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Pittsburgh mayor pushes back on Trump suggestion to arm houses of worship

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Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) said Sunday that he disagrees with President Trump’s suggestion that armed guards at houses of worship could prevent shootings like the one at a synagogue in the city a day earlier.

“I don’t think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or our schools filled with armed guards,” Peduto said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I think we’re dealing with an irrational person who acted irrationally,” he continued. “And trying to create laws around that is not the way that we should govern. We should try to stop irrational behavior from happening at the forefront.”

{mosads}Peduto did not explicitly call for changes to gun laws, but noted that he’s a member of a bipartisan group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Police did not indicate that the suspect in Saturday’s shooting acquired his guns illegally.

Asked whether he’d like Trump to attend a community vigil for the shooting victims, Peduto said it would be up to the families. He noted that victims are likely to be buried quickly.

Robert Bowers, 46, is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh during Saturday morning services, killing 11 people and wounding six, including four police officers.

Bowers carried a rifle and three handguns and shouted anti-Semitic slurs as he entered the house of worship, police said. Authorities said he told police as he was being treated for injuries upon his arrest that he wanted all Jews to die.

It is believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Trump has condemned the attack, calling it “an assault on humanity” and urging Americans to confront “the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

The president told reporters that the synagogue may have been better able to defend itself from such an attack if it had armed security on site.

“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they would have been able to stop him immediately,” Trump said.

Tags Bill Peduto Donald Trump Pittsburgh shooting

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