After Batman Theater Shooting, Rightbloggers Rush to Defend What's Important: Guns, Themselves
Last week's terrible incident in Aurora, Colorado in which 70 people were shot, 12 fatally, at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises made many of us think about how awful these episodes of senseless violence are, how precious and fragile life is, and that we should stay close and be good to our loved ones.
Rightbloggers wanted to make sure no one said anything bad about them or assault weapons.
Pre-Aurora, rightbloggers were psyched to celebrate the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, as an important work of conservative philosophy -- like Atlas Shrugged, only less cartoonish. "TDKR MAGNIFICENT ... AND MOST CONSERVATIVE FILM EVER," gushed Ben Shapiro at Breitbart's Big Hollywood. At RedState, Matt Rooney, playing off President Obama's "you didn't build that" speech, declared "Obama Must Not Think Batman Deserves Credit for Wayne Enterprises." And that would be ridiculous!
Rooney also claimed that "it's been reported that President Obama's supporters plan to use the Batman villain 'Bane' from this summer's new movie, The Dark Knight Rises, to attack Governor Mitt Romney," though the chief promulgator of this peculiar idea about Bane has been Rush Limbaugh.
Eventually the movie came out, and rightbloggers enjoyed explaining, as they have with other Batman movies, how it proved Batman was rightwing like them ("Batman, One Percenter?"), and that Princess Leia would like them if she got to know them.
But regrettable events overtook them and they had to move to a new set of absurd generalizations.
At first their outrage was attracted by an on-air report by ABC News' Brian Ross on the shooter's identity after his name, but no details, had been revealed. Ross said this: "There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."
A large number of people mocked Ross and even called for him to be fired -- including liberals like Gawker's John Cook and Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. But rightbloggers, convinced Ross' error was part of a conspiracy against them personally, enhanced their dudgeon with the sort of exquisite butthurt for which they have become universally known.
"We simply cannot stand by any longer and let them get away with passing off such brazen partisanship as 'news,'" foamed Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom. "These are propagandists in league with the Democrats and the 'progressives.' They are the disinformation arm of the democratic socialist coup happening in this country right now. The activist press needs to be beaten back just as aggressively as politicized justices and imperial Presidents. No more. No more. No more."
"[The media] know how to be exquisitely sensitive and non-prejudgey when it might be a Muslim or some other protected minority," fumed Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit -- hm, "protected minority," OK -- "so maybe," he continued, "the only way to encourage them to show better judgment the rest of the time is to cost some people their jobs." Reynolds also linked to a Dave Swindle item he called "a roundup of 'progressive' scapegoating, some of it racist" -- but the linked page just shows liberals making unremarkable statements like "America is a violent country"; there's nothing about race except Swindle's own reference to a book by a black guy who "chose to blame unemployment for inspiring inner city drug dealers to break the law." Presumably Reynolds just scanned it, noticed black people were quoted, and decided this meant racism against white people.
Media Research Center president Brent Bozell demanded Ross "apologize to Good Morning America's audience, the James Holmes he falsely implicated of mass murder, and, most of all, to each and every person in Colorado directly or indirectly affected by this horrific tragedy," which would require an awful lot of stationery.
"[Ross] didn't care if it was true or not," clairvoyanced Ridiculous Pseudonym at Wake Up America. "...He just wanted to make the connection in the viewer's minds. In the process, he tarnished every person who happens to be named James or Jim Holmes." Ridic Pseud also suggested the anchor had made the mistake deliberately in anticipation of "a congratulatory slap on the back from his bosses at ABC" for slurring the Tea Party. "If ABC was sincere they'd fire Ross," he continued. "The least they should do is a descent feature on tonight's news with a very penitent Brian Ross offering more than just a few mea culpas!"
"I've documented the Blame Righty impulse extensively," bragged Michelle Malkin. "Sarah Palin is the most prominent conservative to encounter this tactic..."
Joel B. Pollak of Breitbart's Big Government also denounced the Ross error -- and then announced that the shooting suspect "could be a registered Democrat, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News." Much later, Pollak revealed "newly-released information... suggest[s] that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote." But by then, Drudge had picked it up, so now your grandmother believes it.
Meanwhile, Daily Pundit Bill Quick leaned, and leaned hard, on the theory the attack was the work of an Islamic terrorist.
"Here's the obligatory instantaneous 'no indications of terrorism' announcement from the authorities," he scoffed. "...And, of course, 'one gunman' couldn't be a terror attack. Just as, I suppose, one splodeydope suicide bomber couldn't be one, either - because that would be a 'one-off.' I suppose if you work hard enough at it, you can twist your definition of 'terror attack' to the point that it only defines the acts of white male Christian killers..."
