Tag: shootings
Charlie Kirk

Charlie Kirk: School Shootings Are 'A Prudent Deal' To Keep Guns (VIDEO)

Right-wing Daily Wire commentator Charlie Kirk said at his Turning Points USA Political Action Committee Faith conference on Wednesday that the tens of thousands of annual firearm-related deaths in the United States are an acceptable price to pay in order for Americans to keep their Second Amendment constitutional right to bear arms.

The statistics underlying this uniquely American problem as outlined in this Gun Violence Archive chart are sobering.

Although they are not listed in its graphic, the site notes that as of April 6, there have been more than eleven thousand American lives snuffed out by guns so far in 2023. Seventy-four of those deaths occurred in school shootings, which reached peak frequency in 2022.

"The total for 2022 was 46 — but that is only during school hours," National Public Radio explained on Wednesday, March 29. "If the parameters are widened to incidents after school, over the weekend, when a gun is brandished, fired, or when a bullet hits school property, that number leaps to 303 in 2022, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, an independent research project."

The massacre at the Christian Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday, March 27 – which left three students and three staffers dead and reinvigorated the perpetual national debate over gun control – was the topic of a question posed by an attendee to Kirk at the "Freedom Night in America" event.

"How's it going, Charlie? I'm Austin. I just had a question related to Second Amendment rights. You saw the shooting that happened recently and a lot of people are upset. But I'm seeing people who argue for the other side that they want to take our Second Amendment rights away. How do we convince them that it's important to have the right to defend ourselves and, uh, all that good stuff?" he asked.

Kirk delivered an extensive response.

"The Second Amendment is not about hunting. I love hunting. The Second Amendment is not even about personal defense. That is important. The Second Amendment is there, God forbid, so that you can defend yourself against a tyrannical government. And if that talk scares you – 'wow, that's radical, Charlie, I don't know about that' – well, then you have not really read any of the literature of our Founding Fathers. Number two, you've not read any 20th-century history. You're just living in Narnia. By the way, if you're actually living in Narnia, you would be wiser than wherever you're living, because C.S. Lewis was really smart. So I don't know what alternative universe you're living in. You just don't want to face reality that governments tend to get tyrannical and that if people need an ability to protect themselves and their communities and their families," Kirk said.

It would appear that Kirk has not familiarized himself with the Founders' writings either. A 2018 report in The Washington Post highlighted several key tenets of the establishment of the Second Amendment, which have glaring relevance to our modern era and refute what Kirk claimed:

1. The Founding Fathers were devoted to the militia.

2. The amendment's primary justification was to prevent the United States from needing a standing army.

3. The authors of the Bill of Rights were not concerned with an 'individual' or 'personal' right to bear arms.

4. The Founding Fathers were very concerned about who should, or should not, be armed.

5. Eighteenth-century Americans tolerated a certain amount of violence and instability, as long as it came from other white Americans.

Kirk then attempted to justify allowing anyone and everyone to own guns, regardless of the risks to public health and safety.

"Now, we must also be real. We must be honest with the population. Having an armed citizenry comes with a price, and that is part of liberty. Driving comes with a price – 50,000, 50,000, 50,000 people die on the road every year. That's a price," Kirk declared.

"Wow," a man in the audience exclaimed.

"You get rid of driving, you'd have 50,000 less auto fatalities. But we have decided that the benefit of driving – speed, accessibility, mobility, having products, services – is worth the cost of 50,000 people dying on the road," Kirk added, declining to mention that the operation and ownership of motor vehicles are heavily regulated privileges that can carry severe consequences when they are violated.

Kirk therefore concluded:

So we need to be very clear that you're not going to get gun deaths to zero. It will not happen. You could significantly reduce them through having more fathers in the home, by having more armed guards in front of schools. We should have a honest and clear reductionist view of gun violence, but we should not have a utopian one.

You will never live in a society when you have an armed citizenry and you won't have a single gun death. That is nonsense. It's drivel. But I am – I think it's worth it. I think it's worth to have a cost of, unfortunately, some gun deaths every single year so that we can have the Second Amendment to protect our other God-given rights. That is a prudent deal. It is rational. Nobody talks like this. They live in a complete alternate universe.

So then how do you reduce? Very simple. People say, oh, Charlie, how do you stop school shootings? I don't know. How did we stop shootings at baseball games? Because we have armed guards outside of baseball games. That's why. How did we stop all the shootings at airports? We have armed guards outside of airports. How do we stop all the shootings at banks? We have armed guards outside of banks. How did we stop all the shootings at gun shows? Notice there's not a lot of mass shootings at gun shows, there's all these guns. Because everyone's armed. If our money and our sporting events and our airplanes have armed guards, why don't our children?

