In the wake of the Oregon mass shooting, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has said that the United States doesn't have a gun control problem; rather, it has a "sin and evil" problem.
In response, the former Arkansas Gov. argued that the real question is not how the gunman obtained the weapons, but why he actually committed the horrendous crime.
"You know, we have not so much a gun control problem as we do have a problem with sin and evil," Huckabee said.
"I think we always talk about what the weapon was, but whether it's a pressure cooker or whether it's a gun, we're dealing with people who are either deranged or they're very focused, because they want to kill people in the name of terrorism," he continued.
"This is a matter of evil," Huckabee emphasized. "This is an evil thing, when people kill another person. It happens way too often."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer stormed into a classroom at Umpqua Community College on October 1st, shot a professor at point-blank range, then ordered cowering students to stand up and state their religion before he shot them one by one, according to survivors' accounts.
Before killing himself during a shootout with police officers, Mercer killed a total of nine people and injured dozens of others. Police recovered 14 guns from Mercer's apartment and the crime scene, and authorities said he had a fascination with weaponry.
The massacre sparked demands for increased gun control in the United States, where ownership of firearms is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In a press conference held after the shooting, President Barack Obama urged Americans to press their elected leaders to enact tougher firearms-safety laws and slammed the National Rifle Association gun lobby for blocking reforms.
"Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here, at this podium, ends up being routine," he said, lamenting how common mass shootings have become. "We've become numb to this."
However, in continuing his comments on Monday, Huckabee argued that the media actually stokes fears about mass shootings by making them sound more frequent than they are.
"Well, the fact is, sending your kids to school today is much safer than sending my kids to school 30 years ago when they went," he said. "It's a safer place.
"I know it doesn't sound like it because we have 24-hour cable news that gives us the reports non-stop of the crimes," Huckabee continued. "A gun crime gets most of the attention.It's not that our kids are just absolutely vulnerable every day they go to school. That's simply statistically not true."
Huckabee reiterated that imposing stricter gun regulations won't prevent future attacks in schools across the United States: "There are things that happen, some which we can prevent and some we can't," he said.
"For example, we could stop most of the car wrecks if we restricted speeds to 25 miles per hour, but as a society, we would never accept that," he added. "So, sometimes we have to decide what risks are we willing to take?"