Texas shooting should not fuel gun policies, Fox contributor says
Steve Cortes insists the circumstances of the tragic church shooting in Texas in early November in which 26 people died makes his decision about what side of the ledger he comes down on in the long simmering gun debate even easier.
“This is such a human tragedy you hate to go right into policy," Cortes, a former member of President Donald Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council and a Fox News contributor, said during a recent appearance on the "Chicago Morning Answer" radio show on WIND. “In terms of policy, a criminal broke the law to get guns he had no right to.”
"Chicago Morning Answer" is co-hosted by Dan Proft, who also is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
Cortes said much of the debate about gun control as it relates to the suspected shooter, Devin Patrick Kelly, is rendered useless because it took him breaking the law to get his hands on any firearms.
“He was already gun-controlled,” he said. “Had these law-abiding men been gun controlled also, who knows what kind of carnage there could have been. I am so glad we had an NRA instructor there, a member of America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, trained and ready to risk his life to save the lives of people he may not have even known.”
Cortes added he sees no need for any new legislation where firearms are concerned.
“If there is new legislation needed I don’t think it’s needed on the gun part,” he said. “It does seem we have a problem with clearly mentally ill people who are able to operate in our society at their own will and are able to acquire firearms. That is certainly a common thread among these mass killers.”
Still, Cortes stressed that everything needs to be kept in its proper perspective and that all rash decisions, made just for the sake of doing something, need to be avoided.
“Let’s not jump to policy subscriptions on the basis this is a uniquely American problem,” he said. “We just need more good armed security in churches, schools, everywhere.”
In the Texas shooting, the youngest victim was just 18 months old; victims also included eight relatives from one family spanning three generations and the 14-year-old daughter of church pastor Frank Pomeroy.
Authorities have indicated Kelly had a running dispute with relatives who attended the church.
Kelly was only stopped after two men, widely described as heroes, observed the carnage and gave chase after engaging him in gunfire.
Kelly was once a member of the Air Force before being convicted by a general court-martial on charges of domestic abuse. Military officials have launched an investigation into why his conviction was not properly entered into a database that would have prevented him from legally making any gun purchases.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, President Trump took on the same tone as Cortes, telling reporters this “isn’t a guns situation,” before adding “fortunately someone else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction” or the rampage “would have been much worse.”
Kelly, who arrived at the church wearing all black, later died of a gunshot wound.