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Heilemann: Mass Shootings Are an ‘Emergency’ — Trump Misusing Emergency Power ‘Grotesque’

PAM KEY

Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” during live coverage of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, IL, network political analyst John Heilemann said President Donald Trump’s use of his power to declare a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border was “empty symbolism” and “grotesque.”

Heilemann argued the current situation is highlighting that mass shootings are an actual “emergency.”

Heilemann said, “There’s a lot of ways to analyze what happened with Trump today, and we want to focus on this, but you set the backdrop and one of the ways to analyze it, we thought, talk about it as political theater, as empty symbolism, as grotesque, as inappropriate, as setting a bad precedent, as a million different things, but it set so much now in the context of this, however bad this turns out to be, another mass shooting. I’m looking at the statistics, 323 mass shootings in 2018, 323 mass shootings in 2018, that is nearly one a day in America. I don’t know what definition—I don’t know how to define an emergency. But I’ll tell you that if you listen to the experts who talk about what’s happening on the southern border and look at the number of mass shootings in America, before you go to solutions or anything else, I think we can all look around and say this is an emergency.”

He added, “I spent my week last week and part of this week in Minneapolis St. Paul with Amy Klobuchar announcing her campaign and in El Paso with Trump when he was there along with Beto O’Rourke. And a lot of the people I talked to, just as a matter of journalism, I asked people, is the border an emergency? Do you think we’re in the middle of an emergency or not? Some people said yes, but a lot more said that’s not an emergency, an emergency is guns, an emergency is climate change, an emergency is the state of our schools, an emergency is health care in America, an emergency is the opioid crisis. A lot of people had a lot of things on their lists of what they thought in their lives and cities and communities were emergencies. A lot of them, not all of them, a lot of them mentioned guns. This is the kind of thing when you think about this and think about what the president did today—basically admitting what he was doing was a cheap, empty, meaningless political ploy, it makes your stomach churn.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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