President Donald Trump did his best to explain why the U.S. needs lax gun control laws by re-enacting the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris during a speech Friday before the National Rifle Association.
“So let’s talk about guns, shall we?” Trump said to the NRA crowd in Dallas. France has strict gun control laws, the president said, and that’s why terrorists were able to kill 130 people and injure hundreds more on Nov. 13 three years ago.
“We all remember more than 130 people,” Trump said of the attacks. “Two hundred and fifty people had horrible, horrible wounds. I mean, they never mention that, but they died in a restaurant and various other close-proximity places.”
The majority of those killed were shot at the Bataclan theater during a rock concert.
In case people have forgotten the carnage of that day, Trump then used finger guns to really drive his point home.
“They took their time and gunned them down one-by-one,” Trump claimed about the terrorists’ shooting style. “Boom. Come over here. Boom. Come over here. Boom.”
Trump also brought up the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead earlier this year. He called for the arming of teachers as a way to prevent more such tragedies. Meanwhile, guns were banned at the NRA event because the Secret Service thinks that’s a better way to protect the president.
The worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history ― last October in Las Vegas when 58 people were killed and more than 800 more were injured ― did not come up in Trump’s remarks. The culprit was a U.S. citizen who was able to stockpile an arsenal of guns and ammo that he then unleashed on a music festival crowd from a high position at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The millions of Americans affected by gun violence ― not to mention the Parisians who were slaughtered in 2015 ― deserve more empathy than Trump showed on Friday. But few should be surprised by his lack of it.