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Donald Trump claims Pulse massacre 'wouldn't have happened' if people had guns

Trump made the comments during a televised meeting in the wake of the Parkland shooting

2018-03-01

Donald Trump has claimed that the 2016 Pulse massacre would not have happened if more people had guns. 

The US president made the shocking comment yesterday (February 28) during a televised meeting with lawmakers in the wake of the Parkland shooting. 

In the meeting, Trump cited the Orlando attack while arguing against "gun-free zones" which he claimed make "attractive targets" for gunmen.

He said: "As an example, you take Pulse nightclub - if you had one person in that room that could carry a gun and knew how to use it, it wouldn't have happened, or certainly not to the extent it did, where he was just in there shooting, and shooting and shooting and they were just defenseless." 

According to Orlando Sentinel, however, there was an armed person at Pulse nightclub at the time of attack. Police officer Adam Gruler was working as off-duty security at the club and allegedly exchanged gunfire with gunman Omar Mateen outside the club.

However, Gruler later retreated to call for backup when Mateen took hostages.

This wasn't the first time Trump had made the offensive comments. Speaking at a campaign rally shortly after the shooting in 2016, he suggested that people at the club should have had guns with them.

He said: "If some of those great people that were in the club that night had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle, and if the bullets were going in the other direction, aimed at this guy who was just open target practice, you would've had a situation folks, which would have been always horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we all as a people suffered this weekend." 

The shooting at Pulse nightclub by Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 68 others. Trump's comments come after a national debate over gun laws following the Parkland school shooting.