Fox News Questions Dallas Attacker's Easy Access To Armored Van, But Not Assault Weapons

Fox News host Steve Doocy questioned why a gunman who attacked Dallas police headquarters was able to legally purchase an armored van but ignored questions about how the gunman acquired an arsenal of firearms and bombs.

Authorities say James Boulware attacked police headquarters in Dallas in the early hours of June 13. The New York Times reported that “officers narrowly escaped injury and death as they dodged bullets” when Boulware opened fire on the headquarters building and vehicles in the parking lot. Boulware also placed pipe bombs outside of the building, at least one of which exploded. Boulware fled in an armored van he had recently purchased online, and following a chase and a standoff, he was killed by a police sniper.

CNN reported that Boulware used “an assault weapon and then a shotgun” in the attack, and some law enforcement sources have speculated that one of his weapons was an automatic rifle.

But on the June 15 broadcast of Fox & Friends, the focus was on Boulware's van -- a modified 1995 Ford he bought in Georgia that was advertised online as a “full armored zombie busting vehicle.” Doocy asked, “Just how did that Dallas police shooter over the weekend get his hands on an armored car that gave him enough protection when he opened fire on cops?” (Reports say Boulware was actually “on foot” when he initially attacked the headquarters.)

Doocy also said, “You would think that selling an armored car just to anybody is not safe,” and, “The question is whether or not this stuff, once it's military surplus, should wind up in the hands of private individuals, because we saw over the weekend that can turn out bad.”

No mention was made of questions surrounding how Boulware acquired the firearms he used in the attack or whether he was legally allowed to possess them. Boulware, who reportedly acted out of anger over a court decision in a custody dispute, was subject to “numerous temporary restraining orders granted to his son's mother,” according to court documents viewed by Crooks & Liars.

In 2013, Boulware was arrested after attacking a relative at their home and leaving the scene with “several firearms, ammo and body armor.” Boulware then allegedly made phone calls in which he threatened to kill family members and attack churches or schools, which prompted the local school district to go into lockdown mode. He was arrested without incident and assault charges against him were eventually dropped.

Fox News frequently uses high-profile shooting incidents in countries that have strict gun laws to attack the idea that firearms should be regulated, but rarely acknowledges the role of firearm policies in high-profile attacks in America, where gun laws are almost always weaker.

For example, Fox News attacked Australia's strict gun laws following a December 2014 incident in Sydney where a gunman with a shotgun held café customers hostage. While reporting on the Sydney situation, Fox News also repeatedly reported on a man who shot six family members to death in Pennsylvania, without questioning whether the United States' comparatively more relaxed gun laws played a role.

Fox News personalities also rushed to blame the January attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on France's strict gun laws, ignoring that overall, there are far more mass shootings and much more gun violence in the United States.