May 19, 2018

I hope you’ll join me tonight on TBN for a very special episode of “Huckabee.” I’ll have footage from my visit to Israel, where I attended the ceremony for the historic opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, and talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Fox News host Mark Levin. We’ll also get the inside story on what’s happening with the North Korea nuclear talks from national security advisor John Bolton. But it’s not all serious business. You’ll be inspired by Huck’s Hero Brett Swayn, laugh along with hilarious comedian Nazareth Rizkallah, and rock out with Tre Corley and our fantastic band, plus a great patriotic song from country star Ryan Weaver. Talk about a jam-packed show! And believe it or not, there’s more. To find out what, tune in at 8 CST, 7 CST. For previous shows and to see where you can watch TBN in your locality, visit


Friday’s news was dominated by tragedies. Over 100 people died after a Cubana Airlines flight crashed moments after take-off in Havana. And at least 10 people are dead after a 17-year-old student (who, as is my policy with those who seek fame through violence, will not be named) went on a shooting rampage at Sante Fe High School in Sante Fe, Texas, near Houston. After his arrest, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to police that he’d shot multiple people with the intent of killing them, and he avoided shooting classmates he liked “so he could have his story told.” His private journal and cell phone revealed that he planned to commit suicide after the shootings, but apparently lost his nerve and surrendered.

Before anything was even known about the shooting, many were already trying to politicize it. But the more we learned, the more obvious it became that this atrocity didn’t neatly fit into any simple narrative, such as “lax gun control laws,” “mental case ignored by authorities,” or “victim of vicious bullies.”

For instance, some classmates said he was a quiet loner who was bullied, and he wore a trench coat every day. He also might have put off signals, such as posting images of a black trench coat with Nazi insignias and a “Born to Kill” T-shirt on his Facebook page. On the other hand, a friend told the A.P. that he sometimes seemed a little sad, down or “sluggish,” but he never talked about being bullied or wanting to kill anyone. Another classmate said, “He was actually a pretty nice kid,” not really popular but not an “outsider,” either. He added, “Nobody was expecting this…nobody.”

The shooter didn’t use a so-called “assault rifle,” but a shotgun and a pistol which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed were not obtained illegally. He reportedly took them from his father, although we don't know yet whether the father knew he took them.

Reports that he wore a black trench coat and a “Born to Kill” T-shirt, and that pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs were found in the vicinity, might suggest some sick fascination with the Columbine High School massacre. Police detained a second student on suspicion of being an accomplice, but as of now, we really don’t know what the motivation for this heinous act was, and what we do know so far defies easy explanation.

Of course, that didn’t stop a lot of people from trying to explain it in ways advantageous to their agendas. But it doesn’t appear that the tragedy will spark an anti-gun movement in Texas: Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick said that he talked to students and parents affected by the shooting, and they all told him their reaction is to support arming teachers.

Of course, that was not the narrative in much of the national media. USA Today set off Twitter alarms with one of the most eye-popping write-ups, an attempt to paint the Texas attack as very similar to other recent school shootings with only two differences: explosives and the use of “less-lethal guns” than the AR-15. I understand their impulse to try to exploit any tragedy to promote the anti-AR-15 rifle agenda, but this was so patently clueless, the story was quickly rewritten after it was cited by critics as the worst coverage of the day.

First of all, the use of explosives (homemade pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs) wasn’t a mere detail, it was a significant factor in derailing the "gun control will fix this" narrative. Will we now have Home Depot do background checks to buy pipes and wire, or Crate & Barrel impose waiting periods for pressure cookers?

Second, the notion that a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver are somehow “less lethal” weapons is staggeringly dumb, especially when the story is about the deaths of ten people (the updated version clarifies that “clearly, the use of any gun can be deadly, especially a shotgun at close range.” Yes, clearly.) Two of the deadliest shootings in US history also took place in Texas and involved pistols: the Luby’s cafeteria attack in 1991 (23 dead, 27 injured) and the Fort Hood shooting (14 dead, 33 injured). So much for pistols being "less lethal."

Several major media outlets also repeated the bogus CNN statistic that there have been 22 school shootings so far this year. That’s only true if you count many incidents that clearly don’t apply, such as a “shooting” with a BB gun, an accident discharge during a gun safety class and attempted robberies in parking lots near schools.

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But the Bad Taste Award for politicizing the deaths of innocents has to go to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who tweeted an “open letter” to President Trump, seemingly blaming him and demanding he do something to prevent such shootings. But his partisan shot backfired, sparking a tsunami of tweets asking, if Democratic mayors know how to prevent shootings, why do so many of their cities have the highest murder rates; and if he’s not trying to politicize these deaths to launch his 2020 presidential run, then why didn’t he also blame previous Presidents for mass shootings that happened on their watches? It was a perfect example of the old saying that when you point your finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you. It’s ironic that that’s also the universal symbol for pretending you’re shooting at someone.

