France on Saturday condemned United States President Donald Trump’s remarks that strict gun laws had not prevented violence in Paris. “France expresses its firm disapproval of President Trump’s comments about the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015 and demands that the memory of the victims be respected,” the foreign office said in a statement.
“Every country freely decides on its own laws on carrying firearms, as in other areas. France is proud to be a country where acquiring and carrying firearms is strictly regulated”, France’s statement said.
Trump was speaking to the National Rifle Association on Friday when he said that had civilians been armed, the 2015 Paris attacks “would have been a whole different story”. He had mimicked how each victim was shot dead in the attacks. Trump had also brought up the rising number of knife attacks in Britain to push for weaker gun laws.
“Nobody has guns in Paris and we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded. You notice nobody ever talks about them,” he had said. “They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one.” Trump had then mimicked the attackers shooting: “Boom. Come over here. Boom, come over here. Boom.”
Former French president Francois Hollande and ex-prime minister Manuel Valls, who were in power during the 2015 attacks, were among those who expressed their outrage at Trump’s comments on Saturday. Manuels called it “indecent and incompetent” and asked “what more can I say”, while Hollande tweeted: “Donald Trump’s shameful remarks and obscene histrionics say a lot about what he thinks of France and its values. The friendship between our two peoples will not be tainted by disrespect and excessiveness. All my thoughts go to the victims of November 13.”
Paris was struck by three coordinated terror attacks on 13 November, 2015. The attackers killed 130 people, and over 400 were injured. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for it.
Trump’s speech also drew huge criticism from Britons. “Knives, knives, knives,” he had said, accompanied with a stabbing motion.
“I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital – right in the middle – is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds. Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns. They have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital... London hasn’t been used to that. They’re getting used to it. Pretty tough... We’re here today because we recognise a simple fact – the one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights. We’re fighting.”— Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post