Trump on gun control: Hypocrisy or negligence?
After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shook the country, the president has referred to mental illness as the main cause, but his own Administration left the way open for this type of tragedy to be repeated.
At least 17 people died yesterday after a 19-year-old boy opened fire in the corridors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school, where he had been expelled more than a year ago.
Nikolas Cruz, a young man with a mental illness, was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and several rounds of ammunition, which he had legal access to in a Broward County armory, USA Today explained.
According to Federal Law, people over the age of 18 have the right to access firearms, including the type of assault weapon with which Cruz attacked his classmates in the corridors of the school. The young man would have passed the background check of the federal database, since he had not committed any crime until yesterday, but his medical record was not taken into account, when he had a history of violence and erratic behavior as well as a picture of depression due to the recent death of his adoptive mother.
As Mother Jones recalls, there have been at least 97 shootings in the last 35 years in the United States, and in most cases, the attackers had legal access to arms. In an effort to control what should be considered an epidemic, the Obama Administration tried to limit access to weapons by mentally unstable people through federal regulation that was put in place after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in 2012.
The measure included the requirement for federal agencies to make available the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data, and reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB 1994) that would have expired in 2004.
The response of organizations such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) was to blame violent video games and reiterated the right of every citizen to carry firearms, echoing - as is often the case - the Second Amendment.
What few remember is that it was the Trump Administration who, silently, revoked this regulatory measure, facilitating people with mental instability to acquire firearms through a law signed on February 28, 2017.
The order obliged the Social Security Administration to share the list of severely unstable people with the FBI and received an arduous criticism.
While it is true that Obama's move would not have had a "massive impact" on firearm violence in the country - it would only have affected some 75,000 people - and that rights groups for people with disabilities had their own objections, as Vox explains, any measure is better than none.
But the Trump Administration ordered its rescission in a silent manner, without further paraphernalia, receiving a wide appreciation from the NRA, who "applauded" the measure, assuring that "it marks a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms," according to his executive director Chris Cox, and as reported by NBC News.
President Trump, for his part, seems to have forgotten his actions when he wrote on Twitter yesterday: "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"
Perhaps if this administration stopped looking for excuses and took responsibility for its actions, many tragedies could be avoided.