Terrorism

What if a guy named Muhammad blew up Texas church?

'If a guy named Mohammad blew up that church yesterday. O my God, O my God, Washington would be on fire," says MSNBC Morning Joe Host.

Joe Scarboroug was alluding to Sunday's shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas that killed at least 26 people and injured 19.

Just last week after New York president immediately talked about terrorism, talked about death penalty, attacked political opponent, Chuck Schumer, and called for radical vetting, Joe said adding:  He attacked America's judiciary after these gun incidents that happened more often than the acts of terrorism, and killed so many  more people ... all we get is pray. You cannot talk about gun...this is a mental issue."

President Trump said Monday that the South Texas shooting that killed at least 26 people wasn't "a guns situation," and blamed it instead on the gunman's mental health.

During a news conference in Tokyo, where President Trump is on the first leg of a five-nation Asia trip, he was asked if he thought stricter gun laws could help prevent such mass shootings.

“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said. “Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems for a long period of time,” he said.

The massacre in Sutherland Springs, which is 30 miles southeast of San Antonio, was the deadliest ever at a house of worship in the United States. The shooter was later found dead. Law enforcement officials identified him as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of neighboring Comal County.

Kelley was a former member of the Air Force, discharged for bad conduct in 2014. Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the Air Force, confirmed that Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 on two charges of assaulting his spouse and their child. He was confined for a year and reduced in rank to airman basic E-1 before his discharge, she said.

While Trump termed the Church massacre as mental health problem major US newspapers called for gun control.

"How to help prevent the next gun massacre" was the title of Chicago Tribune editorial:

"Mass killings like the one at a South Texas church are acts of extreme violence that defy rational explanation and simple solution. They raise demands for specific steps to be taken to ban horrors that are as indiscriminate as they are depraved. That doesn’t make this a time to mourn and shrug. America needs to deal with its propensity for gun violence. Here was another reminder.

"America has endured so many mass shootings that people across the country were poised immediately to add the Texas incident to the raging debate over gun rights vs. gun control. It’s only been a month since Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

"Each mass shooting in America is its own terrible story that can’t be undone. The responsible perspective is to use the shock of the moment to take actions that will save lives in the future," Chicago Tribune editorial concluded.

Los Angeles Times editorial was titled: "Man commits mass murder with a gun. Again. And America does nothing. Again."

"There have been at least 21 mass killings (defined as at least four dead in one incident) so far this year, in which 176 people have been killed and 486 wounded, led by the sniper slaughter in Las Vegas last month, according to statistics maintained by the Gun Violence Archive. There have been more than 305 mass shootings (defined as at least four people struck by bullets in one incident) with nearly 400 killed and 1,650 wounded. The notion that the "good guy with a gun" solution could ever stanch this kind of bloodletting is ridiculous.

"This is what we accept as normal in the United States of America. This is what we shrug off. The vast majority of gun deaths each year occur in relative obscurity.

"Nearly two-thirds of Americans support stricter gun control laws, but they are less politically active than gun owners, according to a recent Pew Research Center study that found 21% of gun owners have contacted public officials on the issue, compared with only 12% of people who support tighter laws. We often wonder what it will take for Congress to shake loose the grasp of the NRA, and maybe this is where the answer lies: When American voters finally care enough to make it an issue. Even a majority of gun owners support some gun control laws, such as universal background checks. But the NRA blocks even minor steps of progress, and it's to the shame of the "responsible" gun owners of the nation that they let such a dangerous and cynical entity set the agenda for them."

CNN commentator Mel Robbinsasked "Why Americans don't give a damn about mass shootings?" He went on to say:

"One month ago, the worst mass shooting in US history took place at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 500 people injured. Bill O'Reilly boiled the massacre down tosix words: "This is the price of freedom."

"I hate to say it, but he is right. Sunday, just 34 days after Vegas, 26 people were gunned down and about 20 others were wounded during a church service in Texas. And here's what is really sick -- we won't be surprised when there's another mass shooting next month. Maybe it'll be your church, your mall, your concert or your movie theater. That's the price of freedom.

"In America, we are free to stockpile weapons. We are free to order ammo online. We are free to outfit our guns with bump stocks, like the Vegas shooter did. This is the price we pay for freedom, alright. The freedom to not give a damn.

"Tweeting "prayers for the victims" does not equal giving a damn. Feeling bad for a day or two does not equal giving a damn. Changing your Facebook profile photo to support the victims does not equal giving a damn. Giving a damn requires us to commit to solving the problem. And the fact is, we have a serious problem in America with gun violence."

Baltimore Sun editorial said:

"President Trump may never be willing to acknowledge the obvious, that the easy availability of such terrible weapons contributes to innocent death after innocent death. But the rest of us need not be so blinded to the danger posed by weapons like the one Kelley used to murder children, like the ones Stephen Paddock used to hail bullets onto concertgoers in Las Vegas, like Omar Mateen used to kill scores of people in an Orlando club, like Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik used in San Bernardino or like Adam Lanza used at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Madmen will always find ways to inflict casualties — last week’s slaughter when Sayfullo Saipov allegedly drove a rented truck onto a New York City bike path testifies to that. But assault weapons serve no purpose but to kill. We have banned them nationally before, and we should do so again."

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com

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