Trump says London hospital 'a warzone' for stabbing victims as he defends US gun laws

Comments come as British capital has seen an increase in murders this year

Clark Mindock
New York
Friday 04 May 2018 16:03 EDT
Donald Trump at NRA convention: London hospital is like 'war zone for horrible stabbing wounds'

Donald Trump has said that a London hospital is as “bad as a military war zone” because of knife violence during a speech at the annual National Rifle Association convention praising gun rights.

The comment came during a wide ranging speech in which Mr Trump promoted the work he is doing as president and sought to promote American gun ownership by comparing the US to European countries.

“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,” Mr Trump said.

“Yes, that’s right. They don’t have guns,” he continued. “They have knives. And, instead, there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bada as a military war zone hospital. knives, knives knives. London hasn’t been used to that. They’re getting used to it. It’s pretty tough.”

London has seen a particularly violent start to the year — it has clocked more murders than New York City in recent months. That violence has been driven by a surge in knife crimes, with an overwhelming percentage of the murders coming from knife violence. In response, Britain’s interior ministry has indicated it is consulting on new laws that could further restrict dangerous weapons. That could include banning online stores from delivering knives to residential addresses, or making it an offence to have certain types of knives and weapons in public.

“This government is taking action to restrict access to offensive weapons as well as working to break the deadly cycle of violence and protect our children, families and communities,” a Home Office spokesperson said in April.

An email to the White House seeking clarification on which hospital Mr Trump was referring to, what article he read, or why he chose to compare gun and knife violence was not immediately returned.

The United Kingdom has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the world, and requires citizens to undergo a grueling application process in order to lawfully own a gun.

Those laws were put together piecemeal following the end of the Second World War, but were largely spurred by two national tragedies in 1987 when 16 people were killed in Hungerford, and then in 1996 in Dunblane when a shooter killed 16 schoolchildren.

The tight gun control in the UK has led to a drop in firearm violence, and gun violence deaths in England and Wales rests at about one person per every one million, according to the Geneva Declaration of Armed Violence and Development. That’s compared to the US, which sees 160 times as many gun homicides, and has a population roughly six times larger.

Before discussing the knife violence in the UK, Mr Trump referenced France's strict gun control laws as well. Mr Trump used the 2015 attacks in Paris as an example where he says more guns could have saved some of the 130 people who were killed. France's gun deaths are typically very low, however, and annually amount to about as many people as were killed during that terror attack in total.

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