At Thursday night’s Republican debate, there was time for extended shouting matches between candidates over who lied the most; various personal insults; and fruit salad — but not enough for a mention of the most recent mass shooting, which took place about an hour before the debate began.
CNN’s debate moderators did not ask candidates about the shooting in Hesston, Kansas, which left at least three people dead and up to 20 wounded. The incident was a workplace shooting, and the shooter — who was reported to be carrying an AK-47 — reportedly opened fire as he was driving his car.
Candidates were also not asked about the mass shooting that occurred last weekend in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when an Uber driver allegedly killed 6 people after going on a shooting spree. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the only Republican candidate to respond to that incident, telling ThinkProgress that he would not advocate “taking people’s guns away” in the wake of mass shooting events.
In fact, asking candidates about the shootings may have been unproductive — their records on the issue of guns are well-documented. Not a single Republican candidate has expressed support for any form of gun control.
Thursday’s shooting in Kansas was the 49th mass shooting in the United States in 2016.