Here, again, Kirk omitted the obvious: firearms are typically prohibited at all of the venues that he mentioned, except perhaps at gun shows. The rule also generally applies to schools. In fact, research has shown that school shooters are rarely, if ever, deterred by guards with guns and that their presence often increases the amount of violence and bloodshed that occurs during those attacks.

Watch below via Media Matters for America or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

McCarthy Fills Oversight Panel With Conspiracy Kooks, Bigots And Election Deniers

McCarthy Fills Oversight Panel With Conspiracy Kooks, Bigots And Election Deniers

House Republicans have reportedly selected four of their most extreme members to serve on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability in the new session of Congress. Two of them had been stripped of all committee assignments in the last Congress for inappropriate conduct.

Punchbowl News and the Washington Post are reporting that the new GOP majority will place Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Scott Perry (R-PA) on the panel. The committee's stated mission is "to ensure the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the federal government and all its agencies."

In February 2021, Greene was removed from her committee assignments via resolution "in light of conduct she has exhibited" after she embraced antisemitic, Islamophobic, racist, and QAnon-related conspiracy theories; endorsed the execution of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and falsely claimed mass school shootings were hoaxes intended to boost support for gun safety laws.

Gosar, who, like Greene, spoke at a March 2022 white nationalist event, lost his committee assignments in November 2021 and was formally censured for posting an animated video on social media that depicted a fictionalized version of himself assassinating his colleague, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and assaulting President Joe Biden.

Most of the Republican caucus opposed both moves, with then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claiming that it was unprecedented and "authoritarian" for the majority party to overrule the minority party from deciding committee assignments for their own party members. He vowed in November 2022 that when his party regained control, he would restore Greene's and Gosar's committee appointments. "They'll have committees," the California Republican told reporters. "They may have better ones."

Boebert has also made antisemitic comments and pushed QAnon conspiracy theories. She has a history of failing to comply with ethics and campaign finance disclosure laws. Both she and Greene were fined by the House Ethics Committee during the last Congress for refusing to comply with mask requirements issued at the direction of the Capitol's attending physician to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In December, the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol issued a report that mentioned Perry's role in a scheme to overturn Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election and urged the Ethics Committee to sanction Perry for failing to comply with a subpoena.

The move to put all four on the powerful Oversight committee comes as the Republican majority seeks to block Democratic appointments to certain committees.

McCarthy has promised not to allow California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff or Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence committee, which Schiff previously chaired, or to let Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar serve on the Foreign Affairs panel.

On January 12, according to Mediaite, McCarthy told reporters: "You will find the fundamental difference of me being a speaker and Nancy Pelosi: The other side will get to name their members on the committee. It won't be handpicked by me and denying the Democrats their voice."

When a reporter reminded McCarthy of his plans to block Democratic appointments, he responded by smearing Swalwell and Schiff with what Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler called "specious attacks" earning "four Pinocchios." He claimed that he heard negative things about Swalwell in a classified FBI briefing and accused Schiff of lying to the public.

On Saturday, Boebert told Fox News that she believes Schiff and Swalwell should be excluded from the Intelligence Committee because they and other Democrats are "conspiracy theorists" and "a bunch of Blue Anons."

On Wednesday, White House spokesperson Ian Sams blasted the GOP appointments, telling Axios: "It appears that House Republicans may be setting the stage for divorced-from-reality political stunts, instead of engaging in bipartisan work on behalf of the American people.

"Chairman [James] Comer once said his goal was to ensure the Committee's work is 'credible,' yet Republicans are handing the keys of oversight to the most extreme MAGA members of the Republican caucus who promote violent rhetoric and dangerous conspiracy theories."

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Fox Buries Bust Of New Mexico Shooting Suspect -- And His MAGA Motives

Fox Buries Bust Of New Mexico Shooting Suspect -- And His MAGA Motives

Fox News has almost completely neglected to cover breaking news developments in a series of shootings that targeted the homes of multiple Democratic officials in New Mexico, neglecting a story that would potentially call further attention to the network’s own promotion of conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

On Monday, an Albuquerque SWAT team arrested Solomon Pena, naming him as the suspected “mastermind” behind a series of drive-by shootings at the homes of four local Democratic elected officials, including two county commissioners as well as the incoming speaker of the state House. Nobody was injured in the shootings, but in one instance bullets went through the bedroom of a 10-year-old girl while she was asleep.

A crucial aspect of this story is the suspect’s alleged motive, reported by the Albuquerque Journal: Pena ran as the Republican nominee for a state legislative seat last November, losing with just 26 percent of the vote, and since then has made conspiratorial claims that the election was stolen. “Once the rigging is stopped, I will be sworn in as the State Rep for district 14,” Pena wrote in one Twitter post. He also was in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, when then-President Donald Trump gathered his supporters in an attempted insurrection to overthrow the results of the 2020 election, and has since repeatedly voiced his support for Trump’s false claims about elections being stolen by Democrats.

