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Michael Vadon / flickr (CC by 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

How 2016 presidential candidates responded to the San Bernardino mass shooting

The contrast between the parties is clear.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Dec 2, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:45 pm CDT

In the aftermath of a mass shooting at a facility in San Bernardino, California, for people with developmental disabilities on Wednesday that left at least 14 people dead, statements from 2016 presidential candidates started rolling across Twitter.

Democratic candidates expressed sympathy for the deceased and called for renewed efforts on gun control.

Republicans echoed the sentiments of their colleagues across the aisle on sympathy, but they stayed silent on gun regulation.

The contrast between Democrats in Republicans highlights a difference in how the two parties respond to high-profile shootings.

After the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last Friday that resulted in the deaths of three people and the injury of seven more, the Democrats were quick to respond with condolences and spirited defenses of Planned Parenthood’s mission of reproductive health. 

Republicans, most of whom have expressed strong support for the Second Amendment and oppose abortion, largely stayed silent. Democrats largely support stronger gun control and the right for women to have abortions.

Save a single tweet from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) the following morning, none of the other GOP candidates publicly acknowledged that the shooting had occurred until Sunday. Even Cruz waited nearly a full 24 hours before weighing in.

In contrast, within a couple hours of news breaking about the San Bernardino shooting, nearly the entire Republican field had responded.

Photo via Michael Vadon/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Dec 2, 2015, 8:22 pm CST