Some veterans and mental-health advocates bristled at President Trump’s comments regarding the Thousand Oaks shooter and post-traumatic stress disorder, saying such broad-based remarks risked fueling inaccurate stereotypes about the condition and Americans who have served in combat.
Trump began speculating about PTSD on Friday morning when asked about the shooting, in which authorities say 28-year-old Marine veteran Ian David Long opened fire at a country-music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and killed 12 people. Officers found Long inside an office in the bar, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“He was a war veteran. He was a Marine. He was in the war. He served time. He saw some pretty bad things, and a lot of people say he had PTSD, and that’s a tough deal,” Trump said after describing the shooter as a “very sick puppy” who had a lot of problems.
“People come back — that’s why it’s a horrible thing — they come back, they’re never the same,” the president added, referring to Long’s military service.
Long served as a machine-gunner in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2013 and deployed to Afghanistan, leaving the U.S. military as a corporal.
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