Sunday, May 6, 2018

Anger in France, Britain over Trump's gun law speech

Anger in France, Britain over Trump's gun law speech
US President Donald Trump sparked anger in France and Britain by suggesting looser gun laws could have helped prevent deadly attacks in Paris in 2015, and linking a wave of knife crime in London to a handgun ban.

In a speech to the National Rifle Association (NRA) yesterday, Mr Trump mimicked the shooting of victims in the Paris rampage, and said if civilians had been armed "it would have been a whole different story".

The French government issued its strongest criticism of Mr Trump since he took office, at a time when President Emmanuel Macron has been reinforcing bilateral ties following a state visit.

"France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump's comments about the Paris attacks on 13 November 2015 and demands that the memory of the victims be respected," the foreign office said in a statement today.

"Every country freely decides on its own laws on carrying firearms, as in other areas. France is proud to be a country where acquiring and carrying firearms is strictly regulated."

Other French politicians including the mayor of Paris took issue with Mr Trump's comments, after he acted out the scene of the massacre by Islamist assailants at Paris' Bataclan concert hall, where 90 of the 130 victims of the attacks died.

"They took their time and gunned them down one by one. Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here. Boom!," Mr Trump said, using his hands in a gun gesture.

Former French president Francois Hollande, who was head of state at the time, said on Twitter that Trump's comments and antics were "shameful" and "obscene".

Meanwhile, trauma surgeons in London said Mr Trump had missed the point after, in the same speech, he linked knife crime there to an absence of guns.

Comments by Mr Trump have caused upset before in Britain. Relations with British Prime Minister Theresa May cooled last year after she criticised him for retweeting anti-Islam videos by a British far-right group.

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