John Kasich linked the prevalence of gun violence to the decline in social values, from marriage to community ties during a New Hampshire event Monday hosted by a centrist, nonpartisan group.
The Ohio governor, pitching his moderate bona fides to the No Labels Problem Solver Convention, was asked by an audience member what could be done to reduce gun violence, like the deadly mass shooting in Oregon earlier this month.
In online writings apparently made by the shooter’s mother, the woman described her son’s growing fascination with guns and that she and her son both had Asperger syndrome, but didn’t seek outside help. Kasich said the lack of familial and community support was the problem.
“Where was Dad? Where was brother or sister? Where was neighbor?” he asked. “I mean, folks, our marriages, too many of them, have eroded. The relationships with our neighbors — whats happened to the neighborhood? You see, we’re all really our neighbor’s keeper and we all have a responsibility to live a life bigger than ourselves.”
The Republican candidate also recalled the death of the mentally ill son of Creigh Deeds, who was the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia. Deeds’ son attacked him with knife hours after he reportedly was released because no psychiatric bed was available.
“Why didn’t we have the beds? Is it because we run over people who we don’t understand? But what are we doing to help one another?” Kasich asked the crowd. “Were spending a lot of our time wondering whose going to be president. And that’s great. But the country was not built from the top down.”