On November 13, 2015 in Paris, 1,500 people were watching Eagles of Death Metal perform in a beautiful theatre while 80,000 were attending a friendly match between France and Germany in the biggest stadium of France and a couple others having a drink with friends. It could have been a regular Friday evening in the capital but, unfortunately, ISIS had decided otherwise. Three attacks happened almost concurrently in these three locations causing 130 dead bodies, 413 wounded in need of hospitalization and 99 between life and death. This event shook the country to its core, leaving it in a state of emergency for nearly 2 years.
The longest and deadliest attack is the one which happened at The Bataclan, a historic theatre opened in 1970. The three terrorists, wearing suicide belts, entered the venue during the song “Kiss The Devil” and started shooting randomly the crowd as well as taking hostages. They ended up killing 90 people and wounding several hundred. This operating mode was repeated in the other places.
More than 2 years later, during his speech at the NRA convention, Trump evoked the attack in many wrong ways. Firstly, I wanna point out that a big part of his information is incorrect or vague: “various other close proximity places” is how he describes the locations of the attacks and insists on the fact that the terrorists took their time, shooting people one by one when really, they did not. I believe that, as the president of the USA, Trump should double check whatever information he is given before incorporating it into a speech, but this isn’t the worst: he also found interesting to mimic the situation as it supposedly happened.
“Boom! Come over here… ” he repeats multiple time while mimicking shooting with a gun
I happen to know someone who was there and watched her cousin get shot in the head right in front of her. Can you imagine what her, the victims’ families, the survivors would feel hearing and seeing this? Well, clearly, Trump did not put this much thought into it: it was all simply to demonstrate that weapons are necessary and would have saved people.
“But if one employee […] had a gun, or if one person in this room had been there with a gun aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot, and it would have been a whole different story” he says while being applauded.
I believe it would have been worse. Imagine the scene: a thousand people taking their weapon and shooting everywhere by fear? A total massacre is what would have happened.
As a French person, this attack has hurt me deeply, leaving me scared of any “big” noise for quite some time. Watching this speech and even writing this article has brought tears to my eyes even though I was not a victim of the attack: this is how much it hurt the French and how much Trump’s words are offensive. I don’t think he would be okay with someone having so little compassion towards an attack that happened in his country, so why would it be okay for him to act this way about another country’s attack? All in all, this speech was not, in any way, acceptable and the lack of apology from Trump, although many French political figures like former president François Hollande have shown their dislike of his comportment, makes it worse.
2 years is a lot, but some wounds never really heal, so please watch what you say (especially when you’re at the head of one of the most powerful nations worldwide).
Photo: Reuters / Vincent Kessler