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Donald Trump on Oregon shootings: ‘You’re always going to have problems’

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday said the most recent campus shooting in Oregon could have happened anywhere, adding that there are already “very strong laws on the books” to address gun violence.

Trump joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program by phone – his 13th time on the show, either in person or on the phone, since declaring himself a candidate for 2016.

He spoke the day after a 26-year-old man walked into a morning class at Umpqua Community College in rural Oregon and opened fire, hitting some students with multiple gunshots. At least nine people were killed and seven others were wounded.

Co-host Willie Geist asked Trump what he would have done if the shooting happened under his presidency, noting that Oregon has universal background checks.

“Well first of all, you have very strong laws on the books, but you’re always going to have problems,” Trump said. “I mean, we have millions and millions of people. We have millions of sick people all over the world. It can happen all over the world.

“And it does happen all over the world, by the way, but this is sort of unique to this country, the school shootings, and you’re going to have difficulty no matter what,” he added. “I mean … probably we’ll find out with him, like we did with numerous of the others, that gee whiz, they were loners and they were probably sick.

“You know, oftentimes this happens and the neighborhood says, you know, we sort of saw that about him and it really looked like he could be a problem. But it’s awfully hard to put somebody in an institution for the rest of their lives based on the fact he looks like he could be a problem. So it’s a terrible situation, it’s huge mental illness.  You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold.”

Geist asked, “So Donald, is it fair to say then that your opinion is some people are going to slip through the cracks and there’s not much you can do about it?”

Trump responded, “… People are going to slip through the cracks and even if you did great mental health programs, people are going to slip through the cracks … What are you going to do? Institutionalize everybody? So you’re going to have difficulties … with many different things, not just this. That’s the way the world works. And by the way, that’s the way the world always has worked, Willie.”

Trump also addressed remarks about him by Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, discussed whether U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy should be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and sized up fellow GOP candidate Ben Carson.

A link to the video is here:

Material was used from The Associated Press in this post. 

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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