Late Sunday morning, tragedy broke out when Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX. Before the situation could be assessed and victims counted or identified, Democrats were quick to politicize the tragedy — including one former president.
While bodies of the slain were still at the crime scene, Democrats were already using the tragedy to further their agendas. According to The Daily Caller, former President Barack Obama tweeted a brief message of condolence followed by another message calling for gun control, “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.”
The message came just hours after the massacre happened. At approximately 11:30 AM, Kelley was said to have carried out the worst mass shooting in Texas history. He was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, TX.
Kelley was said to have served in the Air Force between 2010-2014, but received a bad conduct discharge. He was court-martialed in 2012 for allegations of domestic violence. Officials have not reported any other misconduct or criminal history.
Former President Obama wasn’t the only Democrat that called for gun control in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Within hours after news of the massacre broke, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kamala Harris (D-CA) were sure to reiterate calls for gun control.
Sen. Casey tweeted, “I’m thinking of and praying for all those impacted by the shooting in Texas … In addition to offering my prayers and thoughts I also believe Congress must take action on gun violence.”
Sen. Durbin tweeted, “The shooter turned his gun on people — kids — in a place of worship. America is in the grips of a gun violence crisis. Congress must act.”
Sen. Harris tweeted, “Senseless gun violence has torn apart another community — this time in a house of worship. When do we say enough is enough?”
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) were other members of Congress who echoed the gun control sentiments via Twitter before the body count could even be confirmed.
It’s unclear what “gun control” measures President Obama and others believe would have prevented the massacre. As far as available information shows, Kelley was not a felon, and did not have any other conditions disqualifying him from firearm purchase. He legally purchased his Ruger AR-15 from Academy Sports & Outdoors in April 2016.
Furthermore, it is unclear whether or not Democrats’ vision of “gun control” would have prevented a local resident from using his own gun to engage in fire with Kelley and chase him from the scene.
President Obama wants gun control in the United States. Will gun control stop mass shootings in the US?
Local resident, Stephen Willeford, retrieved his own rifle and used it on Kelley, firing and striking him in the side between the tactical and ballistic gear that he wore. Kelley dropped his firearm and sped off in his vehicle. Afterward, Willeford flagged down another resident, and the two pursued Kelley in a vehicle chase until Kelley’s vehicle crashed eight miles from the scene.
It is unclear at this point whether or not Kelley killed himself, or succumbed from the wounds suffered by Willeford’s shooting. In any case, had Willeford not used his gun to fire upon Kelley, the lives claimed by Kelley’s deranged rampage could have been much higher.