Authorities say a man armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle hijacked a mail van and made a firing spree in the sister cities of Texas in Midland and Odessa on Saturday. By the time the police killed the suspect with no name, he had shot at least 28 people. Seven of them, including a 15-year-old girl who had recently celebrated her quinceañera, died. A 17-month-old boy was among the injured.
Conservatives have long been criticized for offering “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of every mass shooting, rather than supporting life-saving measures such as gun control. But a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Matt Schaefer, took that rhetoric even further in the wake of the latest killings.
I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent. 2/6
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) September 1, 2019
“‘Do something!’ It’s the statement we keep hearing. As an elected official with a vote in Austin, let me tell you what I’m NOT going to do, “Schaefer wrote on social media. “I am NOT going to use the wicked acts of a handful of people to diminish the rights granted by God to my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called arms control solutions will work to stop a person with bad intentions. Say NO to laws prior to the crime of ‘red flag’ NO to universal background checks NO to the prohibitions of AR-15s or high-capacity magazines NO to mandatory weapons repurchases
After exposing all the steps to save lives that he would reject without further ado, Schaefer described his infallible plan to stop armed violence:
What can we do? YES to pray for the victims. YES to pray for protection. YES to pray for God to transform the hearts of people with bad intentions. YES to parents who do not leave their wives and children. YES to discipline in homes. YES to support our public schools. YES to give each single mother respectful of the law the right to carry a gun to protect her and her children without permission from the state, and the same for all other Texans of age who respect the law.
Schaefer’s comments went viral on Twitter, and critics focused on his categorization of the US weapons treasure as a divinely granted right. As expected, the legislator has received multiple “A” ratings from the NRA over the years.