The mayor of Odessa, Texas, on Sunday blamed the mass shooting in his town that claimed seven lives on “evil people” and “violent video games.”
When MSNBC news host Kendis Gibson asked Mayor David Turner how he was going to comfort the people of his town, Turner responded: “You comfort your city with prayer. We’re having a prayer vigil tonight ... we will handle this one day at a time.”
“What do you say to the people who say they need more than prayer to prevent something like this from happening?” Gibson pressed. Turner told him: “There’s always going to be evil people. Evil people find ways to hurt people.”
Gibson pointed out that an assault rifle was used in the El Paso mass shooting in early August that killed 22 people, and that one was used by the Odessa shooter. “Isn’t there something common in all of this?”
Turner answered: “I think it’s a problem of the heart, to be honest with you. We have some of the most violent video games that you can see.” President Donald Trump blamed “gruesome and grisly” video games after the El Paso attack for helping to instigate mass shooters, echoing other Republicans’ claims despite no credible evidence.
Turner was asked about looser gun laws that went into effect in Texas Sunday. They will allow firearms in public places like schools and churches, as well as foster homes and rental properties. “Some of these will allow schools to be protected even more,” the mayor said. “But as far as the total of the laws, I haven’t seen those. I’ve been a little busy.”
The mayor said in a brief interview with the Washington Post the day of the shooting: “There are a lot of people hurt and a lot of people scared. In a situation like this, prayer is the most important thing.”
Check out the interview in the video up top. Turner’s section begins at 16:10, and his comments about prayer and evil at 18:45