Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Fox & Friends | August 4, 2019

Fox & Friends Interview with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
August 4, 2019

Jedediah: We’re now going to bring in Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Lt. Governor, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.  Good morning. 

Jedediah: Our hearts go out to you for this horrific shooting and to your community and to the medical community, in El Paso and everywhere that has been suffering as a result of this atrocious shooting. Can you give us the latest on the ground in your community of what’s happening right now?

Lt. Gov Patrick: Well, first we want to send our prayers to Ohio. Their people and their government, their law enforcement their doctors are going through the same ordeal at this time, and we can’t over emphasize the bravery of law enforcement, how everyone showed up everywhere to do their job and put their lives on the line.

I just watched from the medical center the incredible job they’ve done.   The latest that I would like to share with you, because the latest is we have our 20 casualties. 20 fatalities. We hope it stays at that number. We know we have some people in serious condition at the hospital still. 

This is the fourth shooting since I’ve been Lt. Governor and Governor Abbott were elected in 2014, the fourth shooting we’ve had, 2,016, five officers in Dallas, 2017, and 2018, ten at Santa Fe and now this tragedy. 61 people have lost their lives in this violence, and I think it’s time for all of America to take a real close look, if we haven’t already, we should have, of where we are. 

Governor Abbott talked yesterday about the three days of hearings with experts from law enforcement to mental health after the Santa Fe shooting to try to get some answers and try to come up with some policies that we enacted this past session.   But as I stayed up all night, to be honest with you, every time we go to another funeral, which we’ll have 20 coming, it chips away at our heart. Everyone, you know, there are thousands of people in El Paso, one of my favorite cities in Texas — its wonderful city with wonderful people — all these people will be impacted — friends and families and neighbors and co-workers. This takes a tremendous toll on any community.

I look at this evil act and let’s condemn it for what it is — evil, evil and I say how long are we going to ignore it at the federal level particularly where they can do something about the video game industry?  In this manifesto that we believe is from the shooter, he talks about living out his “super soldier”, fantasy in “call of duty.”   

We know the video game industry is bigger than the movie and music industry combined and there have been studies that say video games impacts people and studies that says that they don’t, but when I look at the common denominators, as a father and grandfather myself, I ask what’s changed in this country? 

We’ve always had guns and evil but what’s changed where we are seeing this rash of shootings and I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill. This is not a Republican or Democrat thing because he [the shooter] said he was concerned about robots and the environment and immigrants. 

Obviously this was a hate crime, in my view, against immigrants, from this young man.  Just my view – we haven’t had an official report on that. I don’t mean to talk on, but my heart is so heavy this morning because of where I think where are as a country.  I look at social media. The violence of just bullying people on social media every day. We turn our head and we allow it.  

I look at This 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. We have to look at ourselves as a nation.  Many factors that go into these shootings. Many factors and it’s not time to politicize, it’s a time to look deep inside of who we are as a country where we no longer salute our flag and we throw water on law enforcement.  

Thank god we have law enforcement. Thank god we have them in times like this.  So it’s a lot of factors that go on and we have to take a long look at who we are as a nation and where we want to go and what we’re going to tolerate on social media and video games. 

Griff: Lt. Governor you packed a lot in there, very important points, let me ask you is there a solution or answers that you believe lie somewhere between the White House and the halls of Congress?

Lt. Gov Patrick: I do believe there are and I believe we need to have a commission or a blue ribbon panels – which often meet and do nothing, but we need to just say do we want to be a society? Let’s look at this manifesto. It was on a dark website where the same killer in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the killer in San Diego and now this killer, allegedly (we’ll confirm all of this) but from what we can see it’s all posted on the same site. 

What are we as a nation to say we’re going to tolerate and allow a website that lets killers post their manifesto before and after the act? There are people applauding this act of what happened and it could be in the same in Ohio. Was that a copycat crime? I have no idea, but why are we allowing that? Why are we allowing young people or anyone to go to a website to learn [how to] kill and be praised to post this manifesto.   Our children are watching video games — again the video game industry is larger than the music industry and the movie industry combined. Why are we ignoring that? Maybe this was a video game to this evil demon. A video game to him. He has no sense of humanity, no sense of life. He wanted to be a “super soldier”, for his “call of duty” game. We need to look at all of this and look at who we are.

As long as we continue to only praise God and look at God on a Sunday morning and kick him out of the town square and our schools the other six days of the week, what do we expect? What do we expect? 

There’s no excuse for this. We condemn it totally but as a nation we have to look at this and leave all of the politics out of it. I’ve already seen too many politics online since the shooting yesterday that makes me sick. 

