South Carolina state representative William Chumley is a firm supporter of the Confederate flag. He also appears to place the blame the victims of the Charleston church shooting for their deaths.
In a 23 June interview on CNN's Anderson 360, Chumley argued that the Confederate flag should remain in place at the statehouse. Chumley told reporter Drew Griffin that his constituents do not want the controversial flag to be taken down He blamed "misuse and misunderstanding" for leading the debate this far.
"Why do we let hate groups dictate how we feel and how we live?" the state representative responded when Griffin asked him why he would not remove the flag even after it had been adopted by hate groups.
Surprisingly, those were his least shocking comments during the three-minute long segment.
"These people sat in there, waited their turn to be shot," Chumley said about the victims of the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof. "That's sad. But somebody in there with the means of self-defence could have stopped this. And we'd have had less funerals than we're having."
Chumley said that one of the victims could have stopped "skinny" Roof, who even had time to reload his weapon.
The 21-year-old, who was arrested by police in Shelby, North Carolina 14 hours after the brutal shooting, stands accused of shooting and killing nine churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Roof allegedly wrote and published a manifesto online indicating he wanted to start a race war.