Mass Shootings

Left and Right React to the Texas Shooting

With so much still unknown, politicians should take a deep breath before offering definitive solutions.


Sen. Chris Murphy
Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/SIPA/Newscom

New details continue to trickle out about Sunday's mass shooting at a the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas which has left at least 26 people dead.

According to law enforcement, alleged shooter Devin P. Kelley phoned his father during the high-speed chase that followed the massacre in the church telling him that he had been shot and "didn't think he was going to make it."

Kelley was being pursued by two civilians, one of whom had shot at and reportedly hit Kelley after he exited the church. Law enforcement later found Kelley dead in his truck, from what they say was an apparent self-inflicted gun-shot wound. (You can read Reason's summary of what we know so far here.)

These new details have done little to alter the post-shooting analysis and commentary, much of it handwringing for Congress to 'do something.'

"The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something," Sen. Chris Murphy (D–Conn.) said in a statement.

"How much more slaughter until enough is enough for Congress?" asked the Huffington Post. The New York Times Editorial Board has put up a clock counting the seconds, minutes and hours since the Texas shooting before serious gun control discussion begins.

Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway has condemned the calls for immediate action, saying on Fox & Friends Monday morning, "The rush to judgment, particularly by people who just see politics and Trump derangement in every single thing they do, it doesn't help the victims, and it's disrespectful to the dead."

Other conservatives echoed these sentiments, saying that more gun control measures are not the appropriate response to Sutherland shooting.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on CBS News this morning pointed to recent mass killings not involving firearms. "We have evil that occurs in this world, whether it be a terrorist who uses a truck to mow down bikers in New York City, whether it be a terrorist who uses bombs or knives to stab people, or other terrorist who use vehicles, whether it be in Nice, France, or any other place in the entire world, who mow down people."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, referenced the Sutherland Springs resident who fired on Kelley as he was leaving the church, and then pursued him in a vehicle after he fled.

"What ultimately may have saved some lives is … people that were outside the church that actually had guns that may have slowed this guy down and actually pursued him. So I would rather arm law-abiding citizens and make sure that they can prevent this from happening as opposed to trying to pass laws that would prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns," said Paxton.

Conservative outlets and organizations have been quick to highlight this point, with headlines from Breitbart, Townhall, and The Blaze all referencing "a good guy with a gun" helping to stop the shooting.

Reason's Jacob Sullum has also written that existing laws designed to keep bad guys from having a gun likely failed in this case. Kelley passed federal background checks while purchasing four firearms over the past couple years. Those background checks, says Sullum, should have flagged Kelley's 2012 court martial for assault, and thus prevented him from buying a gun.

There is still much that is either unconfirmed or unknown about Sunday's shooting and the events that leading up to it. The uncertainty alone should give pause to politicians and media commenters demanded definitive and unrealistic solutions.

NEXT: Libertarian Cliff Hyra Polling Near the Point-Spread in the Tight Virginia Governor's Race

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Kellyanne Conway: “The rush to judgment… it doesn’t help the victims, and it’s disrespectful to the dead.”

    Chuck Schumer couldn’t have said it better.

    1. Too bad for him, she already did

      1. Start earning $90/hourly for working online from your home for few hours each day… Get regular payment on a weekly basis… All you need is a computer, internet connection and a litte free time…

        Read more here,,,,,

    2. Except Chuck Schumer would never say it.

  2. Ban all Muslims. How hard is this?

    1. If we had exterminated all the white men a few days ago like I said we should have, this wouldn’t have happened.

    2. yeh I agrees ban all them fuckin ragheads. kik them outa my cuontry . I woodent be serprised if this shooter was a resent convurt to muslim. its always fuckin ragheads shootin up cristians.

      1. I dunno who you are, but your intentional use of bad grammar and spelling in the pretense you are a southerner is not clever or even original. All it does it demonstrate you are an ignorant jackass.

