- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2015

Businessman and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said the fact that troops at the naval reserve center in Tennessee where four Marines were killed Thursday had restrictions on being armed “is absolutely ridiculous.”

“It’s a lack of respect, Bill, for our country, for our officials, for our leaders — it’s a total lack of respect, it’s a breakdown, and frankly, a gun-free zone, these are four great Marines from what everybody tells me, unbelievable people, and that they’re not allowed to carry guns is absolutely ridiculous,” Mr. Trump said Thursday evening via phone on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor. “So what happens is this guy walks in, he’s got a gun, they’re just sitting there as targets — it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was fatally shot outside a Navy-Marine training center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Thursday after killing four Marines, officials said.

Asked about potential backlash against Muslim-Americans in the wake of the killings, Mr. Trump said: “Well, at some point, it’s probably going to happen and, you know, you have the term ‘Islamic terrorism,’ which the president refuses to use even though there seems to be quite a bit of it. If you look around the world, certainly it’s there, there’s something going on.”

President Obama on Thursday called the killings “heartbreaking” and urged people not to jump to conclusions.

“But it seems so sad that a whole group of people have to be blamed, but it does seem to be happening a lot, Bill, and whether it’s here or in other countries, it certainly is there, and there is a form of Islamic terrorism. President Obama refuses to use the term, and nobody can quite understand why,” he said.

Mr. O’Reilly said he was sure Mr. Trump had a theory.

“Well, I think I won’t say my theory right now, but he should certainly — if we’re going to fight elements that are causing tremendous problems, at least we have to start maybe being not so politically correct and this is happening, it’s happening all over, it’s happening outside of our country big league. It’s going to get worse in our country, and we better start fighting a lot tougher than we’re fighting right now, Bill, because we’re going in the wrong direction in so many different ways — not just this, but in so many different ways,” he said.

Speaking via phone Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mr. Trump reiterated his criticism of so-called “gun free zones” and said that “we’re going to have to get much tougher with law enforcement.”

“It’s a very tough situation for the country, and we’re going to have to increase our intel groups, and we have some great groups and frankly, we’re going to have to get much tougher with law enforcement,” he said. “You know, we have law enforcement that’s afraid to go up to people now. They don’t want to lose their job. They want to get their pension in 20 years, etcetera. And we’re going to have to let our law enforcement go.”

“I can’t imagine that some people in the area didn’t see that he was going off the wire and couldn’t have reported him in some form,” Mr. Trump said later.

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