NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today after Donald Trump, Jr. commented “We all do stupid things at 17” regarding the shooter who killed two protesters and wounded another in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The shooter was charged with first-degree murder for the killings.
“It’s not hard to guess who will get the benefit of the doubt from Trump and his Republican allies these days, and it’s not Jacob Blake, it’s not Breonna Taylor, and it’s not George Floyd,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The abject defense of a white teen who drove across state lines and illegally procured an AR-15 to shoot protesters is disgustingly transparent.”
“Donald Trump, Jr.’s callous and demeaning remarks illuminate just how little he cares about those standing up for Black Lives, or anyone who doesn’t like his dad, for that matter,” said Khary Penebaker, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “His, and his fellow Republicans’, casual disregard for our lives is yet another reason why we’re ready to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November.”
“Donald Trump, Jr.’s comments are disgusting, dismissive, and sadly all too predictable,” said Aly Scanlon, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at The University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Time and time again, we’ve seen the President, his family, and their Republican allies turn a blind eye when their supporters turn to white supremacy-fueled violence and we’re sick of it. Let’s be clear – killing people who are protesting for racial justice isn’t a stupid thing; it’s an act of hate.”
Since nationwide protests began after the murder of George Floyd in May, the President and his allies have demonized protesters, incited violence, and enabled vigilantes. In May, the president tweeted “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The night before the shooting, at the Republican National Convention, five different speakers spoke of “uncontrolled violent mobs that they claim have taken over the nation’s streets,” according to the Washington Post, and the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at peaceful protesters was given a national platform. Washington Post’s Philip Bump wrote, “it’s impossible not to notice how that rhetoric echoes in what appears to have happened in Kenosha.”