  3. Simple. Ban guns, churches, the air force, mothers-in-law, beady eyes, and awful beards.

    1. beady eyes, and awful beards.

      Great job isolating yourself from the entire libertarian base.

      1. Oh, and Bitcoin. I forgot to mention Bitcoin.

    2. No, just ban the guns. And then enforce the ban

      1. Looks like we got ourselves a slaver here.

  4. So it does appear Kelley was taken down by a good guy with a gun.
    How will this be parsed by the usual suspects?
    Going to be interesting…

    1. Lefty strategy is do deny deny deny. If that does not work, twist and squirm out of the facts. If that does not work, continue to say that gun control is not about taking guns away.

    2. evryone in that thare church shooda had a gun. evry kid in scool shood hav a gun to protect theyselfs . evryone shood hav a gun at all times cept for niggers and ragheads of corse.

      1. Nope, guns for the niggers and ragheads too!

        No Irish, though.

        1. Or Italians! They’re too hot blooded to be trusted with guns, they’re bad enough with them there switch blades what with their slicked back hair and machismo and such like!

          1. Basically, just no Catholics.

            Or Jews.

            Or Muslims, or Buddhists or Zoroastrians or any of that weird shit.

            Or Protestants.

          2. Oooh, or Atheists, the little cunts.

            Or Agnostics. Slippery bastards. Can’t trust ’em one way or the other.

          3. NO GUNS FOR WOMEN! They are way too emotional.

  5. Oops, apparently it was self-inflicted.

    1. It was self inflicted, but apparently he had been shot once in between his armor which caused him to realize he would be soon caught.

    2. Kinda shits over that whole “good guy with a gun” narrative.

      1. Not really, since he’d already been wounded, disarmed of his primary weapon, and driven off by the armed citizens.

      2. Fyi the “good guy with a gun” refers to the fact that either armed citizens or armed cops stop them. It’s not a narrative, it’s a summary of what happens to finally bring an end to every “active shooter” situation.

  6. It’s time for the USA to have an intelligent, adult conversation about repealing the second amendment.

    1. Agreed…
      We’re keeping it.

      1. He said a conversation about repealing the 2nd Amendment, not keeping it. Get on the prog train!

        1. I know.
          He can have his “conversation” and is welcome to lobby others to repeal the Second Amendment.
          But we’re keeping it…

        2. One can have an adult conversation about a topic where you reject the concept.

      2. Yeh we gots to keep the 2 amenment gotta hav sumway to protect are kinfolk frum any niggers that mite want to rape them. needs are guns to kill any niggers whutt mite brake into my trayler and steel my vhs

        1. I feel sorry for any actual liberals that come into this thread and cringe at your boomeranging attempt to parody us.

          1. Actual progressives and left wingers get proverbially gang raped on this board and never come back. You all aren’t much nicer to us left-libertarians either. But I don’t care, compared to lefty/righty sites, I learn so much more here than any other commentariate.

            1. I’ve learned that I’m personally responsible for 100 million deaths and am a Stalinist monster. That’s because I support the idea that someone making 1 million dollars a year should pay the same rate of taxes for Social Security that someone making 50k/yr does. I’m ashamed that I can’t change. I’m a victim and I have a problem.

              1. Your big problem is that you’re racist.

              2. Your problem is that you don’t seem to have grokked that at least 60 million of those deaths were caused BY ACCIDENT. By people genuinely trying to improve their countries’ economies via expropriation, nationalization, and central management of the economy. And that IS on you, socialist, so long as you advocate for more of those things.

              3. You’re not responsible, just really stupid to defend them.

    2. You cannot have an adult conversation about repealing the 2nd Amendment because the majority of states won’t do it. Then the lefties flip out and hurt Senators mowing their yards in Kentucky.

      Then when you explain how our Constitutional Democratic Republic works, the lefties start babbling like unintelligent baboons.

