Today in Conservative Media: Making Sense of Las Vegas

Today in Conservative Media: Resist the Urge to Politicize the Las Vegas Massacre

Today in Conservative Media: Resist the Urge to Politicize the Las Vegas Massacre

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Oct. 2 2017 6:56 PM

Today in Conservative Media: Resist the Urge to Politicize the Las Vegas Massacre

Two festivalgoers on Monday leave the area around the Mandalay Hotel after Sunday night’s massacre.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images


A daily roundup of the biggest stories in right-wing media.

Conservatives mourned and offered commentary on the Las Vegas shooting on Monday. National Review’s David French called the shooting “very, very strange”:

As virtually everyone has noted from the abundant video footage of the incident, it certainly sounds as if the shooter used either fully-automatic weapons or semi-automatic weapons modified (through, for example, a bump fire stock) to closely simulate automatic fire. Moreover, the police are reporting that he had “more than 10 rifles.” He apparently rented his corner room for days and may have even set up cameras to detect when police were approaching. That’s all strange enough, but it’s even more unusual when you consider that his own family apparently didn’t know that he maintained a stockpile of guns.

Also at National Review, Andrew McCarthy assessed federal and Nevada state law to ascertain whether the shooter, Stephen Paddock, could be considered a terrorist. “Federal law focuses on the purpose of the violent attack; Nevada law homes in on the violence itself—the intent to cause great bodily harm or death on a mass scale, regardless of whether it is done in furtherance of a particular cause,” he wrote. “[U]nless we learn that Paddock had mental problems severe enough to call into question his capacity to form criminal intent, it seems clear that he was a terrorist under Nevada law. We may need to know more before we can say he was a terrorist under the federal definition.”

At the Federalist, David Harsanyi argued against the politicization of mass shootings:

“Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA,” tweeted Hillary Clinton (emphasis mine), “and work together to try to stop this from happening again.” This an example of someone — and there increasingly more like her — who can’t distinguish ideology from general decency. The NRA is a strawman for countless political activists who are too cowardly to disparage the 55-plus million Americans who own firearms and the millions of others who support their right to do so. Reflexively treating law-abiding gun owners or the organizations that represent them as if they are tacitly encouraging or cheering violence does nothing to advance the goals that gun-control advocates claim to embrace.
It wasn’t that long ago,  in fact, that Democrats led by Sen. Chris Murphy, a person who’s probably done as much as anyone in recent years to ensure the failure of gun-control legislation, were accusing Republicans of selling guns to ISIS.“Thoughts & prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference,” the Connecticut senator said today. “It’s time for Congress to get off its ass.” Other than self-aggrandizement, Murphy has never gotten off his ass to do anything about the issue.

RedState’s Brandon Morse agreed. “How the left believes this to be an okay time to push politics as families are still in the grips of grief, and even before evidence has surfaced to support their agenda, is still beyond the understanding of many,” he wrote. “However, removal or impeding our constitutional right to carry will help nothing. While guns can be used to do great evil, they have been used far more to keep people safe.”

Rush Limbaugh warned against politicization from the left on his radio show as well:

You know that people on the left are laying in wait hoping, wondering if they’ll have something with which to politicize this. Above and beyond all that, as I say, we live in an era, this is the deadliest mass shooting in American history. There are a lot of angry people in this country, and that suggests a question. Why are so many people angry? What are they doing that’s making them mad? Is their anger of natural origin, is it organic? Did it bubble up inside them without any external influences? Or is the anger being generated? And if it is, by whom and for what reason?

“If, as it’s not unreasonable to suspect, the shooter got his guns illegally, why don’t you consider new or enhanced laws and more resources to crack down on the illegal gun market?” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw asked Democrats. “Rather than chasing around and harassing the hundreds of millions of legal gun owners who don’t commit acts of violence, unleash the power of the legislature and law enforcement on improved ways to get illegal guns off the streets and lock up the people using or dealing in them for longer periods of time.”