Category:Personal Security

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Assassination Attempts

  • June, 2016: A British immigrant on an expired visa attempted to assassinate Donald Trump at one of his campaign rallies by stealing a police officer's firearm. “The No. 1 trending question related to Donald Trump on Google right now is ‘Who tried to shoot Trump?’ Which means a lot of people don't know the answer. Which is probably because the assassination attempt on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee hasn't been covered as a major news story. The answer, authorities say, is Michael Steven Sandford, a 20-year-old British citizen who was in the United States illegally after overstaying his visa. Sandford allegedly tried to pull a gun from the holster of a police officer at a Trump rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. He was arrested and later told the Secret Service that he had driven to the event from California and had been planning to kill the candidate for a year, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada.” (Washington Post, June 21, 2016)
  • The assassination attempt against Trump failed to attract much notice, in part because it was poorly planned and even more poorly executed, never posing a real danger to the candidate. “Trump hasn't so much as tweeted about it, which suggests he doesn't consider it a huge deal or doesn't want to talk about it. The most obvious explanation is that Sandford doesn't appear to have come particularly close to completing his alleged mission. He didn't even succeed in arming himself at the Trump rally. Sandford's plot seems to have been feebly unsophisticated; he told authorities the extent of his training was a visit the day before the rally to a gun range, where he fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol, a common service weapon, to learn how to use one. In short, calling Sandford a legitimate threat might be giving him too much credit.” (Washington Post, June 21, 2016)
  • The assassination attempt against Trump was inconvenient for his political agenda because it was a criminal attempt by a white immigrant from a European country, in contravention of Trump's racist argument that Mexican and Muslim immigrants posed a unique threat to the country. “From Trump's perspective, Sandford doesn't fit neatly into his campaign narrative. The billionaire has positioned himself as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, so he certainly won't use the failed assassination attempt to push for gun control. Sandford is an illegal immigrant - and Trump is all about deporting illegal aliens - but the candidate's focus is on building a wall to keep out Mexicans and barring foreign Muslims from entering the United States. A Briton who overstayed his visa isn't a very good poster boy for the cause.” (Washington Post, June 21, 2016)
  • Glenn Beck was suspended from his radio show after an invited guest mused that Trump would need to be stopped by "patriots" if Congress didn't prevent him from serving as President. “Glenn Beck, a prominent conservative commentator who opposes Trump, was recently suspended for a week by SiriusXM after Brad Thor, who writes political thrillers, made comments on Beck's radio program that some listeners interpreted as a call for Trump to be assassinated. ‘If Congress won't remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that - if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president?’ Thor said. Thor and Beck both said later that the remark was not about assassinating Trump.” (Washington Post, June 21, 2016)

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