WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two days ago, a high school in a small town was the site of the thirty-first school shooting this year. A 15-year-old walked into Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, an assault rifle and handgun in his duffel bag, and started opening fire. When the scene had finally cleared, the shooter was in custody, but one other boy was killed and three other students were shot by the assailant. Since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in which twenty first graders were shot and killed by a semi-automatic weapon, there have been 239 school shooting incidents.
Although the country had grown somewhat accustomed to the president addressing the nation after such tragedies during the Obama administration, President Donald Trump has yet to tweet or otherwise communicate any thoughts, condolences, or acknowledgment of the shooting at Freeman High just two days ago. This morning, however, Trump made sure to tweet almost immediately after word of a bombing incident in London broke.
Trump used the incident to underscore why he believes his embattled “travel” ban on six Muslim majority countries is so necessary.
The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2017
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In a bizarre but interestingly timed series of events, the mother of a girl who was shot and killed in one of the thirty other shootings this year happened to be in the nation’s capital, lobbying congressional representatives for tighter gun laws, and she ended up having an opportunity to briefly question Mr. Trump about school shootings and his Muslim travel ban. Marci Delauria lost her daughter Crystal in a school shooting in March when a seventeen year old boy entered the school he attended with Crystal and started shooting students with a rifle he’d gotten from his parents’ gun locker, which he knew the combination for, just as the shooter in Washington earlier had done.
“It’s just devastating losing a loved one to gun violence,” Marci told reporters earlier today, “and when you lose them to a gun that shouldn’t have even been in the hands of the gunman? Well, there aren’t words for that, are there?”
Delauria says she was coming out of a Starbucks in D.C. when she bumped into — literally — the president and his Secret Service protection detail.
“I was shocked,” Delauria explained, “because you never expect to just run into the president. But there he was. I apologized for running into him, and he asked me why I was in Washington. I told him I was here to lobby for better, more logical gun laws.”
Ms. Delauria says that Trump smiled and nodded. Then she says he asked her if she’d heard about the bombing incident in London, and she says she told him she had. Trump then told her how “bigly sad” the news made him but that he believed he had a good solution to keep America safe, namely his travel ban. Delauria then asked Trump if he’d heard about the school shooting in Washington.
“A shooting where now? What is this you’re telling me about,” Trump asked.
Delauria says she explained to Mr. Trump who she was, and that while she was in town, there had been a shooting a different school. She said that she told Trump that seemed like “some kind of sign” and that it “clearly demonstrates an issue that needs to be addressed.” Marci says Trump just shrugged after listening to her and then spending a full thirty seconds staring blankly at her.
“Yeah, but, you know my Muslim ban is pretty sweet,” Trump said, “and it totally would have prevented that bombing in London, or at least Stephen Miller told me that, and I trust his little Vampire Nazi ass, you know what I mean?”
Marci says she was confused but pressed on, knowing she might never have a chance to meet with the president again.
“Well, that’s all well and good Mr. President,” Marci says she told the president, “but, I have to ask you something. Would your travel ban have kept my daughter safe? Would it have kept Adam Lanza from getting his mom’s guns? Would it have stopped Columbine? Or, really, any of the school shootings ever?”
Trump again stared blankly.
“My Muslim ban is good,” Trump said, almost as if Delauria hadn’t said a single word.
Marci says she tried, in vain, one more time to get Trump to see her point of view.
“Sir, I’m just saying that there have been dozens more school shooting since 9/11 than there have been terror attacks on our soil,” Marci told the president, “and so I’m curious if you think it would be more beneficial to focus on laws that help us identify people who are probably not to be trusted with a firearm than it is to wantonly discriminate against people because they happen to share a religion with criminals? Would your travel ban have kept my daughter alive?”
Trump sputtered, stammered, mumbled the words, “grab that pussy” and then disappeared in a cloud of farts, racist Breitbart headlines, and smoke.