(CNSNews.com) - Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that there’s only so much the government can do to protect people against an insane person intent on causing harm.
“So there are things that the government can do, and there's things this government is doing, but we're never going to protect everybody against everybody - who is deranged, insane. I don't know what this shooter's motivation was,” Mulvaney said about the Virginia Beach shooting massacre that left 12 people dead on Friday. “We talked about that before, so you're never going to make everything perfectly safe, but we are doing a lot better on enforcement.”
He said murder is illegal, but people still do it, so laws don’t fix everything.
NBC’s Chuck Todd asked whether there’s a role for the federal government to prevent mass shootings.
MULVANEY: We have too many of these shootings, and every time, the first thing we talk about is politics. And I mean, the mourning process -- period hasn't even stopped yet, let alone the healing process. So let’s not get too deep into politics too soon. Let's think about the families and the victims -
TODD: This is not about politics. This is a policy question.
MULVANEY: It is. So let's talk about policy. And the policy is enforcement and what we're already doing. What's been lost, in the last couple of years, is the fact that this administration banned bump stocks. We signed a piece of legislation that fixed the background checks. Now, we don't know what -- if background checks played a role here but --
TODD: Well, we've got to learn more about this silencer situation. You heard --
MULVANEY: The silencer --
TODD: You heard Pete about the silencer situation. That seems like a legitimate concern.
MULVANEY: Right, but keep in mind, I'm more familiar with the situation in Charleston, several years ago, where a guy walks into a church and shot my, my desk-mate in the South Carolina Senate. That was where the background check system let us all down. And we fixed that last year, with this administration, on a bipartisan basis.
So there are things that the government can do, and there's things this government is doing, but we're never going to protect everybody against everybody who is deranged, insane. I don't know what this shooter's motivation was. We talked about that before. So you're never going to make everything perfectly safe, but we are doing a lot better on enforcement.
TODD: Does the president believe it should be harder to get a gun, though?
MULVANEY: I think the president believes, very firmly, in the Second Amendment right, in our Second Amendment rights. He also believes that you cannot take these exceptions. And clearly, people like this are exceptions. This is not the rule. 99.9% of people in this, in this country who own a gun are law-abiding gun owners and you cannot allow --
TODD: Most people don't commit murder. But we have laws on the books having to do with that.
MULVANEY: We do.
TODD:I mean, a lot of our laws have to do with a small number of people who break laws, not, not a large number.
MULVANEY: You have laws on the books that - that make murder illegal. And yet, people still do it. Laws are not going to fix everything.