There have been eight mass shootings under Clinton, eight under Bush, and 24 under Obama.Ten Mass Shootings out of 24 since 1966 have happened under the Obama Administration. Four under Donald Trump.
One would never know the statistics with the pounding drum beat blaming Donald Trump. Did anyone blame Obama for all of the mayhem under his watch? Johnson? Reagan, Bush, Obama? Let’s step through the fog of mass shootings. Republicans are responsible for the violence?
Bonus information Democrat cities:
200th person Murdered in Baltimore this weekend.
7 killed this weekend in Chicago. 53 shot.
But I digress:
The first mass shooting in the collective American memory was the University of Texas at Austin shooting in August 1966. The shooter, armed with six weapons and ensconced at the top of the University of Texas Tower, killed 17 people, wounding more than 30 others.
Johnson’s first reaction sounds familiar to 21st-century ears. On August 2, 1966, the day after the shooting, White House press secretary Bill Moyers read a statement by the president that said, “What happened is not without a lesson: that we must press urgently for the legislation now pending in Congress to help prevent the wrong person from obtaining firearms.”
The statement added that “[t]he bill would not prevent all such tragedies. But it would help reduce the unrestricted sale of firearms to those who cannot be trusted in their use and possession.”
In July 1984, during Ronald Reagan’s first term as president, a gunman killed 21 people at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, California.
Unlike Johnson, Reagan did not say anything publicly about the shooting. In fact, a search by the New York Times revealed that “[t]he Times did not report any comment from the administration of President Ronald Reagan. His public papers show no statements on the subject in the days following.”
When the Tylenol poisonings took place in Chicago in 1982, Reagan had also stood back, letting Johnson & Johnson take the lead in the response. Reagan appears to have been of the view that local tragedies should be handled at the local level, deferring to private-sector entities, when appropriate, to handle problems.
Reagan also appears to have remained quiet after the other two mass shootings during his presidency, one in Oklahoma and one in California. The 1986 Edmond, Oklahoma, shooting appears to be the first one in which a disgruntled post-office employee was the killer, the start of an unfortunate trend of about half a dozen of these shootings that would inspire the phrase “going postal.”
Similarly, Reagan’s successor and former vice president, George H. W. Bush, also generally avoided making statements about the four mass shootings during his administration.
The tradition of presidential silence in the wake of most mass shootings came to an end in the 1990s during the Clinton administration.
President Clinton did not weigh in on every one of the eight mass shootings during his tenure, but these events were now frequent enough to warrant presidential attention.
Eight under Clinton, eight under Bush, and 24 under Obama (see chart below).
Deadliest American Mass Shootings
Since Johnson, at the most the perception was that the President’s job was to console. Most remained uninvolved. Only one thing that has never happened before, they never were blamed for mass shootings. Why should Trump be blamed for it now?
A big tip of the hat goes to Drake’s Place for the lead.
Defending Faith And Freedom: Mass Shootings Under the Obama Administration:
Ten (10) Mass Shootings out of 24 since 1966 have happened under the Obama Administration
National Affairs: Presidents and mass shootings.
Bonus: A previous post: Gun violence dropped significantly, gun ownership rises
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