Quick went on a good, long while like this. "Just as with Major Nidal Hasan," he thundered, "even overwhelming evidence of Islamic connections, beliefs, and violent intentions will not be enough to label the attack as Muslim terrorism - until several years afterwards." He also speculated that "the anti-American left" -- a rock band from Columbus, Ohio, we think -- "is probably teetering between joy and terror: joy at the possibility that this atrocity was carried out by another white, bitter, clinger, and fear that it will turn out to be motivated, as have so many other attacks all over the world, by the spirit of violent Islamic jihad."
Later, Quick complained that "the fellating tools of the media have finally moved to the obligatory three-name version of the whackjob's name," when clearly such people should be referred to as Presumed Muslim Terrorist.
But the Other Holmes Affair receded as a topic as rightbloggers noticed that some people were, in the wake of the mass murder, talking smack about one of their blessed sacraments.
"At APM," said All Patriots Media, "we abhor these disgusting attacks by news organizations and political leaders who have so little information, and consistently desire to eliminate citizen's rights under the guise of safety."
All Patriots Media was referring to the reasonable observation that, given the ease with which Holmes obtained an assault rifle and ammo, more safeguards on ownership of such weapons may be called for.
This is heresy among rightbloggers, and the assault on assault weapons became the real tragedy of Aurora.
When D.L. Hughley tweeted "Aurora is 13yrs and 13 miles from Columbine! Since the 60s over 500,000 ppl have bn killed by guns in the US we have no right 2 b schocked!" Twitchy, Michelle Malkin's alternate Twitter universe, became inflamed: "Comedian D.L. Hughley tweets gun-control rant after Aurora movie shooting," Twitchy's staff wrote. Also: "Mayor Bloomberg, Piers Morgan and Hollywood goons from John Leguizamo to Henry Winkler join the unseemly cries for gun control just hours after the shooting."
The Twitchy people kept at it all day. When Salman Rushdie tweeted, "The 'right to bear arms' is the real Bane of America.," they became particularly incensed: "This morning Salman Rushdie joined many lefty gun-grabbers in using the Colorado movie theater shooting to revive the gun control debate," they reported. "What sets him apart is that he didn't approach this as a mere opportunity to score political points for the Left. For Rushdie, it was also a prime opportunity to show off his ability to craft a pun, tragic circumstances be damned..." The bastard used his super-villainous Word Power!
"No apology, of course," head-shook the Twitchies. "Much like Piers Morgan, Mayor Bloomberg and other gun control opportunists, Rushdie remains far more concerned with not letting a tragedy go to waste than with mourning the tragedy's victims," in which mourning Twitchy staff presumably engaged during their off-hours and at some undisclosed location.
Donald Douglas of American Power reported from his TV set, "Lou Dobbs makes a good point as well, that where are all the cries for gun control as the urban areas, like Obama's Chicago, are just awash in blood?" That's an odd thing to say, as in April NRA President Wayne LaPierre said of the Mayor, "Emanuel has spent his political life pressing for gun control... As mayor of Chicago, he is doubling down on his vendetta against lawful gun owners."
When MoveOn asked supporters to "stand with the Aurora, Colorado shooting victims and their families" by signing a petition ("Please join people all across our nation in demanding action from our leaders"), Warner Todd Huston declared, "Names and emails are required which in turn go into the MoveOn database so that fundraising emails can then be sent to the mourners of the Colorado victims," though there is nothing about this at the MoveOn site.
"Unfortunately, criminals and the insane will always find a way to do their horrible deeds against humanity," explained Ridiculous Pseudonym at Wake Up America. "They could care less about the law and if not guns, then they'll just devise other means to achieve their evil ends." Indeed, Holmes might have stabbed 71 people instead, if he were The Flash.
When the New York Daily News referred to "Blood on hands of Obama, Mitt and NRA" because of the easy availability of assault rifles, Glenn Reynolds denounced it as "blood-libel agitprop," a comparison of assault weapons to the Jewish People we at first thought was a new low -- till we remembered Reynolds has used it many times before, often in regard to negative coverage of Sarah Palin and guns. Blood libel ain't what it used to be.
"They don't believe in America or Americans, and seek to impose an alien tyranny upon us," snarled Bill Quick, taking a break from his search for the Muslim Real Killer. "Why is that so hard to understand? These are not misguided people of good intentions. They are the enemies of liberty, and should be treated as such." Reminder: Quick was talking about advocates of gun control, not mass murderers.
"Consider the irony of residents of New York City and Chicago issuing screeds for more gun control," said Doug Ross. "Both cities enforce draconian (and unconstitutional) bans on the right to keep and bear arms. And both cities are awash in gun violence, despite their myriad gun control measures."
