News & Politics

After Texas Church Shooting, Conservative Pundits Offer Thoughts, Prayers, and Little Else

“Politicizing” white violence is bad, but for immigrants it’s A-OK

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Last week was pretty awful — what with the New York bike path terror attack, the fake November 4 antifa “civil war,” and the Republicans’ rich-fluffing tax plan — but the way it ended was especially horrible: with America’s latest three-named white killer, Devin Patrick Kelley, mowing down dozens of churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas, with his Ruger AR-556, killing 26 of them.

Immediately, several conservatives on Twitter distinguished themselves with predictions that the shooter would be a Muslim or a liberal (or that the event would turn out to be a Fraud perpetrated by Crisis Actors), e.g.:

At this writing, more credentialed conservatives are still deep in their thoughts-and-prayers mode, but a few have already managed to disgrace themselves as well.

Twitchy, for example, which was neither shy nor slow about reporting the attacker’s Muslim roots last Tuesday when Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people in New York, was disgusted when MSNBC host Joy Reid noticed NRA lobbyists had something to do with Kelley being able to murder all those people so efficiently.

“This is probably very comforting to the injured victims and families of those killed in the massacre,” sneered Twitchy, which also quoted various gun-proud conservatives who found the mass slaughter a fitting occasion to celebrate their own Second Amendment rights (“I sleep well, you despicable hack, knowing that I have the unalienable human right to bear arms & protect my family from criminals,” etc.).

Also mad at a celebrity was RedState’s Joe Cunningham, who complained that “After A Church Shooting In Texas, Chelsea Handler Tweets Unhinged, Offensive Comments.” Handler had tweeted, “Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”

“What does it say about Handler that the president she apparently loathes with all of her being had a more measured response on Twitter than she did?” snarled Cunningham before pleading for comity: “It is in trying times that we are supposed to come together, not divide ourselves further. Handler is just one of many reasons that we can’t have that moment anymore. Everything must be politicized as soon as possible.”

How thoughtful. Let us also go back to Cunningham’s response to the New York attack days earlier: “The problem we face is that we live in a world of moral relativism,” wrote Cunningham then. “We live in an era where you cannot say someone is wrong because they just believe differently than you do. You can no longer, despite what CNN says, call an apple and [sic] apple, nor can you call a banana a banana. But, you can take the peel off the banana, remove the fruit inside, turn the peel inside out, and then call it something else just because you always felt that’s what that banana should have been from the beginning.”

Cunningham went on: “There is no mental illness in the realm of sexuality. There is no ‘Islam’ in ‘Islamist terror.’ There is no evil because we can’t bear to let someone know what they are doing is wrong or bad.”

So it would seem the main difference between Cunningham and Handler is: Handler blamed a shooting on Republicans, whereas Cunningham blamed a shooting on CNN and (I think?) transsexuals.

(In another post–New York post, Cunningham said, “After the announcement, the President let his followers know that New York’s citizens did not go unavenged.” I wonder when Trump, who has so far merely invoked God and promised to “monitor” the situation, will inform us of his plans to deliver vengeance for Sutherland Springs.)

Speaking of New York–Sutherland Springs dissonance, the Daily Signal’s straight-shooting Sutherland story (original title: “Breaking: Mass Shooting Reported at Texas Church”) ran on its site just above its New York attack story, “The Diversity Visa Is Bad, but the Real Problem Is Homegrown Terrorism.” That story argued that “no amount of vetting will tell us if an incoming immigrant will become a terrorist,” and that we “need to do a better job assimilating immigrants and refugees” — a grimly comical claim after the homegrown Kelley managed to out-slay Saipov by better than three to one.

At Instapundit, Austin Bay reported that “according to a statement made during a live news conference introduced by Texas governor Greg Abbott, an armed citizen engaged the mass murderer outside the church. When fired upon, the evil murderer dropped his weapon and fled. Fascinating. Community defense by an armed citizenry.”

Also, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton apparently took the opportunity to advise Texans to bring their guns to church. From heaven, Jesus must be giving Texas the Hook ’em Horns.

Best/worst of all was Joshua Caplan of Gateway Pundit, who headlined that the assailant “Wore ‘All Black’ — Facebook Page Suggests He Was Diehard Atheist, CNN Fan” — which he seemed to think means “ha, obvs liberal,” but which sounds more to me like Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley. Caplan also mentioned that in addition to the ninja outfit, Kelley wore “tactical type gear” and “a ballistic vest”; I don’t suppose there’s any point telling him this is not part of a typical cable news–watching, fashion-conscious atheist’s wardrobe.

There will be more from the brethren in the days to come, but in case you’re planning on skipping it, I think I can safely characterize it in advance for you: 1) more thoughts and prayers; 2) whatever you do, don’t blame guns, because 3) this mass murder was really caused by liberals, because of something to do with sex and/or Chicago and/or overregulation, not by anything having to do with guns and the precious right of dangerous lunatics to have as powerful a weapon as they can afford; and 4) still more thoughts and prayers.

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