Opinion: Trump’s responses to tragedies fall short

Olivia Farmer, Staff Writer

After the terrorist attack in London on June 3, President Donald Trump’s first tweet in response was:

“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

It isn’t an offer of condolence or support. Instead Trump’s first response was to use the attack as a reason to promote his travel ban.

Soon after, Trump did tweet that America would stand with England. But soon he shifted gears again.

“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!” Trump tweeted.

This comment is not relevant to a national tragedy, but is instead just a way to further his agenda on gun control issues. Furthermore, this statement contradicts his argument.

He was trying to push that the attackers used knives instead of guns, and disregarded the fact that significantly fewer mass murders are done using knives. The London attack actually supports the anti-gun argument:  How many more people would the attackers have been able to kill if they had used guns instead of knives?

Even more ironically, Trump is doing exactly what conservatives have accused liberals of doing: “politicizing” a tragic event by pushing policy issues just after the tragedy occurs.

The insensitive reaction of Trump is not an isolated incident. When addressing the earlier attack in Manchester, his attention again was not as focused on comforting the victims of these tragedies.

“So many young, beautiful innocent people … murdered by evil losers in life.  I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term,” Trump tweeted.

While some of Trump’s casual language is understandable, given that he won election by appealing to the “common working man,” tragedies like the Manchester attack deserve more respect and a more serious tone.

Instead of worrying about what to call those attackers, the President should have been providing the comfort and reassurance needed by families affected by the bombing.

There was a drastic difference in the tone of Prime Minister Theresa May as she addressed the British people.

“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people, but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice,” May said.

Her remarks are remarkably similar to those of former President Barrack Obama after the Boston bombing in 2013.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act,” Obama said.