New York, "awash in gun violence"? If any of these people ever heard that the tremendous drop in New York crime over the past 25 years was largely due to the removal of guns from the city's streets, they've kept it to themselves.
The idea circulated that the problem would be solved if only the audience members, and indeed all Americans, were packing as well.
"Cinemark Theaters, in fact, bans guns -- which is one reason why no member of the audience could open fire on the mass murderer," said Doug Ross. "Imagine if even one law-abiding person in that theater had a gun," sighed The Lonely Conservative. "Perhaps the death toll would be a lot lower."
Former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce posted on Facebook, "Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this 'bad' man from most of this tragedy... Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man..." Welcome to the ranks of rightbloggers, former Senator Pearce!
After informing his readers, "If your first thought, when you hear of a tragedy like this, is how can I use this tragedy politically, well, you're most likely a 'progressive' or one of their useful idiots," the spectacularly un-self-aware Jeff Goldstein said, "Again, I'll point out that the theater chain doesn't allow responsible citizens who'd gone through gun training and applied for carry licenses to bring their firearms into the theater."
Goldstein weighed the counter-argument that "one old redneck with a revolver isn't going to stop a man armed and prepared for a spree kill," but answered, "what about 15 law abiding citizens with revolvers or semi-autos?" In closing, Goldstein advised his readers to "stock up on guns and ammo. And do not let them get away with the kind of post-Columbine crackdown on the Second Amendment they're most certainly already planning to angle for."
At PJ Media, Bryan Preston returned to the rightwing-Batman theme, but added some Colorado Kool-Aid. "Many evil men plague our world, as we saw today in Colorado," he said. "...But there is no Batman to stop them." Still, the movie told Preston that "the absence of the super hero produces the kind of ordinary heroism that runs armed crooks out of an internet cafe" -- referring to a case in which an armed citizen held crooks at bay, rather than blowing his own dick off. Preston claimed there were "many more" such incidents, but only referred thereafter to soldiers ("heroes wearing camouflage stop villains every day across the world") and cops ("the faux Joker in Aurora, Colorado, was eventually stopped by everyday heroes wearing blue, people who could have gone anywhere and done anything, as Selina Kyle says at one point to Bruce Wayne, but chose to return and do good. Whatever the cost"). Well, if you can't be a cop or a soldier, you can at least pretend. Batman's counting on you!
Believe it or not, some of the brethren thought that, while guns were strictly off limits, maybe somebody should do something about violent movies. Gun don't kill people, movies do!
"I am not calling for censorship here, nor for gun control laws," said PJ Media's Roger L. Simon, "but for a modicum of self-censorship on the part of the filmmakers and the film and television industries... It is indeed time to exercise restraint."
PJ Media's Michael Walsh only wanted some movie violence reevaluated. While defending slasher pics in which "the audience knows going in that, come what may, the Final Girl will outwit the monster and destroy him," Walsh found "Movies like Saw and Hostel" to be "sadistic, brutal torture porn... this, I think, is where Hollywood is culpable... that's something that all of us in the entertainment business need to think about."
"You think Obama will blame his Hollywood buddies for producing violent Batman movies, which 'obviously inspired this slaughter?'" said Bill Quick, seeming to abandon his search for the Muslim Real Killer.
"For too long, we've been dismissive of the notion that entertainment shapes attitudes and attitudes shape behavior," said Timothy Dalrymple at Pantheos, though it had been proven to his satisfaction that "constant bombardment with sexual imagery will shape your actual behavior" by studies and God knows what else. Also, "the more we reside in virtual worlds," he said, "...the more difficult it may become to distinguish between what is appropriate in the world of pixels and what is appropriate in the world of flesh and bone."
Yet Dalrymple decided that The Dark Knight Rises was exempt from such criticism, because 1.) he liked it, and 2.) it had "a firm grasp on right and wrong, good versus evil, hero versus villain... the Dark Knight trilogy inspires me to stand against injustice and for the good of my fellow man..." You know, like Travis Bickle.
Meanwhile Alex Jones has offered a video purporting to show "Proof Government Stages Mass Shootings: Batman Massacre Decoded." "Was this a False Flag?" asked Mike Adams of Natural News. "Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged... More and more, this shooting is looking like a deliberate plot staged by the government itself much like Operation Fast and Furious pulled off by the ATF... All this looks like James Holmes completed a 'mission'... The mission, as we are now learning, was to cause as much terror and mayhem as possible, then to have that multiplied by the national media at exactly the right time leading up the UN vote next week on a global small arms treaty that could result in gun confiscation across America."
Well, at least with this specific insanity, we can take comfort that it's not believed by many people. But for how long?
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