states.”
For me, the most poignant question a pro-gunner can raise about the attacks in Paris is rather straightforward: Confronted with a similar situation, would you rather be armed or unarmed?
Most sensible and self-reliant individuals would, of course, choose the former. As sentient beings with a degree of agency over our environment, it only makes sense that we’d rather be helpful than helpless in the face of death. We’d rather work to save lives than sit there and watch as men, women and children are executed by madmen.
I think most non-gun owners can appreciate that perspective. What’s more, I think it gets them to think critically about their own lack of preparedness and vulnerability. And, it sure goes a long way to helping them see why we place such a high importance on the Second Amendment.
Yes, we’re always going to have those who, whether it’s because of their fervent anti-gun ideology, shameful trust in government for personal safety or unshakable fear of firearms, would rather be victims than vigilantes. It is what it is. But most of us, most of us would wish to have the capacity and know-how to make a difference. And that’s what the Second Amendment protects. Our fundamental right to look evil in the face and say, “Nope, not today!”
I suppose if I was Trump, that’s the angle I would take on this incident. Start asking people that question. Then one doesn’t seem so crazy or outlandish or radical.