Media Blame Right for School Shooting, Then Prove What Really Matters to Them After Suspect ID'd as Trans
On Monday, after a mass shooter claimed the lives of six people — including three children — inside the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, the media was quick to point the finger at Republicans and guns as the cause.
Rolling Stone: “Gun-Loving Republicans Offer Condolences After Latest School Shooting.” Daily Kos: “Karine Jean-Pierre calls out Republicans on gun control: ‘We need to do something!'” The Washington Post, in a deleted tweet: “GOP congressman from Nashville district ‘heartbroken’ by shooting. A 2021 photo shows his family with firearms.”
On the “CBS Evening News,” anchor Norah O’Donnell had this objective take on the matter, as per Newsbusters: “It’s all a chilling reminder about the leading cause of death for America’s children: Guns. For decades, it was car accidents that were the main cause. Well, not anymore. Since 2020, firearms overtook crashes as the number one cause of death for kids. Police said the shooter was heavily armed, prepared to do even more harm. Well today, President Biden renewed his call on Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons.”
And just in case you didn’t get the message:
A reminder that gun violence is the leading cause of death of American children #NashvilleCovenantSchool #massshooting
— Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) March 27, 2023
But there was something odd about this massacre, as The New York Times pointed out: “It is rare for a woman to commit a mass shooting.” In this case, the suspect — who was killed by police — was a 28-year-old woman named Audrey Hale, as Fox News reported.
“In a data set of 172 mass shootings, defined as involving four victims or more and collected before Monday’s case, only four assailants were women or girls. In two cases, women acted alongside a man,” an initial report from the Times read.
“The rarity of female aggressors in mass shootings reflects a broader trend: Between 80 and 90 percent of all offenders in homicide cases in any given year are men, according to the Violence Project.”
But then, the media started covering its tracks — and proving what’s really important to them:
There was confusion later on Monday about the gender identity of the assailant in the Nashville shooting. Officials had used “she” and “her” to refer to the suspect, who, according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, appeared to identify as a man in recent months.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 28, 2023
Yes, as it turns out, Hale identified as transgender. Now, the very same article doesn’t even mention that the shooter was transgender until the final paragraph, which had this to say: “There was confusion about the gender identity of the assailant in Nashville. Kristin Mumford, a police spokeswoman, said the suspect was born female but listed male pronouns on a LinkedIn profile, which suggested that the suspect was a transgender man. That profile had been active in recent months, reacting to two posts about other people’s career updates.”
Furthermore, they thought this proved their point. The new headline? “Most mass shooting suspects are male.”
Indeed, the Times wasn’t the only publication backtracking. Here’s USA Today:
The heavily armed woman who attacked a private Nashville school on Monday, killing three students and three staff members before being shot dead by police is a former student, authorities say.
Here’s what to know.https://t.co/ADDavKZN7r
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 27, 2023
Police on Monday afternoon said that the shooter was a transgender man. Officials had initially misidentified the gender of the shooter.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 27, 2023
And, as Newsbusters reported, some news organizations quickly pivoted to blaming the violence not only on guns or on male rage, but on Republicans who have enacted laws banning drag shows for kids or transgender medical interventions and surgeries on minors.
Here’s ABC News anchor Terry Moran: “The police chief also said that the shooter has been identified as 28-year-old female Audrey Hale, said she’s a former student of the school and confirmed that Audrey Hale was a — identified herself as a transgender person. [The] state of Tennessee earlier this month passed and the governor signed a bill that banned transgender medical care for minors, as well as a law that prohibited adult entertainment, including male and female impersonators … And this now, while the police chief specifically said they are investigating motive, this is a highly unusual crime in so many ways, a tragedy that now involves what may be this boiling controversy across the country around transgender health care.”
Here’s one take you won’t hear in the establishment media, but will hear from Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson:
The Colorado Springs shooter identified as non binary.
The Denver shooter identified as trans.
The Aberdeen shooter identified as trans.
The Nashville shooter identified as trans.
One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 27, 2023
Now, is that true? No, not necessarily. But a woman who identifies as transgender attacks a Christian school, killing six. If this were a white man targeting a mostly black school who had made pro-Trump statements on his social media account, you wouldn’t hear the end of the speculation.
Instead, because this was a Christian school targeted by a woman, the initial take was that it was guns and Republicans who were to blame. Then it turned out the subject was trans. So, not only did the media backtrack and make it clear how they had “misgendered” her, some commentators even went as far as to continue blaming Republicans for taking a stand against Drag Queen Story Hour and pushing puberty blockers on 9-year-olds.
It’s not the guns, it’s not the Republicans, and I’d argue it’s also not “the modern trans movement … radicalizing activists into terrorists.” It’s mental illness and those who either enable or ignore it. It’s a society that’s fallen away from God and into the hands of moral relativism and smartphone-induced self-indulgence. It’s living in a nation where truth and human connection no longer matter.
But that takes longer to unpack. The solution doesn’t fit into 280 characters or a sound bite. It can’t be weaponized. It takes patience and self-examination.
So blame guns. Blame Republicans. Blame those who believe biological facts remain insuperable facts. Above all, make sure not to misgender an alleged mass murderer. Those are the priorities of the media complex we rely on to inform us. And we wonder why these acts of violence are so frequent?
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