Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto said that he doesn’t want armed guards in houses of worship.
“I don’t think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques, and churches filled with armed guards,” he said on Meet the Press, adding that neither should this happen at schools. This comment pushes back on President Donald Trump‘s suggestion that houses of worship feature armed guards.
Robert Bowers opened fire Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 people, and injuring two others and four cops, Bowers. Social media activity linked to him would show that he is a virulent anti-semite, who ranted about Jewish people sponsoring immigration to the United States “to bring invaders in that kill our people.” In an affidavit, he allegedly told cops that Jewish people “were committing genocide to his people.” Bowers was allegedly armed with an Ar-15 and handguns.
Asked if gun laws should be revised, Trump insisted to reporters Saturday that this incident had “little to do with it.”
“If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better,” he said. Asked later if churches and synagogues should have armed guards, he said it was “certainly an option.”
This is hardly the only mass shooting to occur in a house of worship in recent years. Cities like Charleston, South Carolina, and Nashville, Tennesse have seen such incidents. Armed men said they chased down a mass shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas (the man identified as the suspect was determined to have died by suicide).
Trump’s armed guards suggestion echoes what he said in the wake of February’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. He said that teachers should get bonuses for being armed.
[Screengrab via Meet the Press]