As we approach the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook, which claimed, which claimed 28 lives, mostly children, it’s time to reflect on the PR game the NRA instantly went into.
Following the massacre, the NRA was quick to switch blame from easy access to guns to Hollywood and the video game industry. This took many by surprise, but it does merit a bit of attention. But those industries are protected by another constitutional right, the first amendment. So when do we decide one right can be infringed upon and not another?
But let’s look at how dangerous the game the NRA is trying to play really is. If we want to blame media items, such as Hollywood and video games, for stimulating a violent culture, then shouldn’t that same blame be spread to other aspects of the media, such as talk radio, television talking heads and authors? And if that is the case, then Rush Limbaugh must hold some blame in this (h/t Little Green Footballs):
An 81-year-old “birther” was arrested today and charged with threatening President Barack Obama’s life, according to federal court records.
Prosecutors allege that Elwyn Nels Fossedal was in a post office near his Wisconsin home last month when he announced, “If President Obama was here I would shoot him right there and kill him right now.”
When Secret Service agents confronted Fossedal about the threat—which was relayed to law enforcement by witnesses—he would not recant the statement and “repeated the threat using different words. He also made a number of additional threats towards the President,” according to a felony complaint.
Fossedal, a retired Pfizer employee, appears to be a “birther” based on comments he has posted online. A Rush Limbaugh fan, Fossedal has also called for Obama’s impeachment over the Affordable Care Act and declared that, “We need to throw the Muslim in the White House, OUT.”
In a funeral home obituary for his wife, Fossedal is reported as having resigned from the Lions Club International because the community service organization purportedly “would not allow the worship of Jesus Christ” so that it could “be accepted by Islamic Nations.”
The false outrage and lies transmitted to millions