NYT urges gun control debate with counting clock

The New York Times's editorial board is counting the hours since the mass shooting this past weekend at a Texas church and calling for Congress to take action on gun control.

In an editorial published Sunday, the editorial board named the locations that have been the sites of past mass shootings, including Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla.

"The latest, in the small Texas town, involved a man reportedly using a rifle to kill at least 26 people while they worshipped," the editorial board wrote.

"Still, Republicans leaders in Congress do nothing. Or, really, so far they've done the same thing they have always done."

The editorial features a clock that is counting the number of hours, minutes and seconds since the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday.

The editorial board said GOP leaders offer their thoughts and prayers and then warn people not to "politicize" the tragedy by "debating gun controls that might prevent such mass killings from happening again."

"If now is too soon to debate gun control, how long must Americans wait?" the editorial board asked.

"When Republican leaders have responded to past killings, their response was to block sensible, useful gun control," the editorial said.

"They should not be allowed to delay effective legislation any longer. Too many days have passed, from one tragedy to the next. This is the time."

The editorial board offered a suggestion for Republicans who "feel uneasy about responding to this tragedy with laws that might prevent the next one."

"Rather than responding to Sutherland Springs, act as though the legislation was responding to the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Dallas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Marysville, Isla Vista, Fort Hood, Santa Monica, or Sandy Hook Elementary School, to name a few," the editorial said.

"If it is too soon to respond to Sutherland Springs, is it too soon to respond to these?"

The New York Times included the amount of time that has passed since a number of other shootings including the amount of time that has passed since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School: 1,788 days.

President Trump said Monday the Texas shooting was not a "guns situation." Instead, he said it was a problem with the shooter's "mental health."

"I think that mental health is your problem here," Trump said during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan.

"This was a very - based on preliminary reports - a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time."

Police have identified the suspected shooter as Devin Kelley, 26, but have not issued an assessment about his mental health. Kelley reportedly received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force over allegations of domestic violence.

Trump also said at a news conference "it's a little bit soon" to discuss the issue of guns and suggested more people would have been killed if another armed person had not opened fire on the church gunman.