A heartless gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding 20.
With the unfortunate normalcy of mass shootings in the U.S., the aftermath usually involves a polarized debate between foregoing politics while the nation heals, and, quite literally, jumping the gun on gun control reform. With each mass shooting that sends Americans to the grave, there is a wave of Americans taking to Twitter to point fingers at the “left” or the “right.”
Public figures and leaders of our country are expected to make their respective statements after a tragedy happens, especially our president.
However, our former president Barack Obama’s statement on the Texas church shooting did more to unite two ideas than President Donald Trump did in his own comments on the shooting.
Obama calls for empathy and action, showing that people can want healing and reform. Why can’t Americans grieve and take action, instead of having to choose a side?
May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2017
May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
On Sunday, Obama tweeted, “We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover. May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.”
In contrast, on Sunday night President Trump held a press briefing from Japan, offering his condolences and calling the shooting a “mental health problem at the highest level,” rather than a gun control problem. He referred to the shooter as “very deranged individual” and said that “mental health is your problem here.”
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, also told Fox News that “seeing politics immediately” in the wake of shootings is “so beyond any type of reasonable response.” Conway went on to say, “It doesn’t help the victims and is disrespectful to the dead.”