President Donald Trump downplayed the role of guns in the shooting that left at least 26 dead in a Texas church while blaming “mental health.”
On Sunday, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley targeted a church attended by his in-laws in Sutherland Springs, a small town just miles from San Antonio.
Among those dead were 14,year-old Annabelle Pomery, the daughter of the church’s pastor. The church’s visiting pastor was also killed. So were eight members of one family, including a woman who was five months pregnant and her three children.
The shooter was shot by an armed resident who lives next to the church and later killed himself in his car.
On Monday, Trump said it was a “little bit too soon” to be talking about guns, as it was after Las Vegas and every massacre before it. It’s always too soon to talk about guns in America because it’s never more than days if not hours since the last mass shooting.
Trump called the shooter a “very deranged individual,” downplaying one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history as a “mental health” issue.
“Mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said.
Trump also praised the gun owner that shot Kelley, even though reports suggest this only happened after virtually everyone in the church was killed or wounded.
“Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction otherwise … it would have been much worse,” Trump said. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level.”
“Who would ever think a thing like this could happen?” Trump asked.
— CNN (@CNN) November 6, 2017
Considering there’s a mass shooting in the United States nearly every single day, a lot of people.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton actually used the shooting to praise his state’s concealed carry laws.
“All I can say is that in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have concealed carry,” Paxton said in an interview on Fox News. “And so if it’s a place where someone has the ability to carry, there’s always the opportunity that the gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people.”
Talk about getting the wrong takeaway.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who has been a tireless gun control advocate since the Sandy Hook massacre in his state, issued a strongly worded statement telling lawmakers the “paralysis you feel right now … isn’t real.”
“None of this is inevitable. I know this because no other country endures this pace of mass carnage like America,” Murphy said. “It is uniquely and tragically American. As long as our nation chooses to flood the county with dangerous weapons and consciously let those weapons fall into the hands of dangerous people, these killings will not abate.”