Texas state lawmaker calls for ‘praying for protection’

A Texas Republican state representative said he opposes stricter gun laws and that people should instead be “praying for protection” hours after a mass shooting shook West Texas.

Republican Matt Schaefer posted on Facebook Saturday that “so-called gun-control solutions” won’t “stop a person with evil intent,” and that people should instead pray for victims and those with “evil intent.”

“‘Do something!’ is the statement we keep hearing,” he wrote. “As an elected official with a vote in Austin, let me tell you what I am NOT going to do. I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent.”

Later in the post he continues: “What can we do? YES to praying for victims. YES to praying for protection. YES to praying that God would transform the hearts of people with evil intent.”

Schaefer wrote he supported “discipline in the homes” and “fathers not leaving their wives and children,” while saying he opposes many proposals backed by Democratic presidential candidates — universal background checks, so-called red flag gun laws, bans on AR-15s and high-capacity magazines and a mandatory gun buyback.

The Texas Republican wrote the “root of the problem” is “Godless, depraved hearts,” in another Facebook post.

A gunman in West Texas went on a shooting spree on Saturday, randomly firing from his vehicle and then from a hijacked mail truck. Seven people were killed, according to Odessa Police PIO Steven LeSueur. Police killed the gunman in a shootout.

The suspect in the shooting used an AR-type weapon, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke.

The West Texas Saturday shooting comes after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in early August.

CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.