By Jack Crowe
President Donald Trump quickly dismissed a question regarding the role of gun control laws in preventing tragedies like what occurred in Texas on Sunday, telling a reporter Tuesday that increased regulation is “not going to help.”
Trump was asked if he would consider “extreme vetting” for gun owners following a speech focused on North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal in South Korea. He responded by suggesting the question was inappropriate for the setting before launching into a traditional second amendment defense. He emphasized the role of the bystander who retrieved a rifle from his truck and “neutralized” the gunman that killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
“If you did what you’re suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago,” Trump said. “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.”
“I can only say this. If [the neighbor] didn’t have a gun, instead of 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that’s the way I feel about it, not going to help,” he added.
#Trump at press conference with President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, South Korea on #TexasChurchMassacre and #GunControl: “Well, you know, you’re bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now. We could let a little time go by.” pic.twitter.com/GG3OqsMb5Z
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) November 7, 2017
Trump initially responded to the tragedy by attributing it to a “mental health” problem after being briefed on the situation in Japan.
Critics have cast his reaction as relatively muted and compared it to his response following the terror attack that occurred in New York City Tuesday. Following the vehicle attack, which claimed 8 lives in lower Manhattan, Trump responded forcefully, calling for stricter immigration laws and enforcement.