Perry: A&M Shootings Not About Gun Control
Governor goes fishing and returns with poorly timed comments
By Richard Whittaker, 8:00AM, Fri. Aug. 17, 2012
To quote Eileen D. Smith, "Really? We have to do this now?" With great confusion and shock still hovering over Texas over the shootings at College Station, within hours of the deaths Gov. Rick Perry had already made it about gun control.
Politico.com reports that Perry, when asked about the shootings by Neil Cavuto, said, "When it gets back to this issue of taking guns away from law abiding citizens and somehow know that’s going to make our country safer, it’s just I don’t agree with."
What part of "Now's not the time" does he not get?
Yeah, we know, we're going to get lambasted for this, for politicizing a tragedy. But this isn't about politics. This is about competence and leadership. As the shootings took place, Perry was in Florida. In fact, Perry was on a fishing trip. We know this because, at 2.35pm – two hours after the shooting – Perry's official Twitter account @Texgov Tweeted a picture of Perry with a fish. It took another half hour for Perry, this time via @GovernorPerry, to issue a statement that "Thoughts & prayers are with those impacted by shootings near A&M. Ever thankful for officers who daily sacrifice to keep us from harm."
However, this did not derail him from blocking out 20 minutes of his day to sit with Cavuto and Florida Governor Rick Scott to joke about who was the more conservative.
And the statement about gun control? Even if he was asked straight out about it, the sensible response would have been, "Now's not the time, let's think of the victims and their families." But no, Perry has to break out the talking points, and in doing so paints himself into a rhetorical corner. He argued that gun control "is a state-by-state issue, frankly, that should be decided in the states and not again a rush to Washington, D.C., to centralize the decision-making." Y'see, he's now got his Second Amendment caught up in his Tenth Amendment. As Think Progress has already noted, this puts him against the blanket "all the guns, all the time" line of the National Rifle Association, and his statements are in line with the liberal end of the US Supreme Court.