Merrill: ‘We don’t have a gun problem — We have a spiritual deficit problem’
With the mass shooting incidents in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, still fresh on many people’s minds, some are looking to the government for answers to a problem that seems to be plaguing the nation.
However, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, a candidate for the 2020 GOP nomination to the U.S. Senate, the solution does not necessarily come from the government.
During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Monday, Merrill attributed the problem to a “spiritual deficit problem,” and not a lack of laws on the books.
“We don’t have a gun problem,” he said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “We have a spiritual deficit problem. And what I mean by that is people have turned away from those basic moral principles and foundational values on which our republic was established. They put us in a position to where we have too many things that are tearing us apart in that regard and leading us to these individuals taking those kinds of actions that are destroying our society.”
“Now, I’m not for increasing restrictions on firearms,” he continued. “But I do think the laws we have on the books currently need to be enforced. They were placed there to protect us, and we need to make sure they’re being adhered to at all levels.”
The Tuscaloosa County Republican insisted any measures to restrict firearms would penalize “good people” seeking to possess a firearm and was not likely to prevent those with bad intentions from obtaining one.
“Some of those laws that are already on the books are just not being paid attention to and certainly not being enforced,” Merrill said. “And if we do enforce the background check laws that we already have on the books and we do enforce some of these … red-flag laws that are currently on the books, it will enable us to determine who are able to be checked out further before they are able to purchase firearms. But I would say this – criminals are always going to have guns, and the bad guys are always going to be able to gain access to firearms. And whenever you start placing restrictions on good people who want to have possession of a firearm of their choice because the Second Amendment guarantees it, whenever we start putting restrictions on those people, then only the people that have poor or ill or bad intentions will be the ones with the firearms and we cannot standby and let that happen.”