Donald Trump doesn’t even want to talk about guns.
He says it’s too soon after America’s latest mass murder to discuss the epidemic of gun violence, let alone to begin crafting legislation in hopes of curbing the killing.
But after the horrific massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — the deadliest shooting in the state’s history, with 25 people killed ranging in age from 17 months to 77 years old — grieving family members do want to talk about it, and they have a message for Trump: “No more guns.”
Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday, Evangelina Santos and Regina Rodriguez recalled the death of Richard Rodriguez — Evangelina’s brother and Regina’s uncle — who was one of the parishioners murdered by a gunman outfitted with body armor and wearing a mask.
The emotional, heartbroken women recalled to host Alisyn Camerota about the moment they heard the news about the devastating attack. Regina Rodriguez said that she is telling her children their great-uncle is in heaven, and that’s they why can’t see him or call him on the phone.
“I don’t know what else to do,” she said.
And when asked what their message is for viewers, the women were forthright through their pain:
CAMEROTA: Evangelina, what’s your message? What’s the solution here? What do you want people to know?
SANTOS: Well, I want everyone to know not to sell guns to nobody. I don’t know why they passed that law. Anybody can carry a gun now, even crazy people. Tell the president that — no more guns.
CAMEROTA: Regina, what’s your message?
RODRIGUEZ: They said that he had a lot of red flags to prevent him from buying a gun. He had assaults, he was taken away from the military. So when he went [to buy guns], why wasn’t there something on his record showing that he wasn’t capable of holding — he shouldn’t have access to a gun. How are people like this getting ahold of them?
Not only are Trump and Republicans refusing to deal with the unfolding gun crisis in America, aside from praying about it, but more questions are being asked about why the Texas gunman was ever allowed to purchase an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the first place.
As Regina Rodriguez noted, there were all kinds of red flags that should have made it impossible for the gunman to purchase firearms.
He assaulted his wife, fractured his stepson’s skull, did time in the brig while in the Air Force before being court-martialed and receiving a bad conduct discharge, was cited for animal cruelty, and even escaped from a mental health facility.
Yet despite that alarming and frightening history, the 26-year-old gunman apparently had no problem arming himself via legal gun purchases, two in Colorado and two in Texas.
Trump doesn’t seem interested, though. “This isn’t a guns situation,” he insisted immediately following the attack.
But it is, in fact, a “guns situation.” And it will continue to be so as long as he and his party refuse to stand up to the powerful gun lobby, and to ignore the vast majority of the country — like the grieving families in Texas — that wants common-sense gun safety laws.