Trump’s gun control stance shows hypocrisy on security

Security has become a massive concern for many Americans. As shown by the Trump presidency, people will predictably advocate for whatever makes them feel more secure. Yet when it comes to policies promoting the safety of Americans, the Republican Party’s rhetoric is hypocritical.

President Trump has take a hardline stance on security throughout his campaign and presidency, remarking, “Defense is number oneor we don’t have a country,” in a Time article. His proposals have been radical, including mass surveillance, a Muslim ban and mass deportations, all in the name of ensuring American security. It is normal to worry about terrorism in times like these, but a look at the deaths and casualties may reveal an inconvenient truth.

Before delving into the statistics on deaths and crime in America, it is important to note we currently live in the safest period in decades. Murders are at a 50-year low, terrorist attacks are much less frequent and the average quality of life is higher than ever. The media and the Trump Administration, however, appear to support the idea that there is a full-scale war going on in the U.S., started by Muslims and undocumented immigrants.

Analyzing the data tells a different story, though. Since 9/11, there have only been 94 deaths in the U.S. directly caused by Islamic terror. Additionally, evidence shows undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes on average than U.S. citizens.

Still, Trump holds these issues to be threats to America, devoting an entire government agency to address the victims of crimes of undocumented immigrants. While the statistical evidence shows that neither Islamic terror nor undocumented crime are issues with which to be immediately concerned, Trump has had no issue addressing them over and over again.

One issue, as highlighted by the Las Vegas shooting, has passed by silently under the Trump Administration: gun control.

In 2017 alone, there have been more than 12,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. and just fewer than 50,000 separate instances of gun violence. The issue of guns and the ease of accessing them is problematic for the country. Trump has still remained relatively silent on the issue of gun control, however, all while quietly instituting federal roll-backs on background checks, silencers and high-power bullets.

The contradiction lies in the fact that Trump says he wants security. He believes security must be safeguarded by any means necessary, yet he overlooks a massive cause of deaths and injuries in the United States, instead focusing on blaming non-whites and immigrants. This is neither a mistake nor a coincidence.

Trump is not oblivious to these numbers. He is not unaware of the issues arising from poor gun control in the U.S. He is explicitly pushing a different narrative to appeal to his supporters. He misinforms the public by igniting a fear of those who not in his base. He does this to push a very specific agenda – one of a xenophobic America. If Trump truly considered security to be the number one issue in America, he would focus on gun control, not immigration control.

This is an opinion article and does not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo. Quinn is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected].

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