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26 People Shot To Death At Texas Church Not 'A Guns Situation,' Says Top Investigator Donald Trump
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 6, 2017
At a press conference in Japan, Donald Trump explained that Sunday's deadly shooting at a Texas church, which left 26 people dead and at least 20 others injured, wasn't really about guns, because shootings are never about guns, what are you, crazy? Probably you are, because this shooting was about mental health, the sociopath in chief declared, based on no evidence that has been reported by police.
I think that mental health is your problem here. Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems for 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.
The Washington Post, always trying to undercut our president, who knows stuff real good, pointed out that while the shooter, Devin Kelley, 26, had been court-martialed in 2012 for domestic violence against his wife and child, and subsequently other-than-honorably discharged from the Air Force in 2014, "the full mental state of Kelley has yet to be determined."
Fortunately, that criminal history was enough for Trump to reach a diagnosis, explaining, "This is a mental health problem at the highest level."
Trump also made it clear that the nation's blessed abundance of guns actually helped the situation a whole lot, at least after the first 26 dead and 20 injured had had bullets pumped into them:
Fortunately, somebody grabbed his own rifle and engaged the gunman, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposition direction. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.
And it is true that Kelley apparently was confronted by two other people with guns, although the timeline isn't 100% clear. CNN reported that he was interrupted by a "local resident" who
grabbed his own rifle and engaged the gunman, said Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Ruger AR assault-type rifle and fled from the church," Martin said.
A witness to the exchange of fire between Kelley and the resident then asked the resident to get in his truck, after which they chased Kelley for 11 miles until Kelley crashed his SUV.
However, a report by Reuters has a slightly different account of when the residents engaged Kelley:
After he left the church, two local residents, at least one of whom was armed, chased him in their vehicles and exchanged gunfire, and Kelley crashed his car and shot himself to death, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CBS News in an interview on Monday morning.
That could just be a difference in phrasing, but the Reuters report doesn't include any mention of the local resident making Kelley drop his rifle. In any case, after Kelley shot more than 40 people, the armed locals definitely kept him from shooting more, so that clearly means we all need more guns.
As for all the mental illness America has a problem with, we should note that Donald Trump has consistently backed gutting Obamacare or allowing health insurance that doesn't cover expensive luxuries like mental health treatment, and that one of Trump's first acts in office was to roll back an Obama rule barring gun sales to people who had been declared mentally unfit to manage their own affairs. That almost certainly wouldn't have applied to Kelley, who appears to have been a garden-variety domestic abuser who then goes on to commit mass murder. Reuters noted that Kelley's former spouse's parents worshiped at the Baptist church he attacked, although they were not in attendance yesterday.
If it's too soon to talk about guns, we'd like to know whether it's also too soon to talk about domestic violence. Perhaps we could talk about that?
You have our permission to skip today’s tithe to Wonkette and throw some money at Gabby Giffords’s Americans for Responsible Solutions, Moms Demand Action, and the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. Be safe.