Florida Gov. Rick Scott floundered for answers Monday when asked about a Tweet Sunday offering prayers for those who were killed in a Texas church.
Many of Scott’s Twitter followers posited that “prayers” aren’t enough to stop such things from happening. When asked for concrete policy solutions beyond prayers, Scott — a Governor entering his eighth year in office — had no solutions.
He did, however, use the word evil nine times in roughly two minutes.
“The most important thing we have to do,” Scott said, “is we need more prayer rather than less.”
“Last week, we had a terrorist attack in New York City. We need to pray for when these things happen. It’s horrible when these things happen,” Scott said.
“It’s evil when these things happen,” Scott continued. “Whether it’s a terrorist attack with a truck, somebody doing what they did in a church in the San Antonio area, I’m going to pray for them. We know it’s evil.”
“I believe in the Second Amendment. I just wish there was no evil in the world,” Scott added.
We asked Scott, given his use of the word terrorist, whether the Second Amendment was really the best framework for yet another mass shooting in an American church.
His answer won’t satisfy gun control advocates.
“It’s evil — whatever you want to call it. It’s evil. It’s evil what happened — the terrorism in New York, it was a terrorist inspired by ISIS in the Pulse attack. These things are evil,” Scott said.
“Evil is evil,” Scott added.
He dealt with a second gaggle question driving toward specific policy answers in much the same way.
“The first thing we have to do is take care of all the families,” Scott said. “After the Pulse attack, I spent quite a bit of time there, talking with the families and mourning with them. I’m sure the Governor of Texas will be doing the same thing in Texas.”
Investments in law enforcement, including hiring more counter-terrorism experts and sharing information across law enforcement platforms, were cited during the gaggle.
Gov. Scott’s office reached out Monday evening with a brief statement clarifying his position regarding this specific case, seemingly saying that domestic violence convictions preclude gun ownership.
“Governor Scott believes that no man who spends a year in jail for abusing his wife and child should be able to purchase or own a gun. The Governor strongly supports the Second Amendment but this is not acceptable.”
However, groups on the left side of the spectrum — such as American Bridge — are calling Scott’s handling of the gun question “abysmal” and decrying his statement as “pablum.”
American Bridge Spokesman Joshua Karp said the Governor had “no answer to Floridians who are crying out for solutions to the gun violence that is ravaging our communities.”
“From Pulse in Orlando to the First Baptist Church in Sutherland, the problem of mass gun violence demands specific solutions, not pablum. Politicians like Rick Scott who fail to put the lives of Floridians — and all Americans — ahead of partisan politics will be rejected by the voters,” Karp added.