In the wake of the Umpqua Community College shooting, which resulted in the injury and death of 19 people including the shooter, President Obama came before the media to condemn mass shootings on a national scale:
Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this.
He also spoke on the history of mass shootings in our country and gun laws and even made a call to politicize these shootings so that we might prevent them.
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee went on the Steve Malzberg Show last week to respond to the President’s statement. According to Huckabee, President Obama completely, blatantly and intentionally missed the opportunity to discuss the issue of religion:
The president always wants to be defensive and tell us that there’s no such thing as Islamic terrorism, these aren’t religious people even though we all know they are but when it seems the target is a Christian, he conveniently just ignores it, denies it or just moves on to something else. It is incredibly significant that there was a religious intent and motive in this shooter’s attitude.
Instead, he focused on gun laws which Governor Huckabee, along with most Republican politicians, does not believe will solve the nationwide problem:
Every time he has this proposal, it’s always about tackling a problem that doesn’t exist and not dealing with the real problem.
He instead argued that the media needs to stop speaking about these shooters as if they are celebrities to be glorified:
Rather than the president tinkering with the Second Amendment, he might want to propose tinkering with the First Amendment and maybe say that we would not give this guy’s name on the air.
In an interview with CNN, he said that the issue is “sin and evil.” The major force of violence going on our country and overseas has to do with Islamic extremism and anti-Christian perspectives, including the shooting at Umpqua.
Below is a portion of Governor Huckabee’s conversation with Steve Malzberg:
MALZBERG: Governor, welcome back sir.
HUCKABEE: Hey, thank you, Steve. You know when I hear the president, he always talks about how this is just routine. Let me tell you what’s routine. It is routine that every time we have a mass shooting, the president comes out and he always says “Let’s have some common sense gun laws.” Now, tell me Steve, what common sense gun law would have prevented that? What common sense gun law does he have in mind? Because what he proposed after Sandy Hook would not have prevented it. And every time he has this proposal, it’s always about tackling a problem that doesn’t exist and not dealing with the real problem. And it’s not going to help and stop these horrible shootings. And all of us agree that it’s unacceptable, that it’s awful, and that it’s an incredible tragedy that we shouldn’t just roll over and say, “There’s nothing we can do.”
MALZBERG: You’re absolutely right. It’s been widely accepted by even the left wing media that anything, ya know, background checks. I mean these guns now, we find out, for the most part were either bought by himself or his parents legally as has been the case with most of the mass shootings. But something that struck me, Governor, and I’m really curious to hear what you have to say here. I don’t know what he knew when he came out yesterday when he came out and made these remarks, actually saying we need to play politics with this, we need to politicize this instead of just having us say he’s doing it. He admitted he wants to do it. He had to know then because we found out shortly thereafter, and for crying out loud, he’s the president. He had to know that the shooter said, “Are you a Christian?” and if they were Christian, he shot them in the head and gave them worse treatment then the people who said no. Here’s a devout Christian, he tells us, and I’ll believe him, who doesn’t care and doesn’t reference the killing of Christians not only all over the world but even when it happens here.
HUCKABEE: It is pretty difficult to understand. I think that the fact that this is obviously some type of hate crime, some deranged individual who especially wanted to kill Christians is a significant part of this story. But here’s another part of this story, we also have learned that this shooter had sent things out on his social media indicating that he was doing something because he wanted to be famous. And he specifically referenced other shooters like the Virgina Tech shooter, saying, the more you kill, the more famous you become. May I make a suggestion? Rather than the president tinkering with the Second Amendment, he might want to propose tinkering with the First Amendment and maybe say that we would not give this guy’s name on the air, that we wouldn’t put his picture up on the air, because when you glorify these killers, and, again, in a deranged mind, it’s glorification for them to get the publicity and the notoriety. I just think, perhaps, if we want to stop these mass killings, one way to do it is simply refer to them as the savage, the animal, the thug, the cold-blooded cowardly murderer but never, ever, ever mention the animal’s name and never put his face up on the screen because then you give him exactly what he wants.
MALZBERG: And you’d like to see some kind of law to that affect.
HUCKABEE: No actually I wouldn’t. When I say that I’m saying that rhetorically because the president always wants to pass a law. Here’s what I want. I want the media to recognize that rather than them flapping their lips about how we need to restrict legal gun ownership from people who have never murdered anybody, let them take some responsibility for their role in all of this. I’m not saying they did it. But here’s what I’m saying, when you have people who do this kind of thing because they want to be famous, and they get famous by getting their faces and names on TV, maybe it would be wise to do what the police official that who gave the press conference last night suggested and that’s “quit glorifying these guys”!
To hear more, you can watch the full clip here.
Carolina Baker works for American Principles in Action.