(Credit: AP/Evan Vucci)
Following a familiar script, President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to opine about the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. Like he had after the shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando, both during his presidential campaign, Trump suggested that people around the shooter who did not sufficiently inform authorities were partially at fault.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
Trump’s tweet, inexplicably linked to another tweet disingenuously blaming Democrats for the DACA deadline he created, follows a pattern of partially blaming certain mass shootings on the people around the shooter.
“Many people saw the bombs all over the apartment (in San Bernardino), Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,” Trump said during a presidential debate.
Curiously, Trump made no similar proclamation after the worst mass shooting in modern history only months ago, when a middle-aged white man opened fire on Las Vegas concertgoers.
A 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale, returned on Valentine Day’s to unleash terror on students, teachers and faculty. 17 people died on Wednesday, and 15 more remain hospitalized, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The gunman was believed to have been armed with a AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and multiple magazines.
Trump’s earlier tweet about the shooting angered a student named Sarah on Twitter:
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
I don’t want your condolences you fucking price of shit, my friends and teachers were shot. Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But Gun control will prevent it from happening again. https://t.co/UZPgcPoPUX
— sarah (@chaddiedabaddie) February 14, 2018
After responding to Trump’s message of condolence, she tweeted: “Today has been the worst day of my life. I’ve been crying helplessly for hours. Thank you to everyone for your support. I’m going to try to sleep now.”
Trump is scheduled to address the shooting later Thursday, more than 20 hours after the gunman first opened fire.
The President will address the nation at 11am today on the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) February 15, 2018
Wednesday’s shooting was the 18th in 2018. In the last year, we’ve seen the deadliest mass shooting, the deadliest church shooting and the deadliest high school shooting in modern U.S. history. The only gun measure Trump has signed since taking office revoked an Obama-era rule that required the Social Security Administration to disclose information quarterly to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness. Trump’s budget also slashes funding in the background check system.