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‘We need to prosecute these boys’: Rand Paul offers steps to curb mass shootings – Washington Examiner

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Sen. Rand Paul acknowledged that part of the problem behind the nation’s mass shootings is cultural and moral, but also qualified that the government can take steps to prevent them.

CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked the Kentucky Republican about a press release from Guns and God Appreciation Day, an event he has endorsed. The group encouraged “participants to be prayerful about returning our nation to God as the only solution to the hatred and mass murder plaguing our blessed nation,” Tapper read, asking Paul, “Do you believe that returning our nation to God, no change in policy, is the only solution, the only way to stop mass shootings in the U.S.?”

“No, I think part of the problem is cultural and losing the sense of right and wrong, but that’s not the only answer,” Paul said. “I’ve said yes, we should do something and look at each of the killings and say, ‘What went wrong?'”

Paul noted “the consistent theme” with the shooters is that many of them are white young men in their late teens to early 20s, nearly all of whom had been “sending off signals” for some time before they snapped. “Many of them are committing crimes that we slough off and we’re not prosecuting,” Paul explained, referring specifically to the 23 crimes Nikolas Cruz committed before carrying out the Parkland shooting in February 2018. “At the school, [Cruz] wasn’t allowed to bring a backpack in because they already suspected he might bring in weapons to shoot people. He should have been prosecuted for terroristic threatening.”

“We need to prosecute these boys … beforehand, and typically I think this can be done,” Paul went on, giving another example of how law enforcement dropped the ball with Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, after a gun store owner turned him in. Urging for more competence, Paul said, “Let’s look for the answer and try to do something to prevent the shootings.”

Paul’s position echoed that of Charles J. Chaput, the archbishop of Philadelphia, who asserted that while “only a fool” would believe gun control can solve the moral rot behind gun violence, some legislative safeguards are appropriate.

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