In the aftermath of a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, presidential candidates have been responding and addressing the issue of gun control, which inevitably arises in the aftermath of a mass shooting.
At an event in South Carolina, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush dismissed the idea of passing new gun laws.
"What we end up doing doing lots of times is we create rules on the 99.999% of human activity that had nothing to do with the tragedy that had forced the conversation about doing something and we're taking people’s rights away each time we do that," Bush said.
He went on to say, "Stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who once received an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association for supporting the 1994 assault weapons ban, told NBC News that “stripping law abiding people of their guns … I don’t believe will get the job done.”
Dr. Ben Carson said Friday in Iowa said early warning systems that identify a possible culprit need to be put in place. “You’re not going to handle it with more gun control because gun control only works for normal law abiding citizens. It doesn’t work for crazies,” Carson said.
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Donald Trump called the situation “horrible” and noted that school shootings are “sort of unique to this country” but said inferred that there’s not much that can be done.
“So it’s a terrible situation, it’s a huge mental illness. You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold,” Trump said.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in Iowa that “there’s really no evidence that these gun laws would prevent these shootings.”
While campaigning in South Carolina, which witnessed the Charleston mass shooting, Carly Fiorina said that “before we start calling for more laws, I think we ought to consider why we don’t enforce the laws we have.” She points to the fact that the college was a gun free zone and the individual who committed the crime didn’t abide.
Fiorina also called President Barack Obama’s remarks after the shooting “premature at best and at worst a really unfortunate politicization of this tragedy.”
President Obama gave an impassioned news conference Thursday where he said, “I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: We need more guns, they’ll argue – fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that?”
“Somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize,” Obama added.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton echoed President Obama's remarks, saying, "We don’t just need to pray for people. We need to act. We need to build a movement."
She challenged the NRA and Republicans. “Every time there’s another massacre, Republicans and the NRA say 'now is not the time to talk about guns.' Yes, it is,” Clinton said.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who supports gun ownership, said “a comprehensive approach” is needed, which includes mental health resources, reducing violence in the media and keeping guns away from “people who should not have them.”