Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Saturday that the recent terrorist attacks in Paris would’ve been “a much, much different situation” if the victims of the violence had been armed with guns.
Speaking at a campaign event in Beaumont, Texas, Trump said, “When you look at Paris, you know the toughest gun laws in the world… Nobody had guns but the bad guys. Nobody. Nobody had guns. And they were just shooting them, one by one, and then they broke in and had a big shootout, and ultimately killed the terrorists. And I’ll tell you what: You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would’ve been a much, much different situation.”
According to the Associated Press, Trump also said it would be “insane” for the United States to allow Syrian refugees into the country after the tragedy — a notion shared by a number of Trump’s fellow Republican presidential hopefuls, including Ben Carson. And he held a moment of silence for the Paris victims.
In the wake of the January Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, Trump tweeted a similar sentiment.
Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2015
(That tweet was widely recirculated in the wake of Friday’s attacks, with many people mistaking which “tragedy in Paris” Trump was referring to.)
At a Republican primary debate last week, Trump answered in the affirmative when asked if he would feel more comfortable if his employees carried guns to work, and discussed personally carrying a gun at times. “Yes, I might feel more comfortable,” he said. “I do carry on occasion. Sometimes a lot. I like to be unpredictable… unlike our country, where we’re totally predictable, and the enemy, whether it’s ISIS or anybody else, they know exactly what we’re doing, because we have the wrong leadership.”
Trump has also said on the campaign trail, of the gun permit he says he has in New York, “Somebody attacks me, they’re gonna be shocked.”
“I’m a very, very big Second Amendment person,” he told a crowd in Nashville last month. “This is about self-defense, plain and simple.”