Ron DeSantis offers support after Iowa shooting, wouldn’t back policy changes on gun violence – PPT News



DES MOINES, Iowa — Following a school shooting Thursday in Perry, Iowa, that injured at least five people, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offered his support to Iowa but said that dealing with such shootings “is more of a local and state issue,” declining to suggest any changes to federal law he’d support that would make them less frequent. 

The presidential candidate touted efforts in Florida to keep schools safe in a joint interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register. “We obviously, you know, have a responsibility to create safe environments. The federal government is probably not going to be leading that effort,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis added: “I think it is more of a local and state issue. But we’ve shown how it’s done in Florida. The things that we’ve done have been very, very effective.”

He also pointed to mental health reforms in Florida as measures that could be expanded to prevent future shootings.

“That’s an underlying sickness in society,” DeSantis said, adding, “And I think that involves things like mental health.”

But when asked if there are any changes he’d support at the federal level if elected president, DeSantis did not name any.

“I don’t support infringing the rights of law-abiding citizens with respect to the ability to exercise their constitutional rights,” DeSantis said. “I know these things can be used to try to target things, and a lot of the things that are proposed would not have even prevented any of these things.

“And that’s typically I think, what we’ve seen in the cycles” after a shooting incident, DeSantis continued. “But people can count on me to hold criminals accountable. Be very serious about holding accountable people that represent a dangerous society, but at the same time protecting their constitutional rights.”

Authorities in Perry, which is in Dallas County, have not revealed the shooter’s motive or his actions leading up to the shooting, only sharing Thursday morning that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

DeSantis pointed to mental health as the prevailing issue in shootings like the one in Perry or the one at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. 

“In Florida, we’ve worked hard to identify some of these folks because the shooter at (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland), everyone knew he was the one who did it before that had even been reported because there were so many warning signs,” DeSantis said,

“We’ll see what happens in this, Dallas County. That may not be the case here, but in a lot of it, it is the case,” he added.

DeSantis also pointed to gun crimes in major U.S. cities as a prevailing problem.

“There are shootings that happen in places like Chicago routinely, that the media doesn’t cover the way they cover some of those other ones,” he said.

DeSantis said that the policies in place in major cities to tackle gun crimes don’t work: “The reason why you have those in a lot of the inner cities is because these are repeat offenders who are not held accountable when they could have, when they’re committing crimes that are of less gravity.”

He added, “We know what works and we know what doesn’t work and the policies that have been placed in those cities, they have universally failed when they’ve been tried. “

DeSantis also said that he spoke to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has endorsed his presidential campaign, on Thursday morning.

“She’s all over it — got a great handle on it. I know she’s going to be doing — she told me she’d do a press conference in the afternoon. And so I think that the folks have responded very well,” he said.

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