Appearing on Fox News’s Neil Cavuto show on Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said President Obama’s use of the horrific shooting in Charleston to call for gun control is “completely shameful.”
Jindal said Obama’s comments were divisive and he called on the president to, instead, unite the nation. He also praised South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for beginning the healing process in her state.
Cavuto asked Jindal about Obama’s statement that gun violence was a problem that was unique to America.
“I think it was completely shameful, that within 24 hours of this awful tragedy, nine people killed at a bible study at a church,” Jindal continued. “We have the president trying to score cheap political points. Let him have this debate next week. His job as commander in chief is to help the country begin the healing process.”
Jindal said Obama should be “hugging these families,” and “praying for these families.”
“For whatever reason, he always tries to divide us,” Jindal asserted. “Today was not the moment.”
Cavuto asked Jindal—a likely 2016 presidential contender—whether he would respond to a shooting tragedy with restricting access to guns.
“[T]he president and I disagree on the Second Amendment, but that’s no surprise, we disagree on the First Amendment as well,” Jindal said. “I believe in religious liberty, he doesn’t. We disagree on the Tenth Amendment.”
“I’m not for stopping law-abiding citizens from being able to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” he added. “But now’s not the time; there are children wondering, why do things like this happen? There are families at home trying to understand how does this happen in a church?”
Jindal continued that Obama should have called on Americans to fill churches and lift up their prayers.
When pressed about whether gun access was an issue to be addressed, Jindal said that in Louisiana they have “done things to make sure that the mental health records are part of the background check—part of the federal system.”
“Let’s be honest; there’s evil in the world,” he said. “What we’re seeing today—what we saw last night that was evil.”
Jindal said it will be hard to determine what motivated the shooter to do what he did.
“The problem is this president thinks the government can answer every problem,” he said. “There is evil in this world. Ironically, I was in South Carolina a few days before this, calling for a spiritual revival. And the reality is, we know there’s good and evil. As a father I’ve got to teach my children that bad things sometimes do happen to good people.”
Cavuto expressed the real possibility that people will be afraid to go to churches as a result of the horrific shooting and asked whether churches should be locked.
“Absolutely not. The churches have to be open. They have to be open for the public,” Jindal said. “I want the church to be a place where anybody can go, I want the church to be a place where we don’t care of your background, or your color, or your income, we don’t care anything about you except that you’re created in God’s image.”
“I’m a Christian, my faith teaches me there’s evil and sin in the world and no powerful government can eradicate that,” he added. “I’m not saying government needs to give up—this president has the government doing too many things, but it’s not going to eradicate evil; it would also be a good time to call America to prayer. This president doesn’t seem to like to do that. It’s an important part of the country’s tradition.”