Trump Says Synagogue Shooting Could Have Been Prevented With “Armed Guards”

Four police officers were shot during the incident.

CNN

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

When President Trump was asked about the mass shooting this morning at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eight dead, he told reporters that greater security inside the synagogue, not stricter gun laws, could have prevented the tragedy. 

“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they would have been able to stop him immediately,” the president said. “Maybe there would have been nobody killed.”

Four police officers were shot in a confrontation with the assailant. 

When a reporter asked if it was time to revisit federal gun reform legislation, Trump brushed the suggestion aside. “Well again, this has little to do with it,” he said. “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”

In response to a question about what should be done about the continuous cycle of mass shootings in this country, the president suggested stricter corporal punishment. “We should stiffen up our laws in terms of the death penalty,” the president replied. “They should pay the ultimate price.”

Trump characterized the shooter as “a madman, a whacko” a blamed a “violent world” for the loss of life at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh earlier today.

President Trump has expressed conflicting opinions on the subject of gun control since the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, reawakened national outcry for the federal government to act. The day after the Parkland massacre, the president blamed the shooting on the gunman’s mental health and called for arming teachers in a speech the following week. But he has also demonstrated interest in stronger federally mandated background checks—the central aim of gun violence prevention activists—during a roundtable with victims of gun violence at the end of February. Congress has not passed any significant federal gun reform legislation since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 dead.

The president says he will address the shooting during his remarks at the Future Farmers of America conference in Indianapolis, where he is scheduled to appear at 2:30 pm this afternoon.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate