Aurora theater shooting
When a radio host asked me what I thought of the massacre in Aurora, Colo., I had to ask for clarification. I said: "What do you mean? Who could deny it's an unspeakable tragedy?"
What he was really asking me was to address it in a political context. The problem is that I don't believe there was any political context to the shooting; not everything is political.
Our friends at MRCTV have a great new video that goes through a short history of the liberal media's penchant for hastily laying the blame for spree shootings and other violent attacks on conservatives. Yet time after time, when all the facts came out, we learned that it was anything but conservatives behind each and every incident. Of course, by the time all the facts came out, the media spin and speculation had already sowed the seeds of misinformation. As is to be expected, some of the worst offenders were MSNBC talent like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz.
My personal favorite of the ones that narrator Dan Joseph recounts is the media's rush in 2009 to speculate that suicidal U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was murdered by some anti-government extremists -- whipped up no doubt by the Tea Party movement -- when in fact it turns out Sparkman staged the scene of his hanging to look that way. You can watch the full video in the embed that follows the page break.
During Tuesday night's edition of “The O'Reilly Factor,” the Fox News host got into a heated exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the concept of Congress passing legislation that the FBI would be notified whenever anyone purchases “heavy weapons.”
Bill O’Reilly said it makes sense for Congress “to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed.”
*Corrected from earlier | WRAL, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., recently published a searchable database of concealed carry licensees within the "WRAL viewing area, including Chatham, Cumberland, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Nash, Northampton, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren, Wayne, Wilson and Wake counties." Searches do not turn up names or street numbers, but they do give a number of permits issued to residents on that street.
The search form for the database appears within a story filed July 12 (updated July 20 -- the day of the Aurora, Colo., shooting), entitled "Rural areas lead in concealed weapons permit rates." Numerous conservative blogs have been taking WRAL to task for the decision, including native North Carolinian Sister Toldjah (emphasis hers):
While discussing gun control on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, correspondent Mike Viqueira lamented: "...the anti-gun control, pro-gun rights crowd has won the argument at this point....they've succeeded in framing the issue as one of essential American national values." In response, host and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd ranted: "...nobody has sort of a rational policy debate about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd began the segment by whining over the lack of gun regulation:
CNN forced gun control into the headlines just hours after Friday's tragic Aurora shooting, and five days later it continues to pressure Democrats into pushing for more gun regulation. On Wednesday afternoon, CNN's Brooke Baldwin asked this question of a Colorado state Democrat:
"I have to challenge you, why hasn't your party, the Democratic Party, done more to legislate guns, because as you know that Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004?" Baldwin asked the same question of Philadelphia's Democratic mayor on Friday.
Who wasn't shocked and disheartened by yet another tragic mass shooting, this time in Aurora, Colo.?
Like millions of Americans, my wife, Gena, and I send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims of this murderous spree and their families.
In lock step with his network's anti-gun push, CNN analyst David Gergen praised Bill Clinton's "guts" for standing up for gun control, on Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360.
"Listen, there was a president named Bill Clinton who had the guts to stand up on these issues," said Gergen of Clinton's push for gun regulations as president. "Three laws. And he got re-elected."
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Within recent memory are tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 massacre at Columbine, the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson. Some politicians and liberal interest groups have sought to link these and other violent incidents to the far right. There have also been incidents when some conservatives have tried to blame other tragedies on "liberals" "secularists" and abortion.
"Doesn't Trayvon Martin actually have the right to kill George Zimmerman if George Zimmerman is stalking him and the police have told him not to stalk him?"
This question was actually asked Tuesday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight by schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore during a discussion about gun laws in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Updated below: Kelly replies via Twitter.
Washington Post Metro columnist John Kelly usually avoids controversial political subjects and often does "answer man" features about local D.C.-area history, making his feature overall an enjoyable read. But from time to time Kelly works in his liberal bias, just as when he bashed conservative talk show hosts as "right-wing nutjobs" and when he weighed in against the so-called Tebow bill that would allow homeschoolers to join local high school sports teams.
Today, Kelly offered an idea of his for a gun control measure but concluded by grousing that it probably would never get passed into law because those pesky "Second Amendment absolutists" would get in the way and so, "we'll just continue to accept that the price for having a well-regulated militia is that homicidal maniacs will be able to buy guns as easily as buying tickets to a movie."
Updated (see bottom of post) | Today's Letters to the Editor section of the Washington Post contains five letters on the topic of gun control, three oriented towards more gun control and two expressing a pro-gun rights/enforce-the-laws-on-the-books position.
But one letter in particular is egregious as it contains a huge factual error that Post editors failed to correct: that President Obama signed legislation in 2009 that allows concealed carry in all National Parks.