If there's a worse way to respond to the Charleston shooting than this, we don't want to hear it

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Wednesday 24 June 2015 18:00
news

Amid stiff competition from ring-wing politicians and media, a South Carolina Republican has come up with the worst response to the racially-motivated murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston last week.

In the wake of the attack allegedly by sole suspect Dylann Roof, 21, South Carolina has been taking a long hard look at its relationship with the Confederate flag. Lawmakers voted 103-10 to remove the flag from the state Capitol - but representative William Chumley was so unhappy with the decision he ended up illogically telling a CNN reporter that the legislature was "focussing on the wrong thing".

Of the victims, he said:

Those people sat in there and waited their turn to be shot. That's sad. And somebody in there with the means to self defence could have stopped this and we'd be having less funerals than we're having. Why didn't somebody just do something? I mean, one skinny person shooting a gun...

When asked by the reporter whether he thought Roof's victims should have tackled him to the ground or otherwise stopped him, Chumley implied that the dead - several of whom were elderly - could have done more to help themselves.

I don't know the answer but I do know that it's horrible for nine people to be shot. I understand [Roof] reloaded his gun in the process. That's upsetting, very upsetting.

Sadly Chumley isn't the only politician who thinks more guns would have helped the situation, but his special take on victim blaming is probably the most awful thing we've heard anyone say about the tragedy. We hope for everyone's sake it's never outdone.

More: Seven things Republicans have blamed the Charleston massacre on apart from race

More: Eight of the worst responses to the Charleston shooting

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