It is ridiculous to suggest guns as part of a solution to stop terrorist attacks or reduce murder rates. No one believes the way to stop a terrorist attack in Paris or reduce murder rates in London depends on looser gun laws, except U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump said Friday at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Dallas that if civilians had been armed "it would have been a whole different story," referring to a 2015 series of explosions and shootings in France which left 130 victims.
He also mocked Britain, which he is due to visit in July, saying "They don't have guns. They have knives and instead there's blood all over the floors of this hospital... it's as bad as a military war zone hospital."
"Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here. Boom!" Trump said, using his hands in a gun gesture.
France and Britain are rightly enraged, as Trump disrespects victims and defies common sense.
America's passion for guns is well-known, but it is still beyond comprehension -- at least to Europeans -- that a U.S. president, to advance his domestic agenda, would take advantage of tragedies that affect its closest allies.
No wonder former French President Francois Hollande, who was ruling the country at the time of the Paris attacks, rejected Trump's remarks as "shameful" and "obscene" which "tell a lot about what he thinks about France and its values."
"Every country freely decides on its own laws on carrying firearms, as in other areas," the French Foreign Ministry said, as France "is proud to be a country where acquiring and carrying firearms is strictly regulated."
"The free flow of arms within society does not constitute a bulwark against terrorist attacks, it can instead facilitate the planning of this type of assaults," the ministry fired back.
Equally disparaging was Trump's ranting of "knives, knives, knives," while mimicking a stabbing motion as he compared a London hospital to a war zone.
While the British capital is grappling with rising knife crimes, this fact can't be used to justify more guns on the streets, especially considering that London has a lower murder rate than major U.S. cities in 2017 -- in most cases, far lower.
British trauma surgeon Karim Brohi said "There is more we can all do to combat this violence, but to suggest guns are part of the solution is ridiculous. Gunshot wounds are at least twice as lethal as knife injuries and more difficult to repair."
Moreover, given that Trump is scheduled to visit London shortly, it is an even odder move, diplomatically, to offend one's host in advance. It appears he has failed to learn from his provocation of Britain, which resulted in the canceling of his former planned state visit.