In response to the Lafayette shooting, the Texas governor said in an interview with CNN that gun-free zones are “a bad idea” and that “it makes a lot of sense” to allow guns into movie theaters.
When host Jake Tapper asked if allowing theater-goers to carry firearms is a a solution to the mass shootings, Perry responded, “I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country. If we believe in the second amendment, we believe in people’s right to protect themselves and defend themselves and their families.”
Perry continued, “I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded and know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them. I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.”
But Perry’s call for more guns was countered by Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' comments on the mass shooting epidemic in America:
“Nobody should have a gun who has a criminal background, was involved in domestic abuse situations. People should not have guns who are going to hurt other people, who are unstable," Sanders told NBC's Meet the Press. "We need to make sure that certain types of guns used to kill people, exclusively, not for hunting, should not be sold in the United States of America."
Sanders’ statement is an almost 180 reverse on his former perspective on gun control, an issue the progressive candidate has often been lax about.
But Sanders’ newly changed opinion does not attune to the American public’s opinion on guns in which the majority sides with Perry’s argument that more guns will decrease gun-related violence.
Despite the unmatched frequency of shootings worldwide, Americans have increasingly become more pro-gun, embracing the rhetoric that bad guys with guns can only be stopped by good guys with guns.
Yet this heroic-sounding logic has been debunked by enough statistics to prove that mo’ guns equates to mo’ problems.
Data compiled by Mother Jones shows that out of 62 mass shootings in the last 30 years, none were prevented by armed citizens. In fact, in the two cases where gun-toting bystanders did get involved, they were wounded and killed and in another incident, the individual almost shot the wrong person — a bystander who was tackling the actual killer.
The real solution to our gun crisis is not arming more civilians as data has shown that guns lead to aggression and deadly violence, but rather making sure those bad guys do not get their hands on a weapon.
Lafayette shooter John Houser had a history of mental illness and a criminal record, yet somehow was granted a gun. Dylann Roof, who took nine lives at a historic black church in Charleston, was given a gun due to a background check error. Mother Jones reported that nearly 80 percent of the mass shooters they documented obtained their guns illegally. Stricter gun laws are not the problem, rather better enforcement is the clear answer.