Just a day after a mass shooting in West Texas left eight people dead, Perkins, a former Republican Louisiana legislator, said on "Fox & Friends" that what has contributed to the regularity of mass shootings in the US is “not the absence of laws. It’s an absence of morality. It’s really the result of a decades-long march through the institutions of America, driving religion and God from the public square."
The latest shooting in West Texas is tragic. We need to come together from all sides to have a discussion as to how to end this. But we can’t just discuss the instruments of violence – we must address the inspiration. We need a return to faith & morality.https://t.co/OqoluqSE4j— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) September 1, 2019
Perkins, who has headed the Christian conservative policy and lobbying organization since 2004, went on to acknowledge that "thoughts and prayers" would not be enough to solve the problem of gun violence, yet argued that the conversation needed to be more focused on morality rather than gun control legislation.
"It’s not just about having a conversation about restricting those who should not have guns. But it’s also a discussion of the absence of a moral core in our culture," he said. "I mean, look, we’ve taught our kids that they come about by chance through primordial slime, and we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt."
He insisted that Americans needed to give children the “opportunity to know that they’re created in the image of God” and that “they have inherent value.”
“It’s time we talk about the result of the left’s systematic march through our institutions, driving religious expression from the public square,” he added.
On Saturday a gunman opened fire between the Texas cities of Odessa and Midland, killing seven and wounding several others. Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said the suspect, who was killed after engaging with officers, used an AR-type weapon during the attack. The incident came weeks after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left 31 dead. US President Donald Trump addressed the latest shooting Sunday, telling reporters that he is in talks with Congress about measures to reduce gun violence, yet noted that the latest incident "hasn't changed anything" related to the discussions.