After an armed congregant cut short a deadly shooting at a Texas church on Sunday, footage resurfaced of Joe Biden slamming a law that enabled the man’s heroic actions.
The gunman opened fire during a service at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, killing two people with a shotgun before a member of the church’s voluntary security team shot him dead, authorities said. Other members of the licensed and trained security team also exchanged fire with the gunman, and one of them died, according to Jack Cummings, a minister at the church.
Another minister, Britt Farmer, on Sunday thanked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and law enforcement for their quick responses to the shooting and told reporters he was grateful “our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves.”
However, in videotaped comments from September that conservatives rediscovered and derided on Twitter Sunday, Biden said he opposed a law Texas had recently passed that made it easier for people in the state to carry guns in places of worship, schools and elsewhere.
West Freeway Church of Christ Senior Minister Britt Farmer: "I’m thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves" pic.twitter.com/5fLSnSjQzg
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 30, 2019
Speaking to reporters at an Iowa event for his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, Biden called the law “totally irrational.”
“It is irrational, with all due respect to the governor of Texas, it’s irrational what they’re doing,” he said. “I mean every day you see a mass shooting … and we’re talking about loosening access to have guns, be able to take them into places of worship, store them in schools, I mean it’s just absolutely irrational, it’s totally irrational.”
“The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them – it’s absolutely mindless,” Biden added. “It’s no violation of the Second Amendment. It’s just a bow of special interests of the gun manufactures and the NRA.”
Biden was denouncing the law in the wake of series of headline-grabbing mass shootings in Texas and elsewhere in the United States.
Last month, following a massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Biden said the man who fatally shot the gunman should not have been allowed to carry his licensed AR-14. The gunman illegally obtained the semi-automatic weapon he used in the shooting.
“Well, first of all, the kind of gun being carried, he shouldn’t have been carrying,” Biden said on NBC’s “Today” show, touting his role in passing a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994. “Now, that fact that certain people with guns are illegally able to acquire a gun, and they turn out to be crazy after the fact, that’s life. There’s nothing you can do about that.”
After the Sutherland Springs Church shooting in Texas, Biden said that the man who shot the attacker should not have been armed
Why does Biden want Texas churchgoers to be unarmed?https://t.co/fv1mYG8rm8
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 30, 2019
Biden has yet to respond to the White Settlement shooting. But fellow Democrats and other gun control advocates repeated similar arguments.
Beto O’Rourke, a failed Democratic candidate for Senate and the presidency who has advocated national gun confiscation, said in a tweet that the shooting shows “what we are doing in Texas, what we are dong in this country, when it comes to guns is not working.”
So saddened to hear about another church shooting in Texas, this one in White Settlement near Fort Worth. Clearly what we are doing in Texas, what we are doing in this country, when it comes to guns is not working. https://t.co/krwcpL1lih
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) December 29, 2019
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan joined Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas in demanding greater state and federal regulation of firearms.
The hate and violence won't stop until we demand it. We must stop this obsession with killing each other. https://t.co/LM3YVBpETN
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 29, 2019
Meanwhile, amid right-wing mockery, international affairs professor and self-proclaimed “Never Trumper” Tom Nichols stood by his argument, made after the Sutherland Spring shooting, that carrying a gun to church for self-defense is “just stupid.”
As you see, @JerryDunleavy believes that a shooting in a church means that my piece about not carrying guns to church is wrong. Jerry is the kind of person I wrote a book about, the sort who buys travel insurance at the airport because he saw a news report about a plane crash. /1 https://t.co/YySrkNCb8R
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 30, 2019
Liberal Twitter activists also pooh-poohed the suggestion that Jews should arm themselves after a stabbing at a Hanukkah gathering Saturday in Monsey, New York, the latest incident in a surge of anti-Semitic violence in the state. But members of the Rockland County Hasidic community were nonetheless seen Sunday carrying semiautomatic weapons.
- Joe Biden at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 2, 2019: Screen grab