If Hollywood is an indicator, Texas has always had a love affair with guns, but even after a shooting that left more than two dozen church parishioners dead, Texas Governor Greg Abbott reinforced his love for all things gun.
In an interview with CBS News, Abbott denied that guns could have anything to do with the bullets that slaughtered too many of his constituents. In the interview, he brushed off the gun connection, saying that the church was not randomly targeted:
I think the bottom line is, this was not a random act of shooting,” Abbott said Monday on “CBS This Morning.” “I don’t think this church was picked out at random. I think there was purpose and intent that Devin Kelley had in showing up at this particular location.”
Abbott also said that the gun was illegally obtained:
I can tell you that before he made this purchase, he tried to get a gun permit in the state of Texas and was denied that permit. And so under the current system of federal law, he should have prevented from being able to make this purchase,” Abbott said. “How that got through the cracks, I don’t have that information, but it’s important to understand these are the types of facts and issues that investigators continue to look into, and we will be able to have clear answers to those questions in the coming days.”
Kelley was denied “because of either answers or the lack thereof that were provided in his request to get a Texas gun permit,” Abbott added.
The only problem with that argument is that the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, legally bought his gun from a sporting goods store in Texas, even after he was convicted and imprisoned for domestic violence by military court-martial two years earlier. All he had to do was lie on his application and no one was the wiser:
Kelley purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle in April 2016 from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio, a law enforcement official told CNN.
When Kelley filled out the background check paperwork at the store, he checked the box to indicate he didn’t have disqualifying criminal history, the official said. He listed an address in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he bought the rifle, the official said.
Here’s the video:
This is far from the first time that Abbott has expressed his love of guns over the lives of people. Two years ago, he tweeted that he was “embarrassed” by the fact that Texas was “only” second in gun sales in the United States.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images.