June 5, 2019

This segment from Trump's lone UK interview (with Piers Morgan, natch) struck me as so emblematic of the way the Orange Cheeto thinks:

"There have been 150 mass shootings in America this year alone. In Britain we have 35 gun deaths a year. In America today, 85 and tomorrow 85. What can we do to change the culture?" Morgan asked.

"It appears in London you have stabbings all over. I read an article where everyone is being stabbed." (Yes, idiot, everyone. Everyone you met this week is actually nursing a stab wound. Queen Elizabeth, too!)

"We had 50-odd murders with knives this year in London."

"They said your hospital is a sea of blood all, over the floors. It's a sea of blood." (Who's 'they'? Fox News? The Telegraph? NRA-TV? And FYI: Yes, for a variety of reasons, ERs have blood all over the floor. Trauma tends to produce blood.)

"We have a big problem, but what do you think you can do as president to change the mindset about gun violence?"

"Talk about it. You have to talk about it." (Also, "hopes and prayers.")

"I never have understood why anyone in America needed a semiautomatic or assault rifle at home," Morgan said.

"Well, a lot of them use it for entertainment, they do."

"Are guns entertainment?" the incredulous Morgan said.

"For some people it's entertainment. They go out and shoot and go to ranges."

"This guy in Vegas had 82 assault rifles and bought 52 guns in one year."

"He was a sick guy. If it wasn't guns, it would be bombs or something else. He was actually a pretty smart guy. He was a good, successful gambler and there's no such thing as a successful gambler and what he went out and did is incredible." (Notice the admiration for the man's gambling success.)

"The president in the wake of an another mass shooting, this time at a municipal building in Virginia. His main argument: the only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Stephanie Ruhle said. "The governor of North Virginia taking a different approach. He's asking for background checks and for an assault weapons complete ban. Here to weigh in, Matt Bennett, senior vice president of Third Way, former White House assistant and Sandy Hook Promise gun policy adviser. Matt, your reaction to the president's defense on guns. 'We should talk about them more.' And how about those knives? "

"Making Piers Morgan sound like Edward R. Murrow is hard to do but somehow he did. That was a classic Trump response, like 'We need to rake the forest' after the forest fires in California," Bennett said.

"He has no idea what he's talking about. When we've had mass shootings, where there have been armed police officers, like at Columbine, they're unable to stop these massacres, it has nothing to do with arming the public. It has everything to do with the fact it is incredibly easy in the United States for criminals and terrorists and others to get their hands on guns because we have these gaping loopholes in our law. He just doesn't want to do anything about it."

Brett Stephens chimed in. "The perfect example, most people didn't hear about this, but about a week before the massacre on Virginia Beach, a crazy person walked into a school in Japan and killed two people, including an 11-year-old school child. What's the big difference? That crazy person walked in with a knife because Japan has very strict gun laws. Guns are not banned in Japan, you can get access to them, but it's hard to get access. There's an extensive licensing requirement," he said.

"So the difference is both in Europe as well as countries like Japan, there are crazy people who do terrible things, but their means to inflict massive casualty damage like 58 dead and more than 800 injured and wounded in Vegas is extremely limited. It does not happen in other countries."

"It's not hard to get access to them here. Ralph Northam wants to do a lot. But give that he's got a Republican-led legislature in his state, is there any chance?" Stephanie Ruhle asked.

"You know, the only chance to make progress with guns at the federal and state level is when Democrats hold all levels of power, Senate, House and president," Bennett said.

"That's when we passed federal gun laws in 1998 and '93, '94. We really haven't done much since then. So to your question, probably it's going to be tough. The Virginia legislature and House and Senate hang by a thread, I think a two-vote margin in both houses and we in Virginia have an election coming up this year, and gun politics have shifted in the United States, and in Virginia, and this is going to hurt Republicans. "

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