(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump stalls when pressed about gun control: "We could let a little time go by"

The president suggests it is too soon to be talking about gun control after the mass shooting at a Texas church


Taylor Link
November 7, 2017 1:03PM (UTC)

Even in South Korea, President Donald Trump is using the typical GOP line when it comes to common sense gun reforms.

During a joint press briefing Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump spoke mostly about relations with North Korea, but he did face one question about a pressing issue back at home. NBC News' Ali Vitali asked Trump about the immediate need for stricter gun laws, while alluding to the fact that he often called for immigration reform immediately after an attack committed by an immigrant or a person of Muslim faith.

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Trump initially tried to dodge the question.

"Well, you're bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now," Trump said. "We could let a little time go by, but it's okay. If you feel that that's an appropriate question, even though we're in the heart of South Korea, I will certainly answer your question."

The president then dove into the predictable, tiring response of the Republican Party.

"If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him," Trump said. "And I can only say this: If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that's the way I feel about it. Not going to help."

The suspected shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, killed himself after his rampage. Kelley was shot after he left the church, according to CNN, meaning that the "good guy with a gun" was pretty useless for the church. It's the second time in as many months that Trump said a shooter was "neutralized"; after the Las Vegas shooting, Trump said wrongly that police were able to "find the demented shooter and stop him from even more killing."

Trump was asked again if he was considering any gun reform legislation going forward, and he again gave a run-of-the-mill GOP answer.

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"I mean, you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago, and Chicago is a disaster," Trump said. "It's a total disaster. Just remember, if this man didn’t have a gun or rifle, you'd be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas. Thank you."

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Even though the Good Samaritan who tried to stop the attack Sunday had a gun to confront the shooter, more than 25 people still died in the church. The "good guy with a gun" retort is a familiar one for Republicans. According to the NRA, the sole solution for stopping mass shootings in America is for more firearms in people's hands. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” NRA leader Wayne LaPierre’s typically says, “is a good guy with a gun.”

But as the Sutherland Shooting and the Las Vegas massacre have shown, the "good guy with a gun" theory has been proven demonstrably false.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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