Fox News host on Texas church shooting: ‘Terror is terror’ no matter who commits it

Neil Cavuto.

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Neil Cavuto.
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Screenshot/Fox News

    Fox News host Neil Cavuto said Monday in a segment on the Texas church massacre that “terror is terror,” regardless of whether the person committing the violent act is doing so in the name of a terror group or not. Devin Patrick Kelley is alleged to have killed at least 26 churchgoers in a small Texas town on Sunday. It was the deadliest shooting in modern Texas history.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto said “terror is terror,” regardless of who committed the act, during a Monday segment on the horrific Texas church massacre from Sunday.

“There is so much we still don’t know about the shooter, what motivated him,” Cavuto said at the start of an interview with Ron Hosko, a former top FBI official. “We do know that he was able to kill his wife’s grandmother, his intent was unknown even now. You know, terror is terror, right? I mean whether it is assigned to ISIS or foreign elements or homegrown or those having nothing to do with ISIS. But we know in this case this guy failed what is required to get a permit, a gun permit. What happened?”

Hosko responded by expressing doubt in a system that allowed the shooter, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, “to come into possession of a weapon” despite “serious mental illness” and a bad conduct discharge from the military.

“Somewhere the system feels as if it is failing and dots are not being connected,” he said.

The incident is not being investigated as terrorism, since a political or ideological motive was not immediately apparent for the shooting.

It’s unclear whether Kelley’s criminal record would have legally prevented him from buying a gun

Kelley, who killed at least 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday and was later found dead, was convicted in 2012 of assaulting his wife and cracking his infant son’s skull. Kelley was also discharged from the Air Force for bad conduct.

While it is unclear whether that criminal record would have legally prevented him from buying a gun like the AR-15 he used in the shooting, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNN that the shooter should not have been able to purchase a firearm.

“So how was it that he was able to get a gun?” Abbott said. “By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun. So how did this happen?”

A dishonorable discharge would have prevented him from being able to purchase a gun, but a bad-conduct discharge falls short of that level. NPR reported Monday that Kelley should have been barred from purchasing a gun.

President Donald Trump, along with others who are pro-gun rights, had somewhat different responses to the Sunday shooting as they did a terror attack earlier last week in New York City.

In that instance, the attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old immigrant from Uzbekistan who arrived in the US in 2010, carried out the attack in the name of ISIS. Saipov killed eight people and injured roughly a dozen more when he rammed a rental truck into a crowded bicycle path in lower Manhattan.

“NOT IN THE USA!” Trump tweeted soon after that Tuesday attack, calling for changes in the US immigration system.

On Sunday, Trump pointed to “mental health problems,” and said “this isn’t a ‘guns’ situation,” opting against calling for a policy response.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a ‘guns’ situation,” he told reporters during a Sunday press conference in Japan. “I mean we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it.”