GOP presidential candidate Ramaswamy talks about mood post-shooting in Perry during stop in Mason City

MASON CITY — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was scheduled to have a campaign event in Perry this morning about an hour after the shooting, but his campaign canceled the event and converted it into a prayer & open conversation. Ramaswamy’s next stop was in Mason City where he talked about his experience earlier in the day in Perry. 

He says the mood was somber.  “It opened my eyes to the fact that people are so hungry for breaking down the silos, actually opening their hearts. I would say that there were a lot of emotions expressed, a lot of tears had in that room, but I think we came out stronger for it. My heart goes out to the families. I can’t imagine the parents who have to suffer what they did and their kids being in a high school when something like that happened.”

Ramaswamy says more money should be allocated for armed guards and beefing up security in our schools. “If something may come out of it, let it be to say we’ll never let this happen again. Three armed security guards in every school across this country, that should be non-negotiable. I’ve been saying that since day one of this campaign. For less than a quarter of the Department of Education’s budget — we can actually dissolve the Department of Education, and for 20% of that, put three armed security guards to make sure that never happens again. We have to get serious about protecting our children.”

Ramaswamy says we have a psychological sickness at the core of our country right now.  “I think we have a psychological sickness spreading across this country where people are so lost for purpose and direction, unmoored and ungrounded from the family, and ungrounded from even their country, that they go on motivated by social media. I don’t know what the specifics are in this case, but they talking about the number of shootings over the course of the last several years motivated by social media and exploited by a lot of cynical forces that put people who are lost and psychiatrically ill up to do dangerous things.”

Ramaswamy expects Democrats to call for removing guns from law-biding citizens instead of trying to strengthen protection for school kids. “I think that holding our kids hostage over their crusade against the Second Amendment, to say if you don’t do this, this is what’s going to happen — we know how to put an end to school shootings. It’s three armed security guards at every school across this country, that solves this problem and puts it behind us. I would just say let us not fall for their trick or their trap, making the worst policy decisions that we do in the wake of a tragedy.”

Ramaswamy spoke to about 75 people gathered at The Corner Pizza and Alehouse in downtown Mason City.