The morning after a fatal mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, TX, (not to be confused with another mass shooting in Dayton, OH, about 13 hours later), Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was one of many conservative lawmakers who declined a request to discuss the shootings on CNN’s State of the Union -- but Patrick did find time to appear on Fox & Friends, where he demanded that the federal government “do something about the video game industry” to fight mass shootings.
Patrick stressed that the shooter “wanted to be a super-soldier, for his Call of Duty game,” referencing a popular first-person shooter video game, and claimed that “we’ve always had guns, we’ve always had evil, but what’s changed” is now we have “a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.” Patrick admitted the El Paso shooting was “obviously a hate crime, I think, in my view, against immigrants,” before going on to also blame “bullying people on social media” and complain that “we won’t let our kids even pray in our schools” and “we no longer salute our flag.” Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Griff Jenkins saluted Patrick’s “very important points.” They are not very important points, but they are among the lieutenant governor’s bad-faith distractions from the shooting, including warning antifa to “stay out of Texas” after the massacre (which he delivered on Fox News on Saturday).
Patrick did mention 8chan, the website where the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter and two more inspired by him (including El Paso) posted manifestoes before shooting, but Patrick used the website’s role to again attack video games and the supposed godlessness of society, instead of noting the actual 8chan link of white nationalism. Throughout the interview, Patrick and the hosts all resisted any talk of gun violence prevention policy, in order to, as host Pete Hegseth put it, “move past the platitudes and the politics” of the mass shooting epidemic.
CNN host Jake Tapper publicly called out Patrick and other Republicans for avoiding interview requests after the shootings, but it makes perfect sense that Patrick would spin his nonsense on the “news” network that also falsely claims video games make people kill. It’s always anything except the gun.