Allen Quist blames Accent Signage shooting on "deterioration of the family" [VIDEO]

Quist's response showed a surprising lack of familiarity with the Engeldinger family's story.
Quist's response showed a surprising lack of familiarity with the Engeldinger family's story.

In 2010, Andrew Engeldinger's parents voluntarily enrolled in a 12-week class for families of the mentally ill. During the nearly two years before their son fatally shot five people after being fired from his job at Accent Signage, Engeldinger's parents repeatedly reached out to him in hopes he'd seek treatment for his mental illness.

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Yet during a debate last night, Republican congressional candidate Allen Quist laid the blame for the Accent tragedy and the other recent mass shootings in the country not on guns, mental illness, or a culture steeped in violence, but on the Obamacare-enabled "deterioration of the family."

Last night's Mankato debate between Quist and Democratic Rep. Tim Walz was moderated by Gary Eichten, who at one point asked the candidates: "In light of the Minneapolis workplace shootings a couple of weeks ago, are any changes in federal gun laws needed?"

But Quist quickly steered his response away from gun control. Here's, via the Uptake, is some of how Quist responded, with the raw footage embedded afterward:

The problem is not the gun laws and the problem is not the guns. The problem is the deterioration of the family in the United States of America. I grew up at a time when families were intact and shootings, like, have become commonplace in our day, were unheard of. You look at the correlations between the deterioration of the family and the onslaught of all kinds of social problems including crime, and the correlation is very, very strong.

And we need to start having policies that encourage family strength. Not tear them apart. And this is why, the marriage penalty in Obamacare absolutely, absolutely terrifies me. Because BF Skinner said correctly whatever you punish, you get less of. And for us to have policies that further damage the family is unconscionable.

Walz, for his part, said "I don't think it's the issue of guns, or gun ownership... I'm a strong believer the 2nd Amendment is very clear where that's at, I own them, use them, and use them wisely."

"Insurance companies still deny care for mental health care," Walz continued. "In the case of the shooting in Minneapolis, the family begged, and begged, and begged to get that young man the help that he needed, he didn't get it, and it manifested itself in this... [The issue] lies in how we treat mental health."

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