      1. When do you ever interact with actual lefties LC? Serious question.

        1. While he is jerking off to Guns ‘n Ammo with Sevo

    3. Actually, good.

      But then you are going to have define the laws that cover everything from the LA Riots to campers being surrounded by coyotes to staring down wild boars.

      And you will have to revisit the obligations of law enforcement, their standards of wrongdoing especially if they are compelled by law, not to mention private security.

      Or you can take comfort that all those occasions and more are covered by the 2nd, and that the consequences of denying people the means to defend themselves is far graver than the bodycount from gun violence.

      1. Oh, the bodycount from gun violence is probably much worse than all those things. It’s just that controllers assume that ALL, or even a big slice, of those deaths would go away under their regime, whereas the defensive uses are few enough to not matter.

        You will note this was the same principle that motivates the Jeff Sessionses of the world: Maximal Means Reduction + Minimal Collateral Damage = Yay Statism. The problem is that real life has an annoying habit of getting the “maximal” and “minimal” in that sentence all mixed up.

        1. I dunno. The threat of violence from a gun is actually pretty effective in diffusing situations (see Koreans in the LA Riots) and there are numerous situation that come up day to day around the country that urban folks are simply unaware of, from wild bison walking the streets to bears crashing into bars. Much like cities that have restricted guns, I expect the total deaths to rise, which is ass-backwards from the stated motivations of people against the 2nd.

          The other point is that guns as a technology are ingrained. Omitting how regressive outlawing technology is, there is simply pages upon pages of laws that need to be addressed before you even have this conversation.

          I am at least open to the possibility that guns are an outdated technology that is a relic of a bygone time, like the post office, but I have yet to see either a replacement technology or social change to replace its usefulness.

          Shall we outlaw computers to decrease hacking next?

          1. Oh, I wasn’t saying that private guns don’t prevent plenty of deaths. Probably thousands, when one factors in their economic importance and the effects that has on employment and prosperity. But if we could actually prevent America’s 33,000 gun deaths and tens of thousands of injuries per annum, that would easily blow those beneficial effects out of the water (especially when you recall that at least some of that self-defense ability would displace to baseball bats, bear spray, etc.).

            The point is that we can’t prevent most of them. Because hanging is almost as good as shooting yourself, pistols aren’t disappearing from our cities any time soon, and the mass killers that make up about 0.33% of our gun deaths will use pipe bombs, trucks, smuggled guns or some new method yet undiscovered to do what they want to do. And so instead we’re left to compare a “minimal” death reduction under gun control to a “maximal” reduction in self-defense with gins: exactly opposite of what the statists presume.

          2. I’m just a random guy living in Seattle, which is not a very “hard” city, and if I’d had concealed carry like some of my friends there are two instances in the 12 years I have lived here where I very surely would have busted out and citizen arrested some dirt bags who were fucking with me. None were life threatening, but either could have been. Essentially half assed not especially violent muggings with multiple people in both instances. I’m no kung fu master, so I wasn’t about to try to fist fight multiple guys on my own, but if I’d had a piece…

            Multiply that by a bajillion and if more people carried than do now there could potentially be a MASSIVE reduction in victimization. There’d probably also be more people shot, but most of them would be dirt bags who had it coming. IMO we could use more guns not fewer and there’d be no harm, probably only benefits.

            This reminds me I should probably get my concealed carry permit someday…

    4. wutt? we cants repeel the 2nd amenment. i needs my guns i lovs my guns. i needs guns for any nigger that mite tri to brake into my trayler and steel my vhs player or rape my wife and dahter. gotta hav guns to protect my kinfolk

      1. “steel my vhs player”

        Way to show everyone your classism, AmSock.

        1. Fucking hipsters.

  7. Yes, we must act now on gun control, because reactionary legislation has never resulted in bad laws with oodles of unintended consequences.


      1. So what should we do about alcohol?

        1. We’re holding a conference in Wannsee to figure that out, you’re welcome to tag along. Might deal with a couple of other problems while we’re at it.

          1. +1 LOL

            I visited the house when I went to Berlin, nice pad.

