Calls It 'A Tremendous Tragedy' but Not a Shooting. 'Unbelievable That This Would Happen' but Not a Shooting.
Governor Matt Bevin Tuesday afternoon issued a heartfelt statement about the tragic shooting at a Benton, Kentucky high school that left two 15-year old children dead and 17 others injured - 14 of them injured by a gun.
"This is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities," Gov. Bevin's statement begins. "It is unbelievable that this would happen in small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love on each other at this time. Do not speculate, but come alongside each other in support and allow the facts to come out."
Even his tweet doesn't mention the shooting, just, "this morning's events."
A statement from Gov. Bevin regarding this morning's events in Marshall County: pic.twitter.com/0n0cxgJkviâ€” Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) January 23, 2018
It's a lovely statement, clearly crafted with sincerity and respect.
But clearly it leaves out the most important information: this was a deadly mass shooting.
It was an initial statement and it was a wise move designed to let Kentuckians know he is on the job, in charge, and moved by the tragedy.
But leaving out the fact that a mass shooting had just occurred, specifically not mentioning the shooting at all, and not mentioning that it took place at a school, makes his other intention clear: don't talk about guns. Don't talk about shootings.
Here's how Gov. Bevin responded after the Las Vegas mass shooting:
To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs...You can't regulate evil...â€” Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) October 2, 2017
"You can't regulate evil," says Americans are powerless to reduce gun violence and gun deaths - and that's just plain false. You could call a lie of deadly proportions.
Here's how some on social media are responding to Gov. Bevin's statement:
What "events"? Morning announcements? Spanish Club meeting? Breakfast Study group meeting?â€” Tim Meredith (@RealTimMeredith) January 23, 2018
Why not say what it is/was?
"A statement from Gov. Bevin regarding this morning's SHOOTING in Marshall County"
There, it wasn't too difficult.
Kentucky places no restrictions on guns and gets a "Gold Star" rating from the NRA and "open carry" lobby group. Far right Gov. Matt Bevin says of today's shooting "Let's not speculate!" Yes, let's! Let's speculate on how many 10s of K deaths reasonable gun laws would prevent!â€” Frank Schaeffer (@Frank_Schaeffer) January 23, 2018
No, Governor Matt Bevin, it's not "unbelievable" that we have a 2nd school shooting in 2 days when you and your party refuse to even consider common sense gun regulation. You suck. pic.twitter.com/fNU92j5x6Aâ€” Owen Silver (@climber) January 23, 2018
"It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community" said Governor Bevin.â€” Jake Baker (@GreaterNATI) January 23, 2018
WHAT IS UNBELIEVABLE ABOUT THIS? 9th school shooting in 23 days in 2018. RT @germanrlopez: Casualty count updated to two dead, 17 injured: https://t.co/ZtWftHS5TN
"It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County" - Bevinâ€” Ezra (@realTakeADump) January 23, 2018
Actually, mass shooting are correlated with gun ownership and happen in all types of communities -- but especially those where the NRA is strongest.
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