Ever since this country experienced another heinous mass shooting at a school on Thursday, conservatives and especially Republican Presidential candidates have been tripping over themselves to make sure nobody thinks the country’s lax gun laws and overarching obsession with firearms have anything to do with it. For the most part, the worn-out trope they’ve all been using is that this is all an issue of mental health treatment. Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and others have all leaned on this tired talking point that has been pulled out every time we experience one of these tragedies.
During an appearance on CNN’s New Day Monday morning, Huckabee once again mentioned the need for more and better treatment of mental illness as something that could be done to combat this uniquely American problem. At the same time, the Huckster unsurprisingly brought up religion as a way to get people to stop going off on killing sprees. In the former Arkansas Governor’s eyes, we don’t have any problems with guns in this country. No, it all has to do with evil and sin.
Discussing Chris Harper-Mercer, who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Huckabee told New Day host Alysin Camerota that the shooter’s family should have intervened beforehand and informed law enforcement about his behavior. He also stated that he could have used other weapons outside of a gun.
“He exhibited some traits and attitudes that were warning signals but nobody acted on them. And he was able to obtain those weapons, some of which came apparently from his mother, some that he obtained. We always talk about what the weapon was, but whether it’s a pressure cooker or whether it’s a gun, we’re dealing with people who are either deranged or they’re very focused because they want to kill people in the name of terrorism. We have not so much a gun problem, we have a problem with sin and evil.”
At this point, Camerota told Huckabee that there really is no way for police to currently take away guns from someone just for acting in a weird manner or saying potentially inflammatory things. Huck responded by once again blaming evilness and saying that we could stop all car wrecks by reducing the top speed limit to 25 miles per hour, conveniently ignoring the fact that car safety laws over the decades have greatly reduced deaths from automobile accidents.
Finally, after making it seem as if the absence of God in everyone’s lives are causing these tragedies, Huckabee brought up another conservative meme — the myth of the ‘gun-free zone’ and the factor it plays in a mass shooting. After giving some lip service to that favorite right-wing theory, the ex-Fox News personality finished off by saying that 700 people a year are killed in fistfights, somehow thinking that equates to the 30,000+ Americans who are killed by guns, through homicide, suicide, accidents or shootings from law enforcement. Because, as we all know, someone can go on a mass beating in a public place at any given moment, killing dozens of people.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Raw Story: