We live in a scary time, where the illusion of peace and safety can be shattered at any time. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings Friday that killed 26, including 20 children, demonstrated that.
Many agree in the wake of this horrible tragedy that this weekend was not the time for political discussion – and certainly not the time to let punditry or ideology get in the way of national healing.
But it didn’t take long for some people to hijack the shootings for their personal agendas, with statements that made no sense, were inappropriate, or were just flat-out terrible. Here’s the 5 worst commentaries on the shootings so far:
5. Texas Representative Louie Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace:
“Chris, I wish to God she had had an M4 in her office locked up. So, when she heard gunfire she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”
… apparently not realizing that now is a terrible time to insist more assault rifles should be in American schools. Check out Gohmert’s irresponsible and awkward phrasing:
4. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Former presidential candidate and evangelical Christian Mike Huckabee, insisting that “for 50 years we've systematically attempted to remove God from our schools, from our public activities, then the moment we have a calamity, we wonder where he was.” While insisting that he never said that the shooting would have happened if we had prayer in public schools, Huckabee then launched into a bizarre rant about “tax-funded abortion pills,” and implying, in a clear swing at the LGBT community, that things we used to call “sinful” are now called “disorders” or accepted.
An embarrassing and poorly considered attempt to make this all about Mike Huckabee’s agenda, rather than those we lost:
3. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Ex-lawyer and anti-video-game crusader Jack Thompson spoke last week blaming (prior to any evidence) the shootings on violent video games. Colorado Gov. and amateur psychologist John Hickenlooper, speaking during CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, echoed the theory Sunday.
“The culture of violence, and the level of violence in our media, video games, the depiction of these assault weapons again and again, there well might be some direct connection between people who have, mental instability, and they, when they go over the edge, they transpose themselves. They become one of these video games. And perhaps that’s why all these assault weapons are used.”
Science does not echo Gov. Hickenlooper’s comments, and the attempt to deflect blame towards video games is highly disingenuous:
2. Pundit George Will
George Will, conservative commentator for ABC News, told a Sunday panel that “we ought to bring in Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chicago is an epidemic of violence with young, largely unparented – that is, no father in the home – adolescent males. That’s a problem quite separate from this.”
Will’s claim that single-parent households are partially to blame for the “epidemic of violence,” as well as his implicit attack on single mothers, are offensive and inappropriate:
1. American Family Association's Bryan Fischer
Last and worst, check out Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association ranting about the lack of God in schools being the cause of the shooting. This one speaks for itself, but I wrote about it anyways.
Fischer takes the cake for being the only person on this list to directly accuse liberals of being responsible for the shooting, and (speaking, I am not making this up, as the voice of God) telling parents of shooting victims “Hey, I would be glad to protect your children, but you gotta invite me back into your world first."
What a jerk.