When asked at a press conference last weekend about the motivations of the shooter who murdered five Dallas police officers, President Obama said Texas’s open carry law is partially responsible for the tragedy.
Kathleen Hennessey of the Associated Press asked the President if he could “help us understand how you describe [the shooter’s] motives”: “Do you consider this an act of domestic terrorism? Was this a hate crime? Was this a mentally ill man with a gun? How should Americans understand why that happened?” Hennessey asked.
The shooter – Micah Xavier Johnson – made statements before and during the incident in which he outlined his motives in no uncertain terms. He said he “wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers,” according to the Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
This, apparently, wasn’t clear enough for the President, who sidestepped Hennessey’s question by saying that it’s “hard to untangle the motives of this shooter” and that he’ll “leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents.”
Instead, the President doubled-down on what he sees as Texas’s bad gun laws.
“Part of what’s creating tensions between communities and the police is the fact that police have a really difficult time in communities where they know guns are everywhere,” he said.
“At the protest in Dallas, one of the challenges for the Dallas Police Department — as they’re being shot at — is because this is an open-carry state, there are a bunch of people participating in the protest who have weapons on them,” he continued. “Imagine if you’re a police officer and you’re trying to sort out who is shooting at you and there are a bunch of people who have got guns on them.”
It is true that between 20 and 30 individuals were carrying AR-15’s the night of the shooting, and for this reason police initially believed they were dealing with multiple shooters. But going back to these facts as a response to Hennessey’s question demonstrates once again the President’s desire to use tragedy as a means to push his anti-gun agenda.
And he didn’t stop there.
He also noted that Philando Castile – the man killed in Minnesota last Wednesday during a traffic stop – was, in part, to blame for carrying his concealed handgun.
“In Minneapolis, we don’t know yet what happened, but we do know that there was a gun in the car that apparently was licensed, but it caused in some fashion those tragic events,” the President said.