NRA board member blames Charleston Pastor Clementa Pinckney for his own death

If he hadn't opposed concealed carry bill when a senator, he would still be alive, Charles Cotton said

By Scott Eric Kaufman
June 19, 2015 3:56PM (UTC)
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Clementa Pinckney

An NRA board member blamed Pastor Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims of Dylann Storm Roof, for his own death, claiming that his opposition to a bill that would have allowed individuals to carry concealed weapons in churches is the reason Roof was able to murder nine people Wednesday night, ThinkProgress's Jedd Legum reports.

In a post on a Texas firearms forum, NRA board member Charles Cotton wrote that Senator Pinckney "voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead."


"Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue," he concluded.

The bill to which Cotton refers would not only have allowed individuals to carry concealed weapons in churches, but restaurants and day-care centers as well.

As a state senator, Pinckney not only opposed that bill, he supported bills calling for even stricter background checks on gun purchasers -- not that that would have prevented Roof from acquiring the weapon he used to attack the pastor and his congregants, which had been given to him as a birthday present from his father.


A screenshot of Cotton's statement can be seen below.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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