Trump says Texas shooting is mental health issue, not about guns
President Trump called the horrific shooting at a small Texas church a mental health issue, adding it isn’t about firearms.
“This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time,” Trump said Monday during a joint news conference in Japan. “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation.”
Gunman Devin Kelley, decked out in tactical gear, on Sunday used an assault rifle to kill 26 congregants of a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, authorities said. His victims ranged in age from 5 to 72.
Kelly was a former airman who was court martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child and received a bad conduct discharge after serving a one-year confinement.
An armed neighbor of the church spotted Kelley as he tried leaving the scene. He was later found dead in a vehicle, but it’s unclear who shot him.
“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,” Trump said.
“But this is a mental health problem at the highest level,” he continued. “It’s a very, very sad event.”
Deadly shooting at Texas church
The shooting came a little more than a month after Stephen Paddock rained carnage down on a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people in the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
It sparked a bipartisan effort to ban the so-called bump stocks, a device believed to have helped Paddock shoot faster. But legislation against the devices hasn’t been presented.
Trump and the White House in the days after the Las Vegas shooting said it was too soon to discuss potentially tightening gun control.
The President didn’t acknowledge reporters’ shouted questions on if lawmakers need to reconsider stricter firearm regulations.
With News Wire Services