One person who did distinguish himself by his compassionate and selfless response to the tragedy was Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The NFL star was already a local hero for taking the lead in helping raise $37 million last year to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. He called the shootings “absolutely horrific” and reportedly contacted school officials privately to offer to pay for the funerals of the victims himself.

As of now, that’s about all that is known of what happened, and the focus should be on praying for the victims and comforting their families, despite the scorn from those who insist that we must “do something” without suggesting what that "something" might be that would have made any difference.

I’ve mentioned this before, and I know there are millions of Texans who had the same experience: I grew up in a world where the school parking lot was filled with pickups with rifle racks, with rifles in them. But the thought never entered any student's mind to bring one of those rifles into the school and start killing classmates. Memo to USA Today: that’s what’s different. It’s not the weaponry or the laws, it’s the culture.

I’m not sure if it’s the loss of respect for the sanctity of life, an inability to distinguish fantasy violence from reality, the banishment of the Bible from the public square and the erosion of moral standards, an oversensitivity to personal offenses, or some combination of those and other factors. But take away all the guns and this kid still would have built pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs. This isn’t a hardware problem, it’s a software problem. The software is the pressure cookers inside the shooters’ heads. Trying to solve this with more gun control laws is like trying to cure AIDS by coming up with a better ointment for the skin lesions. That’s not the cause of the sickness, it’s just a symptom.


It should come as no surprise that a group like Hamas that’s built on hatred and terrorism would encourage followers to endanger their lives by rioting and trying to invade Israel’s border. It’s also no shock that they would lie about the deaths and injuries to put all the blame on Israel’s defense forces. But it is shocking that someone would deliberately take a baby with a preexisting heart condition into that riot zone then lie and try to blame the baby’s death on Israeli tear gas. And sadly, it’s no longer shocking that the Western media would credulously promote that false anti-Israel narrative without at least asking what kind of monster would expose a baby to that dangerous environment in the first place.

Here’s a story we could all really use today: Guido Filippone would already be a Huck’s Hero in my book, just for his service in the Marines. But he showed that even ten years after rejoining civilian life, he’s still living up to those high Marine standards.

Filippone was leaving a V.A. clinic when he spotted an elderly man in a World War II cap, using a walker to cross a long, hot parking lot to get to his car. Filippone offered to escort him. He discovered the man was World War II veteran Mike Gazella. He’d driven over half an hour from the town of Leander to try to get the V.A. to help cut through red tape and pay for over $4,000 worth of medical bills from his operations that Medicare wouldn’t cover. Filippone offered to help, but Gazella refused. So without Gazella’s knowledge, Filippone turned to fellow vets and set up a GoFundMe account. Within one day, the $4,000 goal was exceeded with $11,000 worth of donations. Filippone said his next move is to go to Leander, where he knows Gazella likes to hang around Starbucks…find which of the town’s two Starbucks he visits (that must be a small town, to have only two Starbucks!…and give him a check to clear his medical debts.

Filippone noted that it would have been easy just to walk away and move on, but he urged others not to do that. He said, “I always say we already have the Greatest Generation—we should be the better generation. Never miss a chance to thank a veteran.”

He’s right. So thank you, Guido and Mike, for your service. And thanks, Guido Filippone for giving us a much-needed reminder that decency, compassion and going out of your way to help a stranger are not extinct in the 21st century.

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Comments 1-12 of 12

  • DustyHickey

    05/20/2018 11:33 AM

    Gov, Appreciate your being here to support your lovely daughter and the President? So very hard today per this media to try to know what is the truth or not anymore. So tired of this the Russians made me do it? No way was I ever going to vote for Hillary as a woman I never liked her ever. I was backing Sen Bernie Sanders per his stand on Single Pay health care. I am Gov an RN worked there for years at the hospital near you HCA in Fort Walton. They scammed him and yet he sits there and has not fought back on what they did the Democrats. I now back this President he is working very hard to help us per JOBS, immigration that has went overboard taken low paying jobs saw here in Georgia WHY? I watched here in my mtns of Ga an immigrant at Walmart sending money on the wire to Mexico and last year $24 Bill sent to Mexico.? Yes, Gov I have traveled Mexico and seen the poverty but we also cannot take in a whole other country. See now Germany and others having problems per the Syrians and others? Where does this stop and when? Now Gov time for all who want what this President is doing to continue to come together and not fight among themselves. So sorry for Sen McCain and his present illness but he has fought from day one this President and the rest either come together or we will fail. SWAMP has not wanted to lose their power and I do not see their standing to help this President but themselves.

  • B J Edwards

    05/20/2018 09:25 AM

    Government run schools teach children that life has no meaning (evolution as fact) , morals are relative (multiculturalism & diversity) and that man, not God is the measure of all things. Then, when a child acts out these teachings and chooses to take their life or the life or the lives of his classmates. . . we are surprised? What is surprising is that there are not more of these indoctrinated children doing what they have been taught. God help us all.

  • Candy King

    05/20/2018 07:51 AM

    I did not see reported anywhere about the school shooting in Illinois last week. I believe it was Wednesday. WHY? Because an armed school resource officer took the shooter down before he had the chance to hurt any kids! Why don't they report that arming teachers and resource officers would help? Because they want to take away all our guns!

