Another assassination attempt.
Donald Trump has a lot of enemies.
As the presidential election draws ever nearer, the business mogul’s rise from humorous celebrity to likely Republican nominee has stunned the nation. Oversaturated, outspoken, outrageous, offensive: Donald’s politics and rhetorics have made him both extremely popular as well as hated and feared, and some people have had enough.
After all, Trump has proposed banning all Muslims (numbering more than 1.6 billion) from entering the United States, while also closely monitoring and policing the more than 3 million that currently live in the country. He wants to build a wall closing off the American-Mexican border, and he would also refuse asylum to refugees. He wants to toughen and bring back now-illegal methods of torture. Most recently, Trump said we should turn to profiling to reduce and prevent crime.
Despicable as he is, most of Trump’s enemies combat him by promoting other candidates or by turning to social media and other outlets to write or speak out against him. For 19-year-old Michael Sandford, talk wasn’t enough, so he took action.
He was ready to die in the attempt.
The rally took place at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 18. With thousands of fans and supporters, the rally had plenty of security personnel on hand. In fact, the would-be assassin planned on using the police present at the event to bring his plan to fruition.
As it turns out, the man who drove from California to Las Vegas with the intent of killing Donald Trump was an illegal alien, but not the type you might think. In fact, this man is still very much a boy.
Identified as the 19 or 20-year-old Michael Sandford of Dorking, England, the young man was living in the United States illegally after overstaying his visa to visit the country. The British national apparently came to the country to visit a girlfriend living in New Jersey before moving to California. And though he’d never shot a gun before, Sandford became determined to kill Trump at either the Las Vegas or Phoenix rally, and he even went to a shooting range a day earlier to learn how to shoot.
According to court documents, he had been planning the assassination for a year “but decided to act on this occasion because he finally felt confident about trying it.”
A Troubled Past
Sandford’s background provides some insight into why he would try and commit such a crime, even though his target was a hate-monger. A public defender revealed that, while not diagnosed with any mental illness, Sandford is autistic. His mother told reporters that he suffered from OCD and anorexia when he was younger.
Yet for many, the troubled man’s target is not a surprising one. Politicians always face the risk of violent opposition, but no major candidate in recent history measures up to Trump in terms of the animosity he is receiving.
Trump rallies have become known for their violence, and, while Trump has spoken out against it, he also promotes using harsh and illegal torture techniques, killing the families of terrorists, and encouraging nationwide profiling against suspicious-looking people to combat crime. For a man filled with so much hate, which he also encourages amongst his supporters, it’s no coincidence that Trump has also become a target for the same violence he promotes.