Herschel Walker Athens speech
CNN  — 

Less than 48 hours after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker was asked on Fox about the nation’s gun violence problem – and what to do about it.

Here’s what he said Thursday morning:

“Cain killed Abel and that’s a problem that we have. What we need to do is look into how we can stop those things. You know, you talked about doing a disinformation – what about getting a department that can look at young men that’s looking at women that’s looking at their social media. What about doing that? Looking into things like that and we can stop that that way. But yet they want to just continue to talk about taking away your constitutional rights. And I think there’s more things we need to look into. This has been happening for years and the way we stop it is putting money into the mental health field, by putting money into other departments rather than departments that want to take away your rights.”

Yes, really. That’s exactly what he said. I transcribed it myself. (You can watch it for yourself here.)

So, let’s go through – step by step – Walker’s answer and try to understand what he was going for.

1. Cain killed his brother Abel, according to the book of Genesis. So, um, people have been killing people for a long time?

2. We should stop people from killing other people. (Agreed!)

3. Last month, the Biden administration created the Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security to “coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security.” Amid a flurry of criticism from Republicans, the administration has paused the board’s activities. Walker appears to be referring to that when he says “you talked about doing a disinformation,” but it’s not immediately clear what this has to do with gun violence.

4. According to Walker, a solution to our gun violence epidemic could be the creation of a government agency that watches young men’s social media activity. Walker doesn’t explain how this department would gibe with Republicans’ long-standing concerns about the breaching of individual liberties by the government.

5. There are other things we need to “look into” as we seek to address the plague of gun violence in the country. (Agreed!)

6. Americans committing violence with guns has been happening for a long time. Yes, it has!

7. We need to put more money into the mental health field. Yes, we should! And we need to de-stigmatize mental health so that we, as a society, can treat it more like we treat physical health.

The honest truth here is that Walker simply served up a word salad when asked about the only topic on any American’s mind today. It’s clear he has no real answer to the question and instead simply fell back on worn-out tropes about constitutional rights and disinformation.

Which is not an insignificant thing. Two days ago, Walker rolled to the Republican nomination in Georgia for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock this fall. And given Georgia’s status as a swing state – and the clear GOP lean to the national political playing field – Walker has a very decent chance of winding up in the US Senate come 2023.

To have such an uninformed view on such a critical issue is, in that context, unforgivable.