Texas Governor Greg Abbott is not a smart man, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that he’s in a bit of hot water over remarks concerning the Sutherland Spring mass shooting that happened earlier this month.
On November 5, a gunman stormed a church in Sutherland Springs and killed 26, injuring 20. This attack is the worst mass shooting in Texas history, and, while trying to put the event in context — specifically by noting that “evil” has been present since the Middle Ages all the way to Hitler — Abbot wound up getting himself in trouble.
While commenting on the Vegas and Sutherland shootings on Sunday, Abbott told the crew of Fox’s “Outnumbered Overtime” that the shootings were “evil,” and added:
Look at what happened with Hitler during the horrific events during that era, and Mussolini and go back in time before that to the earlier ages, the Middle Ages, when people committed horrific crimes.
And when you go back through the history of the Bible, there was evil that took place from earliest stages of the Bible to post-New Testament, so evil is something that has permeated this world.
And that force of evil must be combated with the force of good that is offered by God and it is so heartwarming to see the people of this community turn to God, turn to hope, turn to the promise of good overcoming evil.
Nothing says, “right-winger” quite like having the moral complexity of a Saturday morning cartoon.
“Oh, mass shooters are evil” — but let’s not talk about gun control, which could keep them from going out on mass killing sprees. If humans are innately evil — as I’ve heard any number of Evangelicals suggest — why the hell are you trusting them with anything, least of all firearms?
I mean, aside from the obvious, self-serving ones. Hypocrisy is a holy sacrament for these folks.
Everyone thinks they’re one of the “good ones” or “Godly ones,” from those people performing the atrocities in the Middle Ages and, yes, even the Nazis themselves. And that’s why “evil” isn’t useful in political discussions — no more than “common sense.”
This comparison understandably drew some fire from the Anti-Defamation League, who released a statement going after Abbott for his insensitive remarks:
We reject the offensive and insensitive remarks made by Governor Abbott contrasting the tragedy in Sutherland Springs to the ‘Hitler era’ and other horrible events in history. The comparison of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs to the victims of the Holocaust is deeply offensive and an insult to the memories of those killed in Sutherland Springs as well as the survivors of the church shooting and their families.
We are concerned about the many instances of gun violence taking place across the country. Unfortunately, we have witnessed the tragic danger of guns in the hands of determined killers or domestic extremists. In schools, businesses and houses of worship, individuals have used guns to terrorize communities and local institutions.
ADL firmly believes, and will continue to advocate, that our leaders can reduce the violence in our communities by enacting tough, effective gun violence prevention measures. We call upon our state leaders to address this issue responsibly.
Which I’m sure will happen. I mean, look at how we rushed to fix problems after children were gunned down at Sandy Hook, and we all know how important children are.