After another tragic mass shooting in the US on Wednesday, the 2024 presidential candidates quickly responded to the incident by offering their thoughts, prayers and solutions to the growing issue of gun violence in America.
In Lewiston, Maine, a gunman opened fire on a bowling alley and a local restaurant, killing 18 people and injuring 13 others.
Residents of the area were asked to evacuate the area, while law enforcement authorities search for the suspect.
President Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, sent his thoughts and prayers to those affected by the shooting in a statement from the White House and referenced legislation he has enacted to reduce gun violence.
“While we have made progress on gun safety through the bipartisan Safe Communities Act, the two dozen executive actions I have taken, and the establishment of the first White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, it is simply not enough,” Mr. .Biden. he said.
He urged Republican lawmakers to “fulfill their duty to protect the American people” by passing bills banning assault weapons, enacting universal background checks and ending immunity from liability for gun manufacturers.
Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson made similar comments – calling for legislation to reduce gun violence. She he also said using prayer “as a cover” instead of dealing with problems was “a mockery of faith.”
Republican front-runner and former President Donald Trump made a brief statement to Truth Social saying, “A terrible situation is happening in Maine. At least 22 dead. It just seems to never end for the USA!”
GOP candidate Nikki Haley accused Majority of mass shootings for mental health crises says “80 percent of our mass shootings are mental health related.”
“One in three Americans has a mental health problem, if they get treatment they can live a perfectly normal life, if not,” Ms Haley said as she called on the US to establish more mental health resources.
Likewise, Florida Governor and 2024 candidate Ron DeSantis suggested mental health could be the catalyst for the fire saying, “This could be another example of the failure of our nation's mental health system.”
He offered thoughts and prayers to those involved.
Last year, Mr. DeSantis loosened gun laws in Florida by passing a law that allows people to carry their guns without a permit. Maine also allows concealed carry without a permit.
Other Republican candidates have blamed similar mental health issues for mass shootings — a tactic often used by conservatives to avoid assigning blame to guns. Historically, Republicans support the Second Amendment and defend their right to own firearms.
Vivek Ramaswamy he said the US should “remove these violent, mentally disturbed people from their communities and be willing to commit them involuntarily.”
He also suggested that one solution could be to revive mental health institutions and implement “faith-based approaches” to those with mental health problems instead of using drugs.
Doug Burgum called shooting “devastating” and offered prayers in Maine.
Democratic candidate-turned-independent Robert Kennedy Jr asked for people to “pause” before using the situation in their “narratives about gun control, mental health, terrorism or anything else.”