Following his boss’s lead on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence visited Sutherland Springs, Texas to essentially tell the grief-stricken town that it was everything but guns that led to the unspeakable act of violence that unfolded there on Sunday.
After quoting the Bible and insisting that America come together to root out this type of evil, Pence didn’t put forward a single substantive idea on how to prevent this type of violence from happening again, and he made his best effort to downplay the role that guns play in helping perpetuate these acts.
We gather today to grieve with those who grieve, but also we gather in the resolve that this evil must come to an end in our land. … We now know it was a crime that the assailant was ever able to purchase a firearm in the first place. He lied on his application, had a history of mental illness and there were bureaucratic failures. I’m informed by Sec. Heather Wilson that the Air Force is moving aggressively to review why this error occurred and that review will be completed in days, not weeks.
If you thought that being surrounded by survivors of the sickening church shooting in Sutherland Springs would move the vice president to at least consider the role that guns play in these types of mass shootings, you’d be wrong.
Instead, Pence hinted that laws are meaningless in stopping criminals from getting their hands on a weapon, emphasized the bureaucratic error that helped the Sutherland Springs shooter get his weapons and briefly mentioned the role that “mental illness” played in Sunday’s act of violence.
No mention of America’s gun problem, no proposals to strengthen the broken system that allowed this deranged individual – and many others – to get their hands on deadly weapons and no indication that he and his boss are serious about preventing the next massacre.
The grieving people of Sutherland Springs were treated to the same old rhetoric that blames everything – laws, bureaucracy, mental health – other than guns.
With an administration unwilling to even acknowledge that the United States has a gun problem, not only will we never be able to solve it, but we’ll continue to see these types of mass shootings in the future.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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