OPINION | Barry Richard: Would You Have Run Into Stoneman Douglas?
So, now the media's undies are in a bunch because a braggadocious President Trump suggested he might have tried to save the students inside the Florida high school that came under attack by a madman on February 14, even if he didn't have a weapon.
Trump's remarks came during a meeting of the nation's governors on Monday, and in response to reports that armed Broward County Sheriff's Deputies failed to enter the building while the massacre was occurring. One of those deputies has since resigned. This, as 17 people were being mowed down by a gunman.
Trump, who is advocating for tighter school security in the wake of the shooting--which could include arming some teachers--said he'd like to think that most people would have reacted in a more heroic fashion.
The media couldn't wait to pile on:
"Late night: Trump's living in a 'fantasy world' for saying he’d have 'run in' to Fla. school." - USA Today
CNN offered this:
"He doesn't know what he would do in a setting where automatic gunfire broke out and people were running scared. He is 71 and by any measure, out of shape: Whatever his intentions in hindsight, he doesn't know that he could run more than a few feet without collapsing."
"Here's what he’s done in the face of danger": accepting five Vietnam draft deferments (one of them for bone spurs) and appearing spooked when a man charged the stage at a campaign rally.
"Colbert to Trump: 'What are you going to do, run in there and stab them with your bone spurs?'
What Trump really said:
"I really believe--you don't know until you test it, but I think--I'd really believe I'd run into--even if I didn't have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too, because I know most of you. But the way they performed was really a disgrace."
Truth be told, I don't know that Trump would have run into the school. By his own admission, nor does he. But, I'd make book that Trump would be considerably more likely to do so than any one of his critics on this issue.
Would you have gone in?
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon - 3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.