White House press secretary: It's too soon for gun control

Trump's press secretary wants to wait before jumping to conclusions — unlike what her boss has done in the past

Published October 2, 2017 3:40PM (EDT)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Evan Vucci)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (AP/Evan Vucci)

During a White House press conference on Monday, President Donald Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, refused to discuss the possibility of implementing gun control in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

"Today is a day for consoling the survivors and mourning those we lost. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with all of those individuals. There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country," Sanders said when asked about the proper role of the gun control debate in the aftermath of the shooting.

She later added that gun control laws "won’t stop these types of things from happening," citing Chicago crime rates as evidence that strict gun control laws aren't necessarily effective.

By contrast, Trump waited for less than one week after the San Bernardino shootings in December 2015 before advocating a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

He waited less than a day to crow that he was right about terrorism after the then-worst mass shooting in modern American history.

Sanders' response came after an opening statement in which she choked up, saying: "the memory of those who displayed ultimate expressions of love in the midst of an unimaginable act of hate will never fade. Their examples will serve as an eternal reminder that the American spirit cannot and will not ever be broken."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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