  • Jason Miller

    05/19/2018 11:28 PM

    These violent acts are murders not shootings. Every Law abiding firearm owner goes or has been shooting— without a single person being murdered. The anti freedom bigots have long ago changed the language when referring to these criminals as shooters. They are not shooters they are murdering criminals and should be referred to as such.

  • William Schlumpf

    05/19/2018 09:11 PM

    Banning prayer from schools, removing the Bible from classrooms, indoctrinating kids in anti-Biblical philosophies, gun free zones. And a media which makes these kids instantly notorious, are all real contributing factors. Anyone who thinks the AR-15 is less lethal than a shotgun certainly has never fired either. The ar15 was roundly ridiculed as the "mouse gun" when introduced and is banned from big game hunting because it is not "lethal enough" - more apt to injure than kill. As devastating as the shotgun is it pales in comparison to the truck used in Nice which killed 87 and injured 434. But then again we have short memories, don't we.

  • Bill Goldsby

    05/19/2018 07:31 PM

    I read a comment from Occupy Democrats where they were politicizing the death of the teacher in Santa Fe, TX. They blamed the "Gunmakers of the NRA" as a Life Member of the NRA, I didn't realize they were Gunmakers? I always thought we were an association of like minded individuals that feel the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a God Given Right.

  • Firewagon

    05/19/2018 06:30 PM

    Mr. Governor, you are one of the few pointing out that this "Gun Violence" phenomenon is a problem far removed from the object used in this "killer violence." I have long replied to those many "Gun Control," a.k.a. believers in Band-Aid solutions, that, as you stated, America's culture has changed, incrementally, over the past fifty-odd years. We have been reaping the chaff sown, during that time, for the past twenty-odd years! American culture was founded on "religious concepts," and that culture has evolved, negatively, into what is now our "secular society." Check any cultural stat from birth to death, 1960-present, in America, they are ALL in the toilet! When the correct question is asked, "What Has Changed," that is at least one answer, if not the definitive one.

    "....decency, compassion and going out of your way to help a stranger are not extinct in the 21st century." Not completely, thankfully! Sadly, however, though there are exceptions to "what's in it for me," there are far too few in this new "evolved, enlightened, society!" The secularists see it as 'EVOLVED,' & 'ENLIGHTENED,' my old eyes see it as 'DEVOLVED,' & 'UNENLIGHTENED.'

    I think it was you that noted this is not the first instance where our vaunted, highly esteemed, justice and security agencies have attempted to influence our elections. Some instance, back in 2008, involved the FBI in one of our state elections? Scary as that is, more scary is the overall degradation of America's moral standards. I don't fear for our "Republic," as that forewarning by ole Ben, "A Republic, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT," has long been answered as "have NOT been able to keep it," and those Founders would never recognize the country they envisioned. I fear for my grandchildren, as they will never know the country I grew up in!

    Forgive the tome, Gov, but at this stage of my life, it serves better, much cheaper, than pulling an Elvis on that TV of mine.

  • David Bevil

    05/19/2018 05:45 PM

    Only what I have said before......when I was in high school and college, the parking lots during fall and winter were full of vehicles with firearms in them. NO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. What has changed is lack of society morals, parental oversight and caring, and the bombarent of a gone wild violent entertainment industry. God Bless these children and their families.

  • Stephen Russell

    05/19/2018 05:43 PM

    Blame the Leftists & Dems for shootings, since they STALL efforts to make schools safe.
    Proven since Columbine,
    Same Game, same results.
    Kids lose lives

  • Tommy RayTom

    05/19/2018 05:39 PM

    Solutions to help prevent school shootings: No more than 2 entrance doors with metal detectors and armed security guards (preferably ex-military)--all other doors would have alarms when opened, and allow exit, but not entrance; thoroughly trained and armed teachers who agree to carry guns; strong disciplinary action by all schools for students who bully others (specific examples of disciplinary actions and of bullying must be outlined); mandatory training for all students about bullying, strategies to defend themselves against physical or verbal abuse, and procedures to follow for anonymous reporting to school officials; specific policies and training to follow them for school officials and teachers to watch for and stop acts of both physical or verbal abuse with severe penalties for the 1st offense.

  • Amelia Little

    05/19/2018 05:21 PM

    I don't suppose msm is going to cover what Parkland parents said after the Santa Fe shooting, and what you and some other conservative people are doing--do NOT publish these guys' names!!! Don't give them the notoriety they could be looking for. Just "Santa Fe shooter" is all that's needed to be referenced in ANY news story. Now, if true reporters, journalists and others want to delve into the background of the shooter (as opposed to just spouting on about rumors, and of course, blaming President Trump, the NRA etc without ANY evidence,) they will know the name--but they don't have to put it out on the airwaves and on social media. I'm sure there will be some kids from Santa Fe who might put his/their name(s) on their social media, but national "news" sites don't need to repeat it.


    05/19/2018 04:47 PM