WASHINGTON -- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs" and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.
During a radio interview on The Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live!" show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country.
"You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place," Gohmert said.
"Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important," he said. "Whether it's John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people ... Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters ... We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country."
Ernest Istook, the host of the show and a former Oklahoma congressman, jumped in to clarify that nobody knows the motivation of the alleged Aurora gunman. Gohmert said that may be true, but suggested the shootings were still "a terrorist act" that could have been avoided if the country placed a higher value on God.
"People say ... where was God in all of this?" Gohmert said. "We've threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God's name, they're going to be jailed ... I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don't want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present."
Gohmert also said the tragedy could have been lessened if someone else in the movie theater had been carrying a gun and took down the lone shooter. Istook noted that Colorado laws allow people to carry concealed guns.
"It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?" he asked.
CORRECTION: Due to a transcription error, a previous version of this article quoted Gohmert as referring to the shooting as a "crazy act of a derelict." He in fact called it "a crazy act of terror like this." The error has been corrected.