The Left Can’t Help Exploiting Tragedy for Political Gain

As expected, the left’s immediate response to Monday’s tragic mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, was to blame Republicans and guns for the incident. Six people, including three children, lost their lives, and all the left saw was political opportunity.

“How many more children have — have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban; to close loopholes in our background — in our — in our background check system; or to require the safe storage of guns?” asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during Monday’s White House press briefing. “We need to do something. Once again, the President calls on Congress to do something before another child is senselessly killed in a preventable act of gun violence Again, we need to do something.”

Rolling Stone mockingly wrote a story with the headline “Gun-Loving Republicans Offer Condolences After Latest School Shooting.”

In a now-deleted tweet, the Washington Post wrote, “GOP congressman from Nashville district ‘heartbroken’ by shooting. A 2021 photo shows his family with firearms.”

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But things quickly changed once it was revealed that the shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was a biological female who identified as a transgender man. For starters, various media outlets were quick to make sure their audiences knew that they were sorry for misgendering Hale, and blamed local police for the confusion.

The revelation of Hale’s transgender identity shifted the blame from Republican support for gun rights to legislation banning drag shows and transitioning kids. Because, apparently to the mainstream media, if you ban drag show for kids, you should expect to get shot—in fact, you deserve it. Never in the aftermath of a shooting has the political left entertained the thought that, maybe, the shooter is solely to blame.

Republicans seem to be the scapegoats no matter what the situation is. Following the 2017 congressional baseball practice shooting, in which James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter, opened fire on Republican members of Congress, MSNBC host Joy Reid attacked Rep. Steve Scalise, who was critically injured in the attack.

Nothing has changed since. In the aftermath of this week’s shooting, Benjamin Ryan, a freelance reporter who has written for various left-wing outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic, linked the shooting in a now-deleted tweet to the fact that “Nashville is home to the Daily Wire, a hub of anti-trans activity” by Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro, and Michael Knowles.

Ironically, the same people who were quick to blame Republicans for the shooting and anti-transgender rhetoric for motivating Hale are the same people who are criticizing those who speculate how Hale’s transgender identity influenced her actions. NBC News, for example, criticized conservatives, who they say “rushed to blame the massacre on the suspect’s gender identity, connecting the tragedy to their national crusade against transgender rights.”

It’s fascinating how the political left is always ready to point fingers at the Republican Party, the NRA, or some other imaginary monster after every mass shooting. Yet when the right brings up legitimate concerns about the motives or mental state of a transgender killer, they seem to get all flustered and don’t know how to handle it. It’s almost like they’re afraid to address the real issue and would rather keep the spotlight on blaming the political right.

The common denominator that appears to link most mass shootings is not political ideology or race, but rather mental health. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators have displayed some form of mental illness or psychological problems.

It is crucial that we acknowledge this reality and move past the tendency to assign blame to political adversaries. Instead, we must focus on finding effective solutions that do not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.

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