In a 'Fox & Friends' segment, Texas' Lieutenant Governor suggested violent video games and a lack of prayer in schools could be factors in the El Paso mass shooting


People walk into an elementary school to look for loved ones near the site of a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Several people were killed in the shooting Saturday in a busy shopping area in the Texas border town.

  • After a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas took 20 lives and injured 26 others on Saturday, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick made a Sunday morning “Fox & Friends” appearance to discuss the shooter’s motives.
  • Patrick suggested that, apart from being an anti-immigrant hate crime, as laid out in what is believed to be the shooter’s manifesto, violent video games, a lack of prayer in schools, and online bullying could have motivated the shooter.
  • The lieutenant governor called on the federal government to “do something about the video games industry” and lamented that “we won’t let” children pray in schools – however, Texas law gives student the “absolute right” to pray in a non-disruptive matter.
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Two mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, within a 24-hour period on Saturday and Sunday have shaken the US. The first, which has so far claimed 20 lives and injured 26 others, happened at a Walmart and is being investigated as both a case of domestic terrorism and a hate crime. 

A manifesto posted online that is believed to have been written by the shooter purports that he feared Hispanic “invaders” would turn Texas into a “Democrat stronghold,” and that he believed mass violence was the only way to combat immigration along the southern border.

Read more: Off-duty soldier describes how he scooped up children and carried them to safety during the El Paso shooting

Various famous figures and politicians have placed blame on the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump’s administration, and the white supremacist ideology echoed in the manifesto. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick blamed something else in a Sunday morning “Fox & Friends” segment: the lack of prayer in schools, along with violent video games.

“Sunday morning when most of your viewers right now, half of the country, are getting ready to go to church. And yet, tomorrow, we won’t let our kids even pray in our schools,” Patrick, who declined interviews from other news outlets, including CNN, said. “It’s many factors that go into these shootings, many factors. And it’s not a time to politicize.”

Patrick also demanded that the federal government “do something about the video games industry,” which he says “teaches young people to kill.” He claimed that the shooter, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius of Allen, Texas, was imitating a “super-soldier” from “Call of Duty,” a popular first-person shooting game. 

The lieutenant governor did, at one point, note that the shooting was “obviously a hate crime, I think, in my view, against immigrants.” But in his “Fox & Friends” segment, he also suggested online bullying and not saluting the American flag could have been factors. 

Texas laws provide students with the “absolute right” to voluntarily pray in schools in a non-disruptive manner, and as long as it does not alienate other students. 

With another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, occurring than 24 hours after Crusius opened fire in El Paso, the weekend death toll from mass shootings has reached 29 people so far, in addition to the Dayton shooter, who was killed less than a minute after opening fire at 1:07 AM in a downtown district.

There’s no public evidence that the shootings resulted from video games, bullying, or lack of prayer.

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