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:


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.