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Trump to NRA: Response to Parkland Shooting Is 'Aggressive Strategy on Community Safety'

President Trump gestures as he speaks at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Dallas on May 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Two months after proposing the confiscation of guns from those thought to be potentially dangerous first and adjudicating later, President Trump indicated to the National Rifle Association that he would stand with them on their Second Amendment stance heading into midterm elections.

After 17 were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, Trump proposed stricter gun-control measures including an openness to raising the age to buy rifles to 21. He held a roundtable with Democrats, during which he urged lawmakers to craft a comprehensive gun bill and said it was “time that a president stepped up” to confront the gun lobby. He later backtracked after a private meeting with NRA officials.

In a wide-ranging speech to the NRA’s annual meeting in Dallas today, Trump launched into talking about guns with the November 2015 coordinated ISIS attacks in Paris.

“Paris, France, has the toughest gun laws in the world. The president just left Washington — Emmanuel, great guy — nobody has guns in Paris, nobody,” Trump said. “And we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded — you notice nobody ever talks about that? They talk about the people that died, but they never mentioned that 250 people had horrible, horrible wounds. I mean, they never mention that.” There were over 400 injuries in the attacks, with about 90 of those critical.

“But they died in a restaurant and various other close-proximity places. They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one — boom, come over here, boom, come over here, boom. If you were in those rooms, one of those people — and the survivors said it just lasted forever,” he continued.

“But, if one employee or just one patron had a gun, or if one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot. And it would have been a whole different story. I mean, right?” The gunmen in the Paris attack wore explosive vests; one detonated when a gunman was hit by police gunfire.

Trump told the crowd that they “better get out and vote, then we will get — and you know what I’m going to say. We are going to have to outlaw, immediately, all vans and all trucks, which are now the new form of death for the maniac terrorists. Right?”

“They take a truck, and they run over 8 people and wound 16, like what happened in New York and what just happened. It’s happening all over,” he continued. “So let’s ban, immediately, all trucks, all vans, maybe all cars. How about cars? Let’s ban them. Let’s not sell any more cars.”

The president called London, which has strict gun laws, “a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds.”

“We’re here today because we recognize a simple fact: The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights. And we’re fighting. We’re fighting,” he said.

On the Parkland, Fla., shooting, Trump said he was “inspired” by the survivors and said his administration “has pursued an aggressive strategy on community safety” in response.

“All of us agree that we must harden certain schools. At the same time, the police have to be able to get into those schools if there’s a problem. We want armed guards. We want to be able to get in,” he said.

“When they know there’s guns inside, they’re not going in. We just don’t understand that. We can’t get that word out. But highly trained people. At the same time, there is no stronger deterrent for a sick individual than the knowledge that their attack will end their life and will end in total failure. When they know that, they’re not going in. You’re not going to have school attacks. We support the Second Amendment. Not only because we believe in freedom, but also because we trust in everyday, talented, wonderful people.”