When tragedy strikes, Americans often look to elected officials for reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Ronald Reagan was a master Consoler-in-Chief; who can forget his address to the nation from the Oval Office after the Challenger accident in 1986? Times of distress call for mature, measured, determined and compassionate responses.
President Trump’s response today after the shooting at the Republican baseball practice hit exactly the right note. He delivered the news that the gunman, James Hodgkinson, had died, then proceeded to praise the Capitol Police who were on hand when the shooting took place and the other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to take down Hodgkinson.
“Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds,” Trump said.
The President had kind words for House Majority Whip Steve Scalese, who was injured in the attack.
“Congressman Scalise is a friend and a very good friend. He’s a patriot, and he’s a fighter. He will recover from this assault, and Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers, not only of the entire city behind you, but of an entire nation and, frankly, the entire world,” Trump said.
Trump noted that he had spoken to Scalise’s wife and also placed a call to the head of the Capitol Police to commend them for the bravery of their officers.
We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace, and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.
Please take a moment today to cherish those you love, and always remember those who serve and keep us safe. God bless them all, God bless you, and God Bless America.
Contrast that with the comments made by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who presumably felt the need to hold a press conference because the shooting took place in the Northern Virginia city of Alexandria. McAuliffe showed up at the baseball field where the shooting took place, and proceeded to pontificate on the need for more gun control (and quite erroneously stating two times that 93 MILLION Americans are killed EVERY DAY as a result of gun violence).
“I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens,” McAuliffe said at a press conference. “I have long advocated — this is not what today is about — but there are too many guns on the streets. We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence. I have long talked about this. Background checks and shutting down gun show loopholes, and that’s not for today’s discussion, but it’s not just about politicians.”
“Not for today’s discussion” but, what the heck, let’s do it anyway! This is exactly the wrong response to today’s tragedy, but it is to be expected from a Clinton crony who has hinted that he will run for president in 2020. Unfortunately for McAuliffe, he blew his opportunity to appear presidential in favor of politicizing a national tragedy.
On this day, President Trump did indeed put Terry McAuliffe to shame. Virginians are lucky that he’s on his way out as governor, but Americans should remember McAuliffe’s odious behavior today when talk of 2020 heats up.