        2. Ban people from pouring it down others’ throats

      2. People aren’t killing others with alcohol. What you do to yourself shouldn’t be anyone’s concern but your own.

        1. People are drunk driving and killing people. People are also getting drunk and beating their children and wives. Alcohol is a tremendous scourge upon society at large. Far beyond almost any other drug.

          1. And also, make sure to remove Suicides from your gun death statistics. I am not saying that you do include them, just that many stats on gun deaths include suicides which is often misleading.

        2. Tens of thousands of people are killed by drunk drivers, drunken domestic abusers and construction/maintenance screw-ups caused by drunk workers every year. And only 1/3 of gun deaths aren’t self-inflicted.

          …or, you know, what BUCS said.

  8. Why is it taking so long to destroy the reputations of the two guys who chased the shooter away is what I want to know.

    1. It will be easier for the media to shit back to TDS or some Trump tweet.

  9. “The terrifying fact is that no one is safe so long as Congress chooses to do absolutely nothing in the face of this epidemic. The time is now for Congress to shed its cowardly cover and do something,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D?Conn.) said in a statement.

    I agree. Congress should censor this clown.

    1. And censure him, too.

  10. minutes and hours since the Texas shooting before serious gun control discussion begins.

    I can only assume that “serious discussion” means doing what the NYT wants.

    1. All of the proggies gather in their designated public victim circles and begin circle jerking one another until they reach an exhausted state of intellectual euphoria.

  11. Seeing as how these mass shootings, while spectacular and tragic, are exceedingly rare, yet the use of firearms to deter or end violent confrontation happens everyday all over the country, one wonders which “epidemic” the politicians are trying to end (psst, if you’re only on your 3rd or 4th cup of coffee, or you are a Regressive retard at any stage of caffeine consumption, the ‘epidemic’ in question would be of people refusing to be victims and not waiting for Almighty Merciful and Benevolent State to save them).

  12. Constitutional argument aside, automotive collisions kill 4-5 time as many people as are murdered with firearms. Medical mistakes kill 20-25 times as many as are murdered with firearms. The low end estimate of defensive use of firearms is around a half-million instances. We do not ban medicine or automobiles because the benefits outweigh the cost. The same goes for firearms (again, that is Constitution aside).

    1. You can bet Tony and various other lefties on here will be ignoring your post since this is another reason their gun grabbing argument is so bad.

    2. Yeah, but guns are scary, and that makes all the difference.

    3. Leftists and foreigners do not use guns for self-defense or pest control.

      Quod Erat Demonstrandum: guns are not useful for self-defense or pest control.

    4. I hate this argument. Automobiles serve a primary purpose of conveyance. Medicines heal. Firearms are meant for one purpose….to kill.

      1. …to kill home invaders, rapists, road ragers, PCP crazies, feral pigs doing millions of dollars in property damage to small time farmers, feral dogs and coyotes killing calves and house cats, the occasional attacking grizzly or cougar, tasty white-tails and elk and moose and bighorn and pronghorn whose meat will usually be donated to local food banks, not-so-tasty but nonetheless edible raccoons and rabbits and groundhogs and squirrels for low-income rural households…

      2. It’s a tool dude. You can do several useful things with them (defense, hunting, etc), and also have a hell of a lot of fun popping off shots! If you pull your head out of your ass and looked at history you would see that we didn’t have these mass shooter incidents in the past, when people in fact had far MORE access to DEADLIER weapons, such as full auto. It’s not a gun problem, it’s a sick society problem.

        And as far as general murders, it’s something like 70-80% a black and hispanic gang problem. White people commit about as few murders per capita in America as our disarmed pussy brethren do in Europe soooooooo put that in your pipe and smoke it. So if you want to fix gun murder rates just ban blacks and Mexicans from having guns, which OF COURSE all those criminals will totally obey those laws (LOL), and let the white middle class folks and rednecks keep their guns and all will be well.

