Real-estate mogul Donald Trump argued on Saturday that the terrorist attack in Paris the previous night would have been “much, much different” if people there had been armed.
“When you look at Paris — the toughest gun laws in the world, Paris — nobody had guns but the bad guys. Nobody. Nobody had guns,” Trump said at a presidential campaign rally in Beaumont, Texas.
“They were just shooting them one by one,” the Republican presidential front-runner lamented.
Most of Friday night’s violence occurred at Paris’ Bataclan concert venue, where attackers opened fire and then took hostages. Authorities said at least 89 people were killed there.
Trump did not say what exactly would have been different if Parisians had gun rights, or that the 129 people who authorities have said died in the series of attacks would have been saved. However, he suggested that right-to-carry laws would have helped to stop the attackers, who were armed with machine guns and explosives.
“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,” he said to cheers.
Trump then noted that much of the gun violence in the US occurs in cities that have strict gun laws.
“I hear it all the time,” he said. “You look at certain cities that have the highest violence, the highest problem with guns and shootings and killings. Chicago as an example, toughest gun laws in the United States. Nothing but problems. So our country better get smart, because we’re not smart right now.”
He also said the Paris attacks clarified how “insane” it would be for the US to take in a large number of Syrian refugees fleeing the violence there.