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What we learned from terrible shooting in Texas

(Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman vía AP)

We did learn something from Sunday’s terrible shooting in a small Texas town — a good guy with a gun can stop a massacre from getting worse. But just the same, there are 26 people dead, and another 20 wounded.

Here’s President Trump:

“This isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise, it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”

The shooting started in a church shortly after the beginning of the 11 a.m. service. The shooter had a military-type weapon, extra rounds, a bullet-proof vest; dressed all in black. He started shooting outside and moved inside.

But when he came back outside the church there was a neighbor with his own gun who opened fire. Devin Kelley managed to get into his car. Neighbors chased him and he finally crashed his car in the next county and was found dead. There were several other weapons with him.

This isn’t the time to talk about gun laws?

Kelley had a history of violence. He was court-martialed in 2012, served 12 months, and received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force for attacking his wife and child.

On CBS, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he did not have the legal right to get a gun because his record showed he was unstable.

“Someone who was a powder keg … waiting to go off,” the governor said.

So how was he able to purchase an AR-15?

“Current law, as it exists right now, should have prevented him from being able to get a gun. I can tell you that before he made this purchase, he tried to get a gun permit in the State of Texas and was denied that permit. So, under the current system of federal law, he should have been prevented from being able to make this purchase.”

That’s a puzzling statement because Texas does not require a permit to carry a long gun, and no background check is required for private sales.

Sunday was the eighth anniversary of the attack on Fort Hood Texas. But there are so far no notes or anything else to explain what Kelley did. He didn’t scream Allahu Akbar, so it’s not terrorism, which means there’s no military response. Everybody involved was white so there’s no point in holding demonstrations. He wasn’t in the country illegally so travel bans won’t help. The president says it’s not a gun thing, so there won’t be any attempts to limit military knock-off weapons.

And because Kelley was specifically denied a gun permit, the law apparently worked as it was supposed to.

This now surpasses the 1966 sniper attack at the University of Texas to become the state’s worst mass shooting.

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