A reporter confronted President Donald Trump on gun control during a visit to South Korea on Tuesday, asking him if he would consider “extreme vetting” for people trying to “buy a gun” after the tragic Texas church shooting Sunday.
Speaking during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump first lightly scolded the reporter for “bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now.”
“But it’s OK if you feel that that’s an appropriate question, even though we’re in the heart of South Korea,” he added.
Trump then argued that tighter gun control legislation wouldn’t have prevented the Texas church shooting, but it may have prevented the brave bystander who engaged the gunman from obtaining his rifle.
“I can only say this: If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would’ve had hundreds more dead. So that’s the way I feel about it. Not gonna help,” Trump said.
When the reporter asked him if he’s considering any gun control legislation at all, the president pointed to Chicago as an example on the effectiveness of gun control.
“When you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago,” he shot back. “And Chicago is a disaster. It’s a total disaster. Just remember, if this man didn’t have a gun or a rifle, you would be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas.”
Police say Devin Patrick Kelley entered a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 26 people. The massacre was only interrupted when a local man, a former NRA instructor, retrieved his own rifle and engaged the shooter, hitting him twice.
Kelley ultimately crashed his car while trying to escape. Police found him dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.