Former Arkansas governor and Trump supporter Mike Huckabee wrote on his website Monday that he believes a “lack of thought and prayers is probably the single biggest factor” behind the latest mass shootings in the U.S.
“Despite all those who are denouncing the idea of prayers for the victims (do a Google search for ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough’ and see how many hits you get), I will continue to pray for the victims and their families and for an end to this mindless violence, and I hope you will, too,” Huckabee wrote.
“In fact, amid all the finger-pointing and blame-laying and repulsive attempts to turn these tragedies to political advantage before the bodies are even cold, I would posit that the lack of thought and prayers is probably the single biggest factor in what is behind them.”
Praying is “not a meaningless gesture,” he argued. “It’s the only thing that’s ever really going to help.”
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Huckabee posted online just a day after a deadly weekend across the U.S., with two shootings resulting in 31 people dead in Ohio and Texas.
The El Paso, Texas, shooting at a Walmart and at Cielo Vista Mall killed 22 people on Saturday. Police have zeroed in on a racist screed posted online before the shooting to try to link it to the suspect.
A day later, nine people were killed outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, including the suspected shooter’s sister.
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U.S. President Donald Trump has so far placed blame for the shootings on various factors, including video games and mental health.
In his Monday blog post, Huckabee took aim at Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, saying he “immediately tried to blame” Trump for the El Paso shooting by accusing the president of “inciting racism and violence.”
“Except that Trump didn’t do that,” Huckabee claimed. “I also don’t see how someone who has repeatedly denied being racist can be an ‘open, avowed racist.’”
Huckabee also said that blaming the shootings on the guns was wrong.
“I’d remind them that in places that banned guns, knife attacks are on the rise. Some have been stabbing rampages, leaving many dead and injured,” Huckabee wrote.
He called for a “reawakening of morality and values.”
“You’ll never legislate the evil out of people’s hearts.”
— With files from Jesse Ferreras and Associated Press