        Ooor you could just realize that making guns illegal for anybody isn’t going to solve shit. Which is the case down here in the real world.

      3. I hate this argument. Automobiles serve a primary purpose of conveyance. Medicines heal. Firearms are meant for one purpose….to kill.

        Then is it not a bit curious that so many more people are killed by things not ostensibly intended to cause injury or death? Hm?

      4. Eric, they protect people from others.

        The police are terrible at STOPPING an incident. They do a decent job of investigation after the fact, but if you’re being threatened, a gun is measures more useful than anything else.

    5. The low end estimate of defensive use of firearms is around a half-million instances.

      Source? Dana Loesch’s twitter account isn’t peer-reviewed.

      1. There are numerous estimates that have been made. Several hundred thousand a year is one of the low end figures I have seen before, some are as high as a couple million a year. I very definitely had two instances in my life where I wish I had had a gun, and that’s after only 12 years in a soft ass city that’s not even especially crime ridden.

  13. A particularly savage tweet I saw going around:

    “It’s nice of celebrities to take time off from raping each other so that they can condemn prayer” (there were a TON of celebrity tweets mocking people and politicians who were sending their “thoughts and prayers”, with Wil Wheaton’s probably being the worst)

    Seems to me like the left will definitely win back Middle America. Trump’s obviously so incompetent that they’ll realize they have no choice but to side with the people who constantly mock and lecture them

    1. “…with Wil Wheaton’s probably being the worst…”

      Shut up Wesley!

      1. Always gives me a sad when actors speak their own words.

        Emotional chameleons are not the font of wisdom.

    2. Wil Wheaton has become a smug little bitch considering his stint as a shitty part of the already-meh Star Trek franchise.

  14. Jeepers H Cripes, just pass a law already!!!

    1. They did; lots of them, in fact, including prohibitions against battery and murder, possession of firearms under certain conditions, etc.

  15. It is interesting how quickly they were able to trace the origins of this gun. Just a few months ago I read a sob story about how antiquated the ATF records were and how much they needed a computerized database which they totally would never abuse.

    1. Did they address how keeping records of gun owners is a violation of federal law?

      It was the main reasoning behind people saying no to background checks after the Reagan and Brady shooting. The gun grabbers with Brady assured Americans that no records would be kept and that the process to check for mentally unstable people would be quick and easy.

      Americans should have stood their ground then by constantly reminding gun grabbers that the 2nd Amendment prohibits gov from infringing on the People’s right to keep and bear arms.

  16. All you really need to know is this:

    1) A gun was used.
    2) Waiting for the facts means more people will die.
    3) The only logical conclusion is to ban guns.

    1. And then to high-five each other before jerking off because no one made that argument.

      Ugh, no thanks

  17. I feel numb. Just another loser going out with a bang.

  18. What would be wrong with passing the following law?

    “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Defense shall have full authority to use any and all resources at its disposal to keep the people of the United States safe.”

      1. Helicarriers?

        How about warships like the SDF-1 Macross, so we can destroy our enemies-foreign amd domestic- from orbit?

        1. Okay, let’s just cut to the chase:

          Death Star fleet. One for each congressional district should be adequate, so long as the gunners are properly motivated and taught to overcome their sentimental impulses at the moment of decision.

          “There’ll be no stopping us this time!” -Darth Sessions

    1. I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.

      1. I am not joking.Too many people have died already. How many more have to die before we come to our senses?

        1. If we can save even one life… if we can make even one child feel safe… by god, it would be worth it.

          1. Of course.

            We have the most powrrful military force in human history; it is high time we use it against our enemies.

            1. The commie gun grabbers? I’m okay with that!

              It’s called statistics bro. There are over 330 million people in this country, and the media beats every one of these stories to death. Mass shootings are a non issue, and the overwhelming majority of shootings in this country and black and hispanic gang members. If you want to “solve” gun murders then go deal with crack head gangsters in LA and Chicago and leave the 99.99999% of responsible gun owners alone.

