Top NC Republican on Mass Shootings: 'Cain Killed Abel With a Rock'

Photo: Chuck Burton (AP)

Dan Forest is the lieutenant governor of North Carolina, the top Republican elected official in the state, and the frontrunner for the party’s nomination for governor in 2020. He is also insane.

Just days after the deadly shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Forest went on the Wilmington, NC-based The Tyler Cralle Show and was asked about guns. (The clip was sent to us by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.)

“I think everybody knows that it’s a mental health issue that we’re dealing with, it’s not a gun issue. Yes, guns are problems and these mass shootings obviously it wouldn’t be a mass shooting unless you had a gun,” Forest said, before getting rather biblical about this. “Listen, the first murder in the Bible: Cain killed Abel with a rock. God didn’t blame the rock. I mean, we knew that it was a personal responsibility issue as it was an issue of evil.”

It’s not rare for Republicans to shrug off the argument that the people who wrote the Second Amendment couldn’t conceive of guns that allow you to shoot dozens of people in roughly half a minute. But, uh, the Old Testament? Pretty sure it would’ve been easier for Cain to slaughter Abel and his entire bloodline with an AR-15 than a rock.

Forest wasn’t done, however. After some faux-sadness about how the political parties are demonizing each other—Forest is a giant Trump fan, obviously—he turned to an old standby: Everything else kills people, so why are we so worried about guns?

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“You can continue to blame and outlaw the inanimate objects, but...knives kill more people than rifles, fists kill more people than rifles, cars kill 100 people a day,” Forest said. “Handguns are generally responsible for most suicides, that’s 129 people a day.” Sorry, “handguns are generally responsible for most suicides” is supposed to be an argument for their continued legality?

Of course there’s a million ways to hurt people; anyone who watched That Episode of Barry can tell you that. The problem is being able to harm as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Similarly, there’s a reason why it’s illegal to own a nuclear weapon, although that question also isn’t exactly settled among North Carolina Republicans, either.

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We’ve reached out to Forest for comment, and will update if he responds.

During the same interview, Forest appeared to signal some tentative support for so-called “red flag laws,” but almost immediately walked that back. “We’d be better served as a nation by addressing the root causes that are driving people to violence: the breakdown of the family, mental illness, social isolation, and the refusal to recognize the dignity of human life,” he told WRAL in a statement.

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It’s so weird how gun violence has nothing to do with guns.

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