Charleston mayor: Huckabee's call to arm churches 'so nutty I can’t even talk'
Mike Huckabee at a book signing at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The mayor of Charleston, South Carolina questions the sanity of Mike Huckabee's argument that better-armed parishioners could have stopped a deadly, racist terrorist attack that took place last week inside a church.


"That is so insane.  That is so nutty I can’t even talk," Joseph Riley told radio host Alan Colmes on Wednesday. "It’s crazy. Absolutely crazy. We want everybody to carry a gun and then you have everybody carrying a gun and then somebody gets upset and pull it out because they got it handy and they got mad all of a sudden and rather than argue, or take a swing at somebody, they just kill them. It’s crazy, that is insane."

Riley's remarks came after Huckabee, who is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination, dismissed calls for tighter gun regulations in the wake of the June 17 terrorist attack at a church that killed nine people. The murders were racially motivated.

Huckabee told Fox News last Friday that, "the one thing that would have at least ameliorated the horrible situation in Charleston would have been that if somebody in that prayer meeting had a concealed carry or if there had been either an off-duty policeman or an on-duty policeman — somebody with a legal authority to carry a firearm that could have stopped the shooter.”

During a taping of Colmes' Fox radio show, the network's left-leaning talk host asked Riley, the Democratic mayor of Charleston since 1975, to respond to Huckabee's remarks.

When Colmes pointed Huckabee's remarks out to Riley, the 10-term mayor -- who has been in office since 1975 -- quickly called them "ridiculous"

"I mean I knew these people," Riley said. "I’m looking that their pictures right now in front of me. They weren’t going to be carrying handguns. You want an 87-year old retired lady or you want a minister to be carrying a handgun or a 78-year old retired lady that used to work for the city of Charleston? ... You want those elderly people carrying handguns? Is that the best we can do in America?"