Greg Abbott: Families of Shooting Victims Are Looking to God for Comfort, Not Gun Control

The Texas governor blasts leftists who are politicizing the church massacre, saying they 'need to empathize and support' the bereaved

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 06 Nov 2017 at 1:23 PM

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that anyone who uses Sunday’s Texas church massacre as an excuse to ridicule Second Amendment supporters’ calling for prayer is “denigrating the families of the victims” who are looking to God for comfort and strength.

Gunman Devin Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas, killing at least 26 people and wounding 20 others before two locals with guns reportedly ran him off the road as he fled. Noting that “the American Left has seized upon” this tragedy “to ridicule those who say they’re praying for the victims” if they support the Second Amendment, LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham asked Abbott how he would respond to the critics’ saying the well-wishers are “bought and paid for by the [National Rifle Association] and “have blood-stained hands.”

"Anyone who says that is denigrating the families of the victims in Sutherland Springs, who themselves were insisting that their response be one of prayer to God, faith in God, looking to God to overcome this challenge," Abbott replied.

"The people who are lodging these complaints need to empathize and support the families of the victims because, as they themselves are saying, this is a time to come together and pray to God and look to God for the answer," he continued. "And so, I'm going to be sticking up for my constituents and the people who are suffering in Sutherland Springs and follow the pathway they are asking us to follow."

Noting that Kelley's application for a license to carry a gun had been denied by the state of Texas, the governor said that "Under current law, he should have been prevented from getting a gun."

"Why now he was then not stopped when he went through the federal background check, we don't know the answer to yet. That will be one of the questions, as there will be many others that we need to come up with answers [to] in the coming days," Abbott said. "But right now we're dealing with a large puzzle, and we have some of the pieces to it, and we're working on providing the other pieces to it. And why and how he got this gun, we will learn."

Although the Left is seeking to pin much of the blame for the Texas church massacre on the NRA and Second Amendment proponents, Abbott noted that "it is a fact that a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun" in this situation.

"I was told by the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety that the good guy with a gun, the neighbor who brought his own weapon and shot at Devin Kelley ... did strike him with his gun," Abbott said. "And it was after that that the assailant, Devin Kelley, dropped his gun and then the chase ensued."

"But it's clear also that there were additional weapons and ammunition in the vehicle that Devin Kelley left in. And who knows what he was intending to do after he left that church?" the governor added. "So it probably is true that the good guy with the gun stopped Devin Kelley from wreaking further carnage in the lives of the people in that area."

(photo credit, homepage image: Greg Abbott, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, article image: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, CC BY 2.0, by World Travel & Tourism Council)

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