Marjorie Taylor Greene blames Texas mall massacre on drugs and ‘evil forces’ (but no mention of guns)

Republicans circle the wagons around gun ownership after latest massacre

John Bowden
Washington DC
Monday 08 May 2023 09:25 BST
8 killed in Texas mall shooting

Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene joined the list of Republicans refusing to point the finger at the staggering number of firearms, including high-powered rifles, existing in American society on Saturday as she cast blame for yet another horrific yet wholly unsurprising massacre that unfolded over the weekend.

At least eight people are dead as well as the suspected gunman in Allen, Texas, after a mass shooting broke out at an outlet mall. Witnesses described a scene of sheer carnage and terror on the streets of one of the US’s largest states, as America reckoned with another all-too-common day of violence and bloodshed.

The conspiracy-embracing Republican congresswoman from Georgia commented that “evil forces” were at work causing the shootings.

There was no mention of guns, the issue of safety in America’s most conservative areas (an issue Ms Greene and her fellow Republicans enjoy raising about their liberal counterparts), or even any suggestion of a path forward out of the brutal, heartbreaking reality of American life under an epidemic of gun violence.

“Thank God for the brave officer that courageously ran into the line of fire to save others. We pray for the victims and their families and an end to the mental illness, drugs, and evil forces that cause people to commit such horrors,” she wrote, linking to a tweet describing the scene that was so graphic it was removed under Twitter’s new “free speech” administration.

Ms Greene and other Republicans have argued that American society is not doing enough to help those with unaddressed mental health issues. Those same arguments were made by Rep Keith Self, the congressman for Allen, Texas’s district, during an interview with CNN on Saturday after the shooting.

He also addressed the dispute between the right and left over whether public statements offering one’s “thoughts and prayers” are sufficient in such cases.

“Those are people that don't believe in an almighty god who is absolutely in control of our lives,” he told CNN. “I'm a Christian. I believe that he is...We have people with mental health that we are not taking care of.”

However, there’s been no serious effort by Republicans on the national state (or indeed in Texas) to make greater societal investments in the expansion of mental health care, which often remains expensive and unattainable for many Americans especially in rural or low-income areas.

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, faced his own separate criticism after the shooting for a recent statement he made on Twitter decrying what he saw as an insufficient rate of firearm purchases in his state.

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