- The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

OPINION:

Another mass shooting has rocked the nation. A seemingly deranged individual, striking out in an act of madness, gunned down eleven people Sunday in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store. News reports said the man charged with the shooting, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was a “white supremacist” who chose the site for his rampage specifically because of the area’s large African American population.

It was the most high-profile of several mass shootings over the past weekend. The United States Department of Justice said it was investigating this one “as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. That, based on a review of the alleged shooter’s online postings, is a study of the obvious.


Here’s some of what we know. Mr. Gendron wrote in his “manifesto” that he had been radicalized by extremist websites promoting hate, intolerance and racial division. “I simply became racist after I learned the truth” from those sites, he wrote.

This apparently isn’t good enough for the members of the chattering classes who view shootings of this kind not just with outrage, as we all do, but as an opportunity to make points that advance the progressive agenda, particularly on gun control and the need to censor media organizations that fail to adhere to the left/liberal party line. Sad to say, they were out front early trying to brand Mr. Gendron as a “conservative” — something he explicitly renounced in his posts — and suggesting his actions were motivated by Tucker Carlson, Rupert Murdoch and the Fox News organization.

As they see it, it is all tied together by a concept known as “replacement theory” Mr. Gendron believed in and which Mr. Murdoch’s critics argue he has given safe harbor on some of his news programs, especially the Carlson show. As theories go, that has about as much credibility as the idea the earth is flat.

Mr. Carlson, whom Mr. Gendron does not mention in his manifesto, has a history of sharply denouncing violence as a means to an end. “Political violence begets political violence. That is always true. There’s an iron wall, it never changes. And we have to be against that no matter who commits the violence or under what pretext,” he said on Jan. 6, 2021, after the U.S. Capitol was defiled by demonstrators, one of whom was shot and killed. “We have a duty to oppose all of this, not simply because political violence kills other people’s children, which it does, but because in the end, it doesn’t work. No good person will live a happier life because that girl was killed in the hallway of the Capitol today.”

To all appearances, Mr. Gendron does not seem to be a responsible individual. Neither are the commentators claiming his radicalization was due in part to what he saw on Fox News and other conservative channels and websites. To claim otherwise is the height of recklessness.

Mass shootings are the responsibility of the person who pulled the trigger. No responsible conservative claimed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was responsible for the assault on an Alexandria baseball field in 2017 in which a supporter of his targeted Republican members of Congress.

Shootings and other acts of violence that lack the mainstream media-approved supremacy stamp quickly fade from the scene. The Buffalo shooting grabbed the headlines, despite several other mass shootings that occurred on roughly the same day because that’s the only one that fits the narrative the progressives are peddling.

They are pushing an agenda and will use any opportunity to do it. They’re not up in arms in the same way over the shootings of 21 people in Milwaukee — leaving three dead — and they don’t seem concerned about how the Laguna Woods, California, church shooter got his gun. Only Buffalo matters in the hourlong, televised dissertations on the possible motives we’re being subjected to. The American people are owed better by the news organizations that claim to be working in their best interests. In the meantime, blame the shooter for his crime, not someone or something else.


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