Rick Perry: Don’t Blame Guns for Charleston Attack. But Maybe Blame Drugs.

He also called the massacre an “accident.”


The killing of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston Wednesday night has reignited the conversation about access to guns in the US, drawing the predictable refrain that this wouldn’t have happened had the people at the Bible study been armed. A board member of the National Rifle Association went so far as to blame one of the victims for the shooting because of his political position on concealed-carry laws. So when President Obama talked about Charleston and how easy it was for someone like 21-year-old Dylann Roof to get a gun, the critics pushed back.

One of them was former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who told Newsmax that the massacre, which he called an “accident,” might have had more to do with drugs than with guns. Watch:

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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