Blaming President Trump for Mass Shootings Is Unfair, Wrong

August 6, 2019 Updated: August 8, 2019


The shootings in El Paso, Texas, and in Dayton, Ohio, were tragic and horrific. However, they weren’t President Donald Trump’s fault.

They have nothing to do with Trump, just like other tragedies had nothing to do with (and weren’t the fault of) former President Barack Obama or any other president who was in office during a similar crisis.

As the nation mourns the fresh and tragic loss of life in El Paso and in Dayton, some Democrats have taken it upon themselves to blame the president for these tragedies. Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke told CNN:

“This cannot be open for debate [the president is a white nationalist] and you as well as I have a responsibility to call that out to make sure the American people understand what is being done in their name. … He does not even pretend to respect our differences or to understand that we are all created equal. He is saying some people are inherently defective or dangerous. …

“Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is. He is an openly avowed racist and he’s encouraging more racism in this country.”

O’Rourke wasn’t alone in blaming the president. As reported by Politico:

“Nearly half a dozen other presidential contenders — including Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and Julián Castro, the only Hispanic candidate in the 2020 Democratic field — also placed blame on Trump for his rhetoric.

“’He is ripping at our nation,’ Booker said on CNN, repeatedly using the word ‘failing’ and saying the president ‘must be held responsible.’

Castro added that ‘I believe that President Trump is making it worse,’ and Buttigieg said the president was ‘condoning and encouraging white nationalism.’”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) also chimed in, stating, “The individuals who do the shootings are responsible, but I do think Trump’s rhetoric has fueled more hate in this country.”

The act of blaming the president for these tragedies is a senseless attempt to score political points and should be rejected for several reasons.

First, the term “fault” is defined as the responsibility for a wrongdoing or a failure. Clearly, the president is not responsible for the latest tragedies, just like former President Obama was not at fault for the tragic mass shootings that occurred while he was president, including Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and the Pulse nightclub, and just like many congressional Democrats are not at fault for the crimes committed by those who are in the country illegally despite, for example, advising them on how to avoid arrest at the hands of ICE agents.

There’s a major distinction between disagreeing with the president’s policies or choice of words and directly blaming him for the deaths of many innocent people. The former is part of the democratic process, while the latter is unfair, nonsensical, and illogical.

Immediately after the El Paso shooting, Trump condemned the “hateful act,” stating:

“Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people. Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the great people of Texas.”

Moreover, after the tragic Las Vegas shooting, it was Trump and the Department of Justice that imposed a national ban on bump stocks (devices that are used to make semi-automatic rifles fire continuously, like machine guns).

Trump has been the punching bag for many on the left since he won the election. Many of the attacks are baseless and partisan in nature. However, if Trump is at fault for the recent tragedies, who was at fault when Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot and injured during a baseball practice by a Bernie Sanders supporter?

Moreover, given some of their previous statements, were some prominent Democrats (including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Sen. Booker at fault for acts of incivility and violence that occurred within the past several years involving Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, then-White House press secretary Sarah SandersSen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and others?

Finally, although Obama was quite critical of law enforcement, was he at fault for the various attacks on police officers that occurred during his presidency? Given the line of thinking espoused by some on the left (as set forth above), the answer could be yes. In reality, a conclusion of this nature would be ridiculous and seriously flawed.

The truth is that people can disagree with the president on his policies, the language he uses, or the way he puts on his shoes on in the morning. However, neither Trump, Obama, the various members of Congress, nor anyone else bears responsibility for such tragedies. Blaming Trump for the tragic deaths of many innocent people is unfair.

It’s also an unfortunate attempt to politicize a national tragedy.

Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.