Following Sunday’s church massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, President Trump took on the leftist gun control narrative head on.
In Tokyo, Japan, for his five-country trip, President Trump said the shooter was “a very deranged individual” and attributed the attack to a “mental health problem,” not a gun problem.
The gunman, who killed 26 people and wounded at least 16 others, has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, the Associated Press reports.
According to reports, local resident Stephen Willeford armed himself with his rifle after hearing shooting at the church and engaged Kelley, causing him to flee in an SUV after wounding Kelley in a shootout.
A former member of the military, Kelley was court-martialed and discharged in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child, a spokeswoman for the Air Force said. The state of Texas had denied him the license to carry a gun, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed. It is unclear how he obtained the weapon he used to kill those churchgoers.
WGN9 in Chicago reports:
“Kelley was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound about eight miles from the church, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told CNN. It’s not clear if he shot himself or if the neighbor shot him.”
Setting the terms of the discussion, President Trump said that this “act of evil” was not about guns.
“Mental health is your problem here,” Trump said. “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation.”
“Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction otherwise it (wouldn’t) have been as bad as it was. It would have been much worse,” he continued.
“But this is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”
The president’s response is good. He is directly challenging the leftist gun control narrative emerging in the aftermath of this horrendous mass murder by a sick individual. Other Republicans would do well follow the president’s lead.
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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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