The Left’s grotesque politicization of mass shootings
There is nothing on earth so swift – not the peregrine falcon, not the cheetah – as a liberal in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting.
It is as predictable as the sunrise: Whenever innocent people are murdered by a deranged gunman, liberals immediately assign blame to conservatives, even while the bodies are still warm and the next-of-kin has yet to be identified or informed. They assign blame before the facts are known. They assign blame before the final death toll is reported. They assign blame before the name of the suspected shooter is released. They assign blame even before the suspected shooter’s motives are uncovered.
Details don’t matter to the most ardent, terminally online liberals. To them, conservatives are responsible for all mass shootings, regardless of where the facts may lead.
When a gunman opened fire in Tucson, Arizona, on Jan. 8, 2011, murdering six and severely injuring former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman immediately accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of inciting the killings. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank was not far behind, pushing the same evidence-free charge.
There is no clear link between Palin and the reportedly apolitical shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. There is no evidence Loughner ever saw the infamous district map produced by Palin’s political action committee, which featured congressional districts in crosshairs. There is, however, ample evidence Loughner’s obsession with Giffords began long before Palin became a nationally known figure during the 2008 presidential election.
Neither Krugman nor Milbank nor their respective publications have apologized for the role they played in birthing the Tucson myth. In fact, the New York Times’s editorial board even repeated the falsehood in 2017, for which they were forced to issue two separate corrections.
Even in cases where the gunman is an outspoken left-winger, liberals still see it as an opportunity to attack their ideological opponents. When Bernie Sanders supporter James T. Hodgkinson nearly wiped out the Republican congressional caucus on June 14, 2017, MSNBC anchor Joy Reid didn’t question whether her team may have played some small role in the shooter’s radicalization. Rather, she used the near-assassination of U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) as an opportunity to review unfavorably his voting record, hinting ever-so-gently at the idea that the congressman may or may not have inspired or even deserved his near-death experience.
The liberal response to a mass shooting this weekend at Club Q, a gay club in Colorado, has been more of the same.
The New York Times’s Michelle Goldberg, for example, blamed the shooting on conservative activist Chris Rufo, whom she characterizes as a “entrepreneurial activist who made critical race theory into a major political issue [and then] shifted his focus to ‘gender ideology’ in public schools.” People such as Rufo, Goldberg adds, “[have] been screaming that drag events — like the brunch that should have happened at Club Q on Sunday — are part of a monstrous plot to prey on children. They don’t get to duck responsibility if a sick man with a gun took them seriously.”
Added NBC News “disinformation” reporter Brandy Zadrozny of the right-wing rhetoric and attitudes that supposedly inspire anti-LGBT violence, “It starts from some smaller accounts online like Libs of TikTok, it moves to the right-wing blogosphere, and then it ends up on Tucker Carlson.”
“I talked this morning about an inflection point in this country right now, specifically for reporters,” her NBC reporter colleague Ben Collins said elsewhere on social media, “What are you more afraid of? Being on Breitbart for saying that trans people deserve to be alive? Or are you more afraid of waking up to the news of more dead people?” He added, presumably typing with one hand while using the other to pat himself on the back, “I know what I’m more afraid of. And it ain’t the first thing.”
“[T]he monthslong campaign of targeting trans and gay rights events and supporters… has been a persistent narrative by the anti-LGBTQ Right in the last, you know, six months to the last year,” Collins said later during an in-person appearance on MSNBC, adding “these narratives have taken such hold that they are, in fact, endorsing violence at this point.”
“There are five dead people in a strip mall,” he added, “because that was the only place they felt safe as gay or trans people, in this town, in Colorado Springs.”
On this last point: It may be a small thing, but he doesn’t actually know any of this. He’s not just speculating. He certainly isn’t reporting. Collins is superimposing on five dead people a narrative of his own creation. At least two of the five victims appear to have been straight, so it’s unclear where Collins got the idea the club was the “only place” the victims “felt safe as gay or trans people.” It’s just a story he invented to accompany his baseless assertion that Breitbart News is in some way responsible for the shooting.
On Tuesday, a court filing showed the suspected gunman in the Club Q slayings identifies as “non-binary,” and prefers the pronouns they/them. It’s possible the shooter is playing a sick joke, claiming the pronouns as a means to antagonize the LGBT community and its allies. Who knows? The point is: We don’t know! We don’t know about his motives, his inspiration, etc. But not knowing has never stopped liberals from seizing on mass shooting events to blood libel conservatives. They did it with Tucson, they’re doing it now with the Club Q killings, and they’ll do it again. With zero consequences.
Following reports the suspected gunman in the Club Q shootings identifies as they/them, Collins switched from promoting the evidence-free theory the shooter was inspired by right-wing rhetoric to promoting the narrative that the suspected gunman is the victim of merciless right-wing bullying.
It’d be humorous, were it not so despicable, the shameless cannibalizing of dead people for political gain.
But what else should one expect of the team that has moved increasingly in the direction of abortions with no limits or restrictions whatsoever? Of course they don’t see life as having any inherent value or dignity beyond personal benefit. They don’t see the act of hoisting themselves atop piles of corpses as unseemly or even unethical. They see dead bodies as just another means to an end.
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