Liberals, anti-gun activists and journalists wasted no time at all in politicizing the deaths of 17 people in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday after a gunman went on a rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Eager to advance gun regulation, the Left and the media rushed out dubious statistics, weeping commentators and outright scoldings of the White House for inaction on gun regulation.
A favorite talking point was kicked off by NBC News, which reported that Wednesday’s massacre was the 12th school shooting of 2018. Many commentators jumped on a corrected claim that there have been “18 school shootings” so far in 2018. Brian Williams of MSNBC was one of the talking heads advancing the dubious statistic; Chuck Todd of NBC News was another.
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The statistic is likely from Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group; but the listing also includes suicides and attempted suicides with no efforts to hurt anyone else. The listing even includes an accident at Grayson College in Denison, Texas, where a student fired a real gun — mistaking it for a training gun — into a wall. No one was injured, yet Everytown for Gun Safety and the media included it as a “school shooting.”
Only seven of the attacks listed by Everytown were described as “an attack on other person(s) resulting in injury or death.” Eight are reports of gunfire with no injuries. Two were attempted or completed suicides. One was an accident resulting in injury.
Blaming the NRA. But questionable statistics were the least of it. Most activists and media commentators used insults and emotion to attack critics of gun regulation, and to lash out at President Donald Trump. Others were quick to note whom the NRA supported, as if that support were a problem.
The New York Times immediately listed the top 10 recipients of NRA money in the House and Senate, even posting those individuals’ photos on Facebook.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), one of the top enemies of the NRA in Congress, said the incident was the 19th school shooting of 2018. (Murphy was including a pellet-gun attack in Iowa from among the Everytown statistics.) But he didn’t just politicize the tragedy. He blamed the Senate itself.
“This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America,” said Murphy — forgetting about such incidents as the July 22, 2011, massacre in Norway of 77 children by extremist Anders Behring Breivik. “It only happens here … as a consequence of inaction … As a parent, it scares me to death this body doesn’t take seriously the safety of my children.”
“Shut up” and regulate. CNN’s Don Lemon demanded that people “shut up” and start talking about gun regulation.
“People who are saying, ‘Oh, it’s not the time to talk about guns,’ or whatever,” said Lemon on CNN on Wednesday night. “Yes, it is. Shut up. I don’t want to hear it. It absolutely is.”
But Chris Cuomo topped even that.
“We are the scourge of the world,” said Cuomo on CNN. “Nobody is worse than we are. How does that not make the MAGA agenda?” (He was referencing the Make America Great Again agenda of President Trump.)
Chris Matthews of MSNBC questioned “American exceptionalism” because of the crime.
“This about the American story isn’t so easy to sell,” said Matthews on MSNBC on Wednesday.
Into the gutter. Frustrated gun regulators went deeper into the gutter than expected, and it didn’t matter if they served in the nation’s Capitol building or not.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) scraped the bottom of the barrel with his political discourse. After the president tweeted condolences and prayers to the victims and their families on Wednesday, Moulton attacked the president in unseemly terms.
“You are a dangerous idiot who is too much of a coward to reject the NRA,” Apatow tweeted. “All of this blood is on your hands.”
“I agree with every word @realDonaldTrump said here,” Moulton tweeted. “I invite him to get off his ass and join me in trying to do something about it.”
Hollywood liberal director Judd Apatow attacked Trump.
“You are a dangerous idiot who is too much of a coward to reject the NRA,” Apatow tweeted. “All of this blood is on your hands. You set the agenda.”
And, as to be expected, gun control advocates suggested the weapon used by suspect Nikolas Cruz, age 19, was a machine gun-type weapon. Cruz used an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) suggested Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Cruz used an automatic weapon.
“Here is an automatic weapon, an assault rifle,” said Nelson. “Just look in Florida: Pulse Night club a couple of years ago, a year ago the Fort Lauderdale airport — now this. And that’s just the state of Florida.”
Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News host who now works at NBC News, told her Thursday morning audience that most of the blame falls on the NRA, while pointing the finger at almost everyone and everything.
“The NRA is too powerful, our politicians are too weak, and the guns are too ubiquitous,” Kelly said.