As published in The Hill
First lady Melania Trump recently hosted a dinner for influential evangelical figures at the White House. During his remarks, President Trump briefly referenced the recent shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. A gunman with a history of mental illness killed two people and wounded 11 others. After expressing condolences to those affected, Trump said dismissively, “how it happens, nobody really knows.”
We must wonder why the Commander-in-Chief of the United States, who is charged with running the most complex operations of government — not to mention its nuclear arsenal — finds an event like the one in Jacksonville so mystifying. After all, it is his responsibility to oversee federal departments that conduct mandatory background checks on purchasers of firearms — and one disqualifying criterion for would-be buyers is a history of mental illness.