After nearly every school shooting, right-wing media scramble to find reasons why guns should not be blamed for gun violence.
After 10 people were killed during a mass shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, TX, pro-gun proselytizers in the conservative media sphere insisted that gun safety laws would not have prevented the shooting and instead pointed to other aspects of American culture that they said required reform. Here are some of the excuses right-wing pundits offered for the May 18 shooting:
- Fox News guest Howard Safir suggested that the Common Core curriculum may be responsible.
- Fox host Jon Scott faulted “violent and realistic video games.”
- NRA President-elect Oliver North blamed the “culture of violence” in the media and Ritalin.
- NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield said, “Taking God out of our culture … is at least partly to blame for the violence we see today.”
- NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch said schools have insufficient security and proposed redirecting funding from Planned Parenthood and “double locking doors” as possible solutions.
- Loesch also doubled down on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s argument that “too many entrances and too many exits” were increasing the risk for school shootings.
- Fox’s Jason Chaffetz placed responsibility on mental health issues and “politically correct culture.”
- Conservative radio host Buck Sexton suggested that a lack of guns on campus may be to blame.
- Conservative radio host and MSNBC commentator Hugh Hewitt said the school’s lax policy on trench coats may bear some responsibility.
- NRA board member Ted Nugent blamed school shootings on unhealthy diets.
- Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren attributed the rise in mass shootings in part to “the breakdown of the American family.”
- Far-right conspiracy theorists suggested antifa might have inspired the shooting.
In February, after the school shooting in Parkland, FL, claimed 17 lives, conservative media took the very same approach:
- Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce claimed that talking about firearms doesn’t get to the “core issue” of “the human condition.” She and the hosts of Fox & Friends also blamed drugs, virtual reality, and video games for the shooting.
- Radio host Michael Savage tweeted that “liberal judges and the ACLU” were to blame.
- Fox guest Lou Palumbo blamed “the media, the entertainment industry,” and “the lack of parenting.”
- Fox News contributor Kevin Jackson blamed “Leftist-run schools” and falsely claimed that the shooter was linked to antifa.
- Fox News host Laura Ingraham blamed “mental illness”and “broken or damaged families” for the shooting on her show.
- The Gateway Pundit suggested that the shooter supposedly being a registered Democrat was a factor. (He was not actually a registered Democrat; the blog was forced to correct the story.)
- Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter blamed the FBI’s Russia probe for the shooting, tweeting, “The FBI was too busy trying to undermine the president to bother with doing it's (sic) freaking job.”
- The Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson suggested that the shooting was related to the shooter growing up without a father.
- Liberty One TV’s Joe Biggs (formerly of Infowars) tweeted that the FBI was “too busy chasing Trump/Russia nothing burgers” to have prevented the shooting.
- Pamela Geller falsely claimed that the shooter was connected to antifa and Islamic terrorist groups.
- Laura Loomer shared a fake photo of the shooter and speculated that he was a “radical leftist” with potential ties to antifa and Islamic resistance groups.
- Infowars claimed that the “MSM” (mainstream media) was “already covering it up” that the shooter was likely a “Democratic voter” and had clothing “similar to the style worn by ISIS fighters in Syria.”