CNN has covered the story for a total of one hour and 35 minutes over the past two days, MSNBC has covered it for a total of two hours and 20 minutes, including interviews on both networks with one of the officials whose home was shot, and who described Pena’s earlier visit to her home to complain that the election had been fraudulent. In an astonishing contrast, Fox News has covered it for a grand total of less than one minute.

Pena’s false claims of election fraud align with past messaging from Fox News personalities, from defending the January 6 insurrectionists to telling viewers not to trust the results of the 2022 midterm elections before and after Election Day.

The first mention of this story on Fox News was not even intentional: The network was carrying a live feed of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s briefing with reporters, when a journalist asked a question.

Fox first purposefully included the story during a headline update on Special Report, lasting less than 30 seconds. The story received another 20 seconds of coverage on Fox News @ Night, as part of a collection of stories headlined under Fox’s misleading category “America’s Crime Crisis.” Fox mentioned in both instances that Pena had lost his campaign for the state legislature, but the network did not mention his false claims that the election was stolen, the fact that he had previously visited a county commissioner’s home to complain about the results, or his presence in Washington on the day of the January 6 insurrection.

Fox News could never admit a connection between those conspiracy theories and a rash of terrorist acts, as doing so would call into question the network’s own recent coverage. Last November, for example, prime-time host Tucker Carlson questioned the election results in Arizona, where a number of statewide Republican candidates lost their races, and declared ominously that “Americans lose their faith in their democratic system and when they lose that faith, they tend to become radical and over time, they can become dangerous.” In addition, the network’s coverage last August of the FBI search for stolen documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was clearly aimed at whipping up its viewers into further rage.


Media Matters searched transcripts in the SnapStream video database for all original programming on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC for any of the terms “shot,” “gun violence,” “death,” or “attack” or any variation of any of the terms “shoot,” “wound,” “kill,” “injure,” “gunfire,” or “terror” within close proximity of any of the terms “Solomon,” “Pena,” “Peña,” “New Mexico,” or “Albuquerque” from January 16, 2023, when authorities arrested Pena, through 12 p.m. ET on January 18, 2023.

We included segments, which we defined as instances when the shootings allegedly directed by Solomon Pena were the stated topic of discussion or when we found significant discussion of the shootings. We defined significant discussion as instances when two or more speakers in a multitopic segment discussed the shootings with one another.

We also included passing mentions, which we defined as instances when a single speaker in a segment on another topic mentioned the shootings without another speaker engaging with the comment, and teasers, which we defined as instances when the anchor or host promoted a segment about the shootings scheduled to air later in the broadcast.

We rounded all times to the nearest minute.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

GOP Candidate Who Cried Voter Fraud Is Arrested In New Mexico Shootings Case

GOP Candidate Who Cried Voter Fraud Is Arrested In New Mexico Shootings Case

In December and January, the homes of Democratic officials in New Mexico have been the target of no-so-random shootings. State Sen. Linda Lopez and Antonio Moe Maestas had shots fired at their home and workplace respectively. Three bullets entered the room where Lopez’s 10-year-old daughter slept. Bernalillo County commissioners Adriann Barboa and Debbie O’Malley’s homes were also the target of gunfire. Luckily no one was hurt.

On Monday, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina held a press conference to announce a break in the case. Medina said that former Republican state House candidate Solomon Pena had been arrested. According to Medina, MAGA-candidate Pena is accused of “conspiring with, and paying four other men to shoot at the homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators.”

The motivation seems to have been that Pena didn’t believe he had lost his election. They even had video of Pena being arrested.

According to reports, Pena’s arrest comes about a week after an unnamed suspect was taken into custody. Police Chief Medina said the break in this case couldn’t come a day sooner. “We are very grateful that we were able to get this individual into custody and to hopefully bring a little relief to those that were affected and all of our lawmakers, especially with state legislature starting tomorrow.”

The Albuquerque Journal reports that investigators are looking into whether or not shots fired near Raúl Torrez’s campaign office—he ran for Attorney General—and shots fired near the office of State Sen. Antonio Maestas might be connected. However, at this time, a spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department say there is no evidence linking the group being accused of conspiracy in the other shootings with these shootings.

Pena was a Donald Trump, Kari Lake, Big Lie proponent who was trying some of that same pre-election day doubt-casting back in November.

The results were the same. He lost. Bigly. Watch his arrest.

Police make arrest after standoffwww.youtube.com

Let’s leave this here for posterity.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.