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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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