SEOUL – US President Donald Trump rejected on Tuesday the need to open debate over tougher laws regarding possession of arms and said more restrictions might have left hundreds more dead in a recent shooting in Texas.
Trump said had a man – referring to a Sutherland Springs (Texas) resident who, with his own gun, confronted a man who opened fire at a church, killing 26 people before later taking his own life – not had a gun and had he not shot at the shooter, the number of victims could have been in hundreds.
“If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead; so that’s the way I feel about it,” Trump said.
Trump was replying to questions about gun control in the wake of the worst mass shooting in Texan history, at a press conference in Seoul, where he also said the city with the strongest gun laws was Chicago and that it was “a disaster.”
The US president, who is on a state visit to South Korea, held a joint press conference alongside his counterpart Moon Jae-in, where he again defended his stance over arms.
Trump had said a day earlier in Tokyo that the shooting occurred due to a mental health problem at the highest level and not because of arms.
A total of 26 people were killed and some 20 wounded on Sunday when they were attending a Sunday service at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs after a man opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle.
The suspect was Devin Kelley, a 26-year-old ex-soldier who was expelled from the Air Force for misconduct and who committed suicide after being shot by a neighbor, Stephen Willeford.