Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren decided Sunday was a good time to talk about Texas and firearms after a gunman killed at least 26 people during a church service in the state. But at least one Texan was quick to shut that argument down.
On Sunday morning, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire on people gathered at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs with a Ruger assault-type rifle, killing at least 26, including multiple children, and injuring 20 more before fleeing after exchanging shots with another resident who had a rifle, the Washington Post reported. Kelley was later found dead from what officials believe was a self-inflicted gunshot.
After the mass shooting ― the fifth worst in modern U.S. history ― outcry ensued over the need for stricter gun laws, as Texas has some of the most lax in the nation. But Lahren was not part of that outcry.
Brandon Friedman, a former Obama administration official with the Department of Housing and Urban Development who’s now a Dallas resident, responded to Lahren, saying that he is a Texan, a gun owner and a believer in the need for policy change.
He noted that the “good guy with a gun” legend is often nothing but a “selfish hero fantasy.”
Lahren later tweeted that there was no public push for a truck ban following the Halloween attack in New York City that killed eight people.
Kelley lived in New Braunfels, Texas, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio, He was a member of the U.S. Air Force until a bad conduct discharge in 2014; in 2012, he had been court marshaled for assaulting his spouse and child.
According to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Kelley was denied a license to carry a gun.
“So how was it that he was able to get a gun? By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun,” Abbott said, per CNN. “So how did this happen?”