AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
The ultimate blame for any mass shooting rests on the shooter themselves. While we can discuss any outlying factors, such as hateful rhetoric inciting such an attack–you know, like calling ICE detention facilities “concentration camps” just days before someone attacks one–the ultimate responsibility for pulling a trigger on a human life belongs to the person who pulled the trigger.
That should be about as non-controversial a point as one can make.
Unless, of course, you work for NBC apparently.
NBC over the weekend pushed gun control repeatedly, casually dismissing calls for focusing culpability on the perpetrators of mass shooters as simply a talking point of “gun control opponents.” The Today show also touted using children to promote the gun control agenda.
On Sunday, reporter Mike Viqueira sounded annoyed that Donald Trump would blame the shooters: “At his New Hampshire rally, Thursday, no mention of checks on criminal records, only for mental health history. The President echoing a familiar argument of gun control opponents.”
He then played a clip of Trump noting, “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger. It’s the person holding the gun.” The quote from Trump was the only one in the segment to express skepticism for gun control. Viqueira also featured the Democratic mayor of San Francisco, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings and Democrat Cory Booker.
The problem is, Trump’s right. It is the person holding the gun that’s the issue.
From a strategic standpoint, I can’t help but feel like gun control advocates would do well to latch onto this idea that it’s the shooter’s fault. They could then leverage that into trying to justify something like universal background checks. “Oh, of course it’s the person pulling the trigger, so…”
But, they won’t. Instead, they act like Viqueira. They present it as just another talking point.
Frankly, I’m fine with that. It’s not like any of us would back universal background checks anyway no matter what attempts at logic they’d make. A bad idea is still a bad idea.
However, what Viqueira failed to do was actually find any legitimate way to show the president was wrong. Of course, that’s because he can’t. The shooter is always responsible for his or her actions, regardless of whatever other factors might play a role. Those other factors are a point worthy of discussion, to be sure, but anti-gunners and their allies in the media routinely ignore that. They want to blame everyone but the killers.
No. Sorry, they don’t get a pass for that.
Look, I can be critical of the president. I’ve done it. I’ll continue to do so if I think he’s wrong on something. In this case, he’s not.
Yet the media doesn’t like that. They don’t like placing the blame where it belongs because they prefer to blame everyone else. They want to hit the president for El Paso. They want to blame income inequality or something for the violence in Chicago. They want to place to blame on anyone or anything they can think of.
Anyone or anything except, of course, the jackwagon pulling the trigger. As a result, they’re going to blow it off when the president calls it right.