The shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart was a horrible tragedy. We all know this. We also all know that it’s yet another opportunity for anti-gunners to use the bodies of the victims as a soapbox to push for gun control.
Part of that effort, as always, is the media. They tend to create stories and links in an effort to sway public opinion one way or another.
Take this recent piece from the New York Times:
The massacre at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., is the second high-profile shooting in less than two weeks in the state, long a center of the national battle over gun policy. Nine days before the attack on Tuesday, in which at least six people were killed, three students at the University of Virginia were fatally shot on Nov. 13.
Virginia, the longtime home of the National Rifle Association, has historically been dominated by conservatives who favored more permissive gun laws. But after Democrats took full control of the state government in 2019, they passed a significant package of changes.
Policies they passed in 2020 included universal background checks, reporting requirements for lost or stolen firearms, a limit of one handgun purchase per month for most people, and a red-flag law that allows authorities to seize guns from people who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.
All of this is, of course, true. However, there’s a big old “but” coming.
Even so, Virginia — site of one of the country’s worst mass shootings, the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech — remains permissive in some ways. For example, it allows the open carrying of handguns without a permit, with some exceptions.
There it is.
Note that this piece starts by invoking Chesapeake, then notes that Virginia allows open carry. It’s almost as if they’re trying to link the two together.
Over at Breitbart, A.W.R. Hawkins clearly thinks so.
As Hawkins notes, though, Walmart prohibited open carry in 2019, so that law was completely irrelevant to what happened in Chesapeake.
Further, I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure Walmart has never allowed its regular employees to open carry while at work, so again, that is largely irrelevant.
Now, are they actually trying to make a link? Maybe.
It’s also possible that they’re just trying to use Chesapeake to push for a repeal of open carry and any other pro-gun laws they can think up. That’s par for the course for anti-gun journalists, and that is unfortunately almost all in the national media.
Either way, it’s absolutely disgusting.
Innocent people were murdered, for crying out loud. They went to work at what many of us would think of as a fairly safe job, only they didn’t get to go home. To use them to advance a political narrative, especially one that wouldn’t have helped them beforehand, is about as vile as it comes.
These people are dead, killed at the hands of a coworker–one who was tasked with leading them, not killing them. They are not puppets or proxies but people. They’re not soapboxes or stepping stones from which some can reach out and press their perceived advantage.
And yet, I wish I could say I was shocked at the Times doing this, but I’m not. I know the instant there is a mass shooting, there will be someone looking to take advantage of it for political purposes.
It’s a shame, to say the least. However, this is also just the beginning.
See, if we politicize it, we’re vile and despicable, but they get to talk about assault weapon bans even before all the facts are in and no one criticizes it.
And yet, they wonder why we claim the media is biased.
It’s an absolute mystery.