President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited survivors and first responders from the shooting in Las Vegas on Wednesday. One of the people visited by the Trumps was a man named Thomas Gunderson, who was shot in the leg during the massacre. Even though Melania assured Gunderson that he could stay in bed, Gunderson stood up to shake the president's hand.
He posted a video of their encounter on Facebook, saying that he wanted to show respect to the president.
The video is captioned:
" I will never lie down when the President of this great country comes to shake my hand! There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my President the respect he deserves!"
The video went viral on Facebook, and wracked up more than 13 million views. It was shared thousands of times.
Despite the relatively simple gesture that was designed to be "an uplifting message during this horrific time," Gunderson later posted on his Facebook that he had received a deluge of hateful comments. He asked people to not engage with those comments.
Have we really reached a point where we have to criticize someone who survived a shooting for showing respect to the president? Really?
Kudos to your exceptional bravery, Thomas. And best wishes for a speedy recovery.