              Use your BRAIN not your FEELZ.

    2. Nothing. As long as you disband all of the police.

      Keep the 3rd Amendment

  19. I’m curious to know if the “good guy with a gun” was using a so-called “assault weapon” himself.

    1. I think one report said he had an AR-15 style gun too!

  20. I feel relatively secure in my positions which are as follows:

    1. I don’t care really about restrictions on gun ownership
    2. I’m not going to buy a gun because it makes you much less safe
    3. The argument that one should own a gun because you think you’ll need to reenact a scene from Red Dawn pretty soon is fucking ridiculous
    4. While I’m sympathetic to the argument that firearms should be legal I’m not about to go supporting some right-wing douche who will give away my future Social Security benefits so he can give a tax break to rich people and corporations. That would be stupid.

    1. We won’t need guns anymore once the revolution is over in the right people are in charge with all of them.

      Until that day, desert and violence or the alternate forms of treason! Or patriotism! Fuck it, who’s in charge?

    2. 1. Not caring is better than caring and wanting restrictions, I suppose
      2. It does not make you less safe, because accidental gun deaths are very rare and are always the result of easily-avoided safety rule violations, hanging is only 20% less effective than a gun for suicide, and most domestic murders happen in low-income gang-member households, whereas random robbery and murder attempts can happen at any time and men have as much of an obligation to be armed to protect their female acquaintances from sexual assault as the latter have an obligation to try to protect themselves
      3. The purpose of the 2A from a political perspective is to protect minorities from domestic majoritarian tyranny, with insurgency against a foreign invader being a decidedly secondary concern
      4. There are several dozen good, NAP-based reasons to vote against a Republican, but fear that they will not extort as much currency from the most productive sectors of society to provide you a free retirement as you would prefer is not among them. Save for your own retirement fund, moocher.

    3. Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot|11.6.17 @ 8:57PM|#
      “I feel relatively secure in my positions which are as follows:”

      You’re a fucking vile piece of shit; get lost.

    4. How safe do you feel with no gun when someone is banging on your door and yelling in the middle of the night? Got a trusty golf club by the bed?

      Even better imagine you were a female or elderly person living alone and had effectively zero chance of defending yourself without a gun. In addition to being a much more likely target for these same reasons.

      If you are afraid you’d commit suicide if you had a gun, you probably need to take more drastic steps than just not buying one.

    5. The real Robespierre felt pretty secure in his positions as well.

      Right up until “his” committee pushed him up the steps to the guillotine.

    6. LOL

      The only people who hurt themselves with their guns are idiots. I don’t even remember how young I was when I shot a gun for the first time (7-9???), but I got a gun for Christmas when I was in 5th grade, and SOMEHOW I still haven’t managed to kill myself with it on accident.

      As far as things go there are multiple times in my life where I wish I HAD had a gun on my person at the time as I could have prevented a crime, but not being a huge gun nut I don’t have a concealed carry permit… Although I must admit I probably should fix that. Self protection is a more likely scenario than Red Dawn, but it is not wise to completely rule out such a scenario. There are 100 scenarios where there could be a short term or longer term breakdown of society in which being armed could be helpful. Everything from a solar flare knocking out power in half the world, to an asteroid hitting the planet, a limited nuclear exchange, global pandemic, etc etc etc. With all the things that COULD go wrong it’ll be a wonder if at least one or two of these things don’t happen at some point.

  21. ‘How much more slaughter until enough is enough for Congress?’ asked the Huffington Post. The New York Times Editorial Board has put up a clock counting the seconds, minutes and hours since the Texas shooting before serious gun control discussion begins.

    Apparently only the deaths of country music fans in Las Vegas and the recent Texas churchgoers are worthy of noting, they always seem to ignore the killing fields of Chicago, where financially disadvantaged gunslingers kill each other by the gross every month (literally, more than the total killed in Las Vegas and Texas met violent deaths every month last year). So inconvenient for them that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.