The vice mayor of the Florida county where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called President Donald Trump’s visit with victims’ families “absurd” and “hypocrisy.”
Mark Bogen spoke to CNN on Friday, where an anchor asked him about Trump’s tweet announcing his visit to Florida. Bogen, who is also a Broward County commissioner, based his criticism on the false claim that Trump supports people with mental illness being able to purchase a gun.
The Vice Mayor of Broward County says Trump's upcoming visit is "absolutely absurd" https://t.co/pObIzn4SKy
— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) February 16, 2018
“Him coming here to me is absurd,” Bogen said. “Him coming here is absolutely absurd and he’s a hypocrite.”
“How can you come here and talk about how horrible it is when you support these laws,” Bogen said. “And what’s most interesting — what I just learned — is one year ago this month the president reversed a rule banning mentally ill people from purchasing a gun.”
“So president Trump, based on his actions, allows mentally ill people to purchase guns when over a year ago they could not,” Bogen said. “So this is a man who supports teenagers and other people to buy assault weapons and to have these type of weapons and then comes down here and wants to act as though, you know, this is horrible and shouldn’t happen but goes back to Washington and supports it.”
“It’s hypocrisy,” Bogen said. “Absolute hypocrisy.”
But, in fact, the Obama-era rule Bogen is referring to that was reversed by Congress and signed by the president was a regulation that gave the Social Security Administration the authority to determine a person who cannot manage their own finances as mentally ill.
The Hill reported:
The House voted 235-180 to roll back a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. The database is used to determine eligibility for buying a firearm.
Critics said the rule stripped Second Amendment rights from people who are not dangerously mentally ill, such as those who have eating disorders or mental disorders that prevent them from managing their own finances.
I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth – but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
On Thursday, Trump issued a presidential proclamation on the tragedy in Florida, which said, in part:
As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
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