This is all of our problem. Republicans, Democrats, independents, black, white, and brown, male, female, young, middle age and old. We all have to attack this because it’s not acceptable any 

Pete: Lt. Governor how do we get past the politics? I’m seeing same statements online saying I’m done with thoughts and prayers.  Folks that say prayers are not helpful at this moment, and then they often times go to gun control as an answer, and not to get into that policy debate but how do we find common ground and move past the politics?

Lt. Gov Patrick: I realize we’re in a presidential Election cycle and it will be tough, but I’ve seen our country coming together before with Republicans and Democrats. Let’s find real solutions. I know people want to ban assault weapons but I think back about the shooting, the [Sutherland Springs) church back in November of 2017.  Steven Willeford, who was the hero there. People forget the heroes’ names and law enforcement and victims’ names, but they remember the killer’s name. Steve grabbed his automatic weapon and put two shots into that killer that day, and probably saved other lives because that killer could have gone to a church nearby and killed another 20 or 30 people.  So it’s not the gun. It’s the people behind the gun. No more than a drunk driver. It’s not the car, it’s the irresponsible or deadly person that gets behind the wheel and it’s not every video game. 

I know after the school shooting I talked about the video game culture and I got a lot of negative feedback – I will probably get some today.   People say, I play video games it doesn’t make me shoot someone, but it does impact some. When you start looking, and go and do the homework. Do some investigative reporting, which you all do a great job of here — what is the link between all of these shooters and how many people they have they killed [on their video games] because they keep track of it. It is on the Internet, the games have it.   You get awarded for how many people you can kill.

We have games called “Hatred,” “Agony” and when we look at our social media, what we tolerate.  We need to take charge of the kids at home at night. How long are they on the Internet? What are they saying?   The bullying we see. That’s another type of violence in our community.

[Regarding] thoughts and prayers — I know there are people who criticize me because put a scripture up on my web page every Sunday. I get criticized by the anti-God groups. 

Everyone drops to their knees and prays after the event, but we better start facing God before an event so maybe we don’t have to pray as much after the event. I’ll tell you going to countless funerals for law enforcement in Dallas, students funerals [in Santa Fe] all of the memorial services that the Governor and I and others go to, to pay respects to those we have lost, I can tell you if it weren’t for their faith in God, these communities and these parents and these people couldn’t get through. I don’t know how they make it without it and El Paso, a heavy Hispanic community where the Catholic Church and the evangelical church is so strong in that community, I guarantee you, people weren’t just praying today on this Sunday. They were praying last Sunday too.  We have to take it to God.  

But as a nation, it’s a dark time for our country and we better wake up and take responsibility. Every one of us has to take responsibility. Everyone has to take responsibility. You don’t have to be in office to take responsibility. You don’t have to be in law enforcement. You don’t have to be a teacher to take it.  Everyone has to take it. 

Jedediah: You know Lt. Governor you talk about community and I don’t think we can stress enough the importance of building up those communities. El Paso is a community. It’s a beautiful community and it’s a community that really has inspired a nation when you look at the medical community we’ve heard from so many doctors this morning. When you look at the law enforcement community, we’ve heard from people in law enforcement. Everyone in El Paso has come together to try to heal that community together and you really can’t underestimate that power throughout the country and the whole country is with you by the way and we are grieving with you but you can’t underestimate the power of building that up ahead of a tragedy so that when something heaven forbid does strike that community comes together and they are a life they are a force together and we just want, I just want to commend you, I know we all do commend the communities of El Paso for being so incredibly inspiring to the whole nation despite this tragedy the way they are fighting through this trouble it, it is incredible to witness.

Lt. Gov Patrick: I’ve seen it along with Governor Abbott all across the state from the shootings, I mentioned, from Hurricane Harvey. We [Texas] are an incredible nation state, I would call it. We’re an incredible state — Texas and we’re proud of our law enforcement, our medical community, we’re proud of all of our citizens, because people are good, people are inherently good and what we can’t lose sight of that when we see this evil happen — black, brown, and white – there are there issues in this country, there are people on the fringes that are hateful? Yes. But are we a hateful nation I don’t see it. I don’t believe it. People are good, but sometimes we can live in denial, that this doesn’t impact me, until it does 

Pete: Absolutely.

Lt. Gov Patrick: So what I’m saying is we need as a government, the Republicans, the Democrats, is to come together.   Tough times for a presidential year, but to come together, put the politics aside look at all of these issues, because this didn’t happen when I grew up. This didn’t happen for lots of people when they grew up, so what’s changed?  Look at those common denominators and what’s changed — social media, video games, all of this hatred that’s out there and anger, yes. 

Pete: We need God every day as well. We got to leave it right there for purposes of television.  Thank you for your powerful words. More Fox & Friends just moments away.