After Oregon Shooting, The 5 Worst Responses To Mass Shootings Over The Years
There has been another mass shooting, this time at an Oregon high school. Two people died on Tuesday when a gunman walked into Reynolds High School, shot a student, and then killed himself. It’s the fourth mass shooting in less than a week, and the third school shooting in the last month.
Two things inevitably happen after mass shootings: First, gun control groups call for stricter gun laws, and second, somebody opposed to gun laws says something crazy. So far, there haven’t been any tasteless or offensive comments about the Oregon shooting from prominent public figures, but if the past is any guide, there will be soon. There have been plenty of terrible reactions to mass shootings over the decades. Here are five of the worst.
It’s Facebook’s Fault
After the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, just about everyone tried to figure out what could have possibly motivated the shooter. Conservative psychologist Keith Ablow, notable for his crusade against boys who wear nail polish, went on Fox News to speculate that maybe Mark Zuckerberg shares some of the blame.
“There are a lot of dehumanizing forces that come with [a mass shooting],” Ablow said. “Reality TV is no friend of preventing such things. Facebook is no friend of preventing such things.”
Mmkay. Moving along...
It’s Taxpayer-Funded Contraception’s Fault
Former Arkansas Governor and reliable crazy person Mike Huckabee had another theory: The Sandy Hook shooting happened because of contraception! Taxpayer-funded contraception, to be exact.
“Christian-owned businesses are told to surrender their values under the edict of government orders to provide tax-funded abortion pills,” Huckabee claimed, incorrectly, on his TV show during a segment about Sandy Hook. “We’ve escorted [God] out of our culture and marched him off the public square, and then we express our surprise that a culture without him reflects what it’s become.”
Not content to blame merely one aspect of liberalism for the massacre, Huckabee also suggested that the shooting could have been prevented if prayer was allowed in public schools.
“We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee explained. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
It Didn’t Actually Happen
After most mass shootings, the NRA and its minions rush to explain why gun control isn’t the answer. One such minion, radio broadcaster Alex Jones, came up with a novel explanation: The shooting didn’t actually happen.
“I wish it wasn’t the case, but all the earmarks, all the evidence, points to this being a staged event,” Jones said. “You have the United Nations treaty, where they only need a few senators who are on the fence to vote for it, that Obama says he’s gonna sign in the next week and a half. We have that treaty in trouble, on a razor’s edge, and then magically, this happens, within hours.”
We imagine the families of the victims might take issue with the claim that the shooting didn’t happen, as well as the suggestion that magic played a role in the massacre.
Sadly, Jones isn’t alone in this nutty line of thinking: A group of “Sandy Hook truthers” emerged after the Newtown massacre, alleging that the whole thing was a fabrication.
It Did Happen, So Let’s Celebrate The Shooter
In one of the most bizarre and disturbing cultural developments in recent memory, Aurora shooter James Holmes managed to accumulate a cult following after slaughtering 12 people in Colorado. Mashable identified no less than two dozen James Holmes fan pages, with his supporters — "the Holmies," as they call themselves — posting adoring fan art of the mass murderer, passing along instructions on how to write him in jail, and posing in plaid shirts to show solidarity with him (Holmes was apparently wearing plaid when he went on his rampage).
The Holmies' motivations seem to vary. Some qualify their interest, claiming to be interested but not sympathetic to the shooter, while others outright idolize him.
It's a weird thing. A weird, sad, upsetting thing.
The Shooter Was Probably Gay
The mass shooting at UCSB in May brought out a different type of reaction, given the shooter’s outspoken misogyny and hatred of women. This led some people to speculate that maybe the blame lied, in part, with rape culture; it one Fox News guest to speculate that maybe the shooter was secretly gay.
“When I was first listening to him, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s angry with women for rejecting him,” TV psychotherapist Robi Ludwig said. “But then I started to have a different idea: Is this somebody who’s trying to fight against his homosexual impulses? Was he angry at women who were trying to take away men from him?”
If you’re wondering what evidence Ludwig had to support that point, you just heard the extent of it.