President Donald Trump addressed the nation Thursday, a day after a high school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead. But in his speech, the president failed to blame one area that played a major role in the third deadliest shooting in U.S. history — guns.
Instead, he blamed mental illness as the culprit.
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” Trump said in brief remarks at the White House. “It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
He gave a similar response after 26 people were fatally shot dead in a rural Sutherland Springs, Texas church last November. At the time, the president called the tragedy a “mental health problem” not a “guns situation.”
Trump’s past record, however, doesn’t back his claim. He signed a bill in February 2017 that killed an Obama-era regulation that allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information on severely mentally disabled people to the national background check database.
According to NBC, Trump is the president who holds the “closest bonds with gun owners” ever, having won 62 percent of their votes in 2016. He also promised the National Rifle Association in April 2017 that he would “never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
And yet, mass shootings continue to happen.