I’ll give props to Fox News for their overall tasteful coverage of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at least in the 24-hour aftermath. I’ll bet that by Monday they’ll have figured out a way to attack liberals and/or President Obama over it. But in the meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Jon Scott all managed to work in comments letting viewers know that there's no need to consider the shooter’s easy access to guns and whether that had anything to do with the slayings that killed 12 people and wounded 58 more during a midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie.
On The O’Reilly Factor last night, Bill O’Reilly opened his Talking Points commentary with:
Bad things happen to good people. Nobody knows why, it’s just the way life is. Once again, we have mass murder in America and the killer is a young man who simply is out of his mind. It’s nobody’s fault. There’s no policy deficit. It’s just an atrocity that’s impossible to explain.
O’Reilly went on to claim that this was the fifth time in 13 years that an American has committed mass murder. I don’t know what statistics he used but The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence lists hundreds of mass shootings just since 2005. The Brady Campaign counts 60 just since the shooting in Tucson that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January, 2011 but took the lives of six others. In the aftermath of that killing, USA Today wrote that the United States has averaged 20 mass shootings a year for decades. Whether that number has gone up since then or the Brady Campaign uses a lower standard for what it considers a “mass shooting,” it’s pretty clear that O’Reilly’s statistic is at least open to question. It was also designed to suggest there’s no real problem.
O’Reilly concluded his commentary with:
Once again, we have a crazy guy, causing a massive amount of pain and destruction. There’s little else to say.
A report from and interview with Fox’s Jon Scott in Colorado followed.
“Is there a culture in Colorado that is casual about firearms - because you know that’s gonna come up?” O’Reilly asked Scott. He was referring, of course, to the shooting in Columbine, Colorado 13 years ago, not far from Aurora. When he lived in Aurora, O’Reilly said, “Everybody was outdoors, there’s obviously a western tradition where everybody has access to guns and this guy bought his guns legally, I understand.” Then in a not-so-subtle hint to Scott, a Colorado native, O’Reilly said, “They respect firearms there but it isn’t difficult to get them.”
“It is not difficult to get them,” Scott agreed. “I think there is a respect and a healthy kind of respect for firearms here. When I lived here in my early 20’s, I had a rifle rack in the back of my pickup and would, you know, go up into the mountains and plink with a .22. It’s quite common out here. This just seems to be the case of an individual who just snapped.”
Sean Hannity enlisted psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig to help him advance his meme, or tried to, albeit in a more gingerly fashion. “These incidents happen, Doctor, and it’s so senseless,” Hannity said pointedly.
“It’s very hard to predict who is going to be violent,” Ludwig told him. And I’ve no cause to doubt her. She said it sounded as if the shooter suffered “some sort of break” and “in his mind he became part of the movie.”
Later, Hannity broached the topic again. “It was frustrating to me as some people go out there on social media and they start a gun control debate or they start a debate and they want to blame talk radio and so on and so forth. But can’t there just be people that are bad people, that are disconnected from reality?”
Ludwig reached her hand out, as if to touch Hannity and reassure him. But she did not quite give the answer he was looking for. “Absolutely. There can be people who are bad, who are nasty and evil and don’t care about other people. I don’t know if this person fits into that category.”
I can assure you that Hannity try again at a more opportune moment, especially if he can find a way to attack Democrats or liberals at the same time.
But there’s one fact that nobody on Fox can dispute and that’s surely what worries them: that such horrific carnage could only occur when a madman has free access to guns. As Adam Gopnik wrote about the massacre in The New Yorker: "The bullets were fired so freely that they penetrated the wall separating one movie theatre in a multiplex to devastate people in the next one."
Gopnik – whose own child was at a midnight screening of Batman that same night but, thank goodness, in another theater - also noted, “Only in America are gun massacres of this kind routine, expectable, and certain to continue.”
Unless, that is, we make it harder for madmen to get guns.
I say, let the debate begin.
I still believe, only beause it is fact. A gun, or weapon of any sort, has never killed anyone…by itself. It takes a human to create the action. Could there be stricter gun laws that would not kill the 2nd Ammendment? Sure. Does that bother me? No. I have one weapon. I don’t hunt. And stricter gun laws wouldn’t affect me or my life. My whole point wasn’t political…people with political agendas never listen to reason, so, I wasn’t taking that road. I am simply saying, it doesn’t matter how many laws are put in place, no matter how many regulations you impose on the people, you will not stop tragedies with law. Besides, look at history. We can learn so much by studying history. Our own history really is the best way to learn. Hind sight is 20/20.
So vote and push for whatever laws you wish. It’s what makes this such a great nation! We are Americans, free, proud, and a hundred different view points. Whether or not we agree we are still all after the same thing….happiness. I respect your point of view but I dissagree. And that is ok. Laws don’t change insanity; they just restrict the lawful.
I’ve never understood why anyone would need a semiautomatic rifle even if only for hunting. If you need something like that you’re not a hunter you’re a shooter. Thisextends to the rifle this maniac carried.
I’m a Colorado native and lived the biggest share of my life there including lots of time on the Western slope where hunting deer, elk, and other big game is a way of life and the very best hunter I’ve known used nothing but Ruger number one falling block action single shot rifles with iron sights. This guy was also a combat veteran of the military misadventure in southeast Asia. His woodcraft skills were such he could steal your hair and not move your hat, steal your radio and leave you the music. Lots of thought and practice.