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.
It’s not 12 people in a movie theater, but an 86 year old man (allegedly) murdered 10 people and injured 70 more by speeding into a crowded farmers market in California. He claimed loss of control, yet managed to miss all of the cars and trucks in 2+ blocks before running into innocent victims.
I think you’re on to something. There are approximately 250 million registered cars and 270 million guns in the United States. Each year there are approximately 40 thousand people killed by automobiles and 30 thousand people killed by guns (all cause mortality in both cases).
From this, we can infer the lethality of each given device. For automobiles, there are about 6,200 registered vehicles per person killed by them. For guns, there are about 9,000 registered guns per person killed by them. Therefore, automobiles are about 1.4 times more effective at killing than guns. And that really says something, because a gun’s sole purpose is to kill, whereas a vehicle, not so much.
I would fully support a ban on automobiles. Now, the gun control… that’s a toughie. Not that I’m against it, but you would have to completely overhaul the way guns are bought, sold, and traded, which would mean taking on the gun industry, the NRA (the NAMBLA of gun nuts, if you will), various right wing loonies, people who “want to take back their country”, and other people who think that regulation is equivalent to banning (as you point out as one of their favorite straw-men).
What would that overhaul look like? I think it would be a lot like the DMV. In fact, let’s call it the Division of Mechanical Weaponry. We could even combine the two offices for government efficiency!
It would work similarly to vehicle titling and registration. All weaponry must have a unique WIN (Weaponry Identification Number) assigned to it, either by the manufacturer, or by the DMW. Private sales of weaponry would require a change of title, which can only be done at the DMW or authorized weaponry dealerships, in person, by both parties. Commercial sales would work much the same. At time of sale, a licensing check will be performed (why is it that the DMV immediately knows when I get a parking ticket in the City, yet it takes days or longer to find out if I’m a convicted felon?). Assuming there are no irregularities, the sale and transfer of title is approved and is registered to the new owner.
By Sunday, they’ll be back to focusing on important things like Obama’ elementary school record, why Mittens will make a great
MLP, you are so right- if everyone in that theatre had a gun, all that would have happened is that someone who panicked would have fired a shot, and the next person to lose it would have shot at him. Then so on, so forth.
The scenario like that scene in “The Rock” where they were about to take the Marines peacefully, then the guy who wanted to kill them all kneed a rock over a ledge because he knew everyone was already so tense they would go full trigger.
Even if this turns out to be a second coincidence, two words: second coincidence. Let’s review:
Most people think that O’Reilly has Knoxville and Tiller’s blood on his hands.
San Francisco still thinks Beck should be up on charges for Williams, and that was at least the third shooting that fit a Beck Narrative.
Sean Hannity and the two radio hosts Lars Larson and Michael Savage are believed to be the largest endorsements of Tea Party racism.
Sarah Palin’s violent rhetoric is legend, and she had a vendetta against Giffords. The Tuscon shooting didn’t even pretend to be a wake up call for her stupid ass.
So yeah- you keep thinking that this will “fade quickly” because it’s not about your precious Princess Sarah. I think this will be haunting the right for a while, because a lot of people are starting to remember a lot of shootings with a strong case that they inspired the shooter.
A dark theater, the killer has an AR-15 with a 100-round barrel magazine and apparently, has set off 2 concealment devices. Oh, and he’s wearing bullet resistant apparel from head to toe. People are running in all directions in a panic.
But some hero realizes immediately what is occurring, finds his target, pulls out his handgun, fires, and takes the villain down before he can do any real damage. The crowd is safe, thanks to MORE guns!!!!
That kind of stupidity is what Fox News and the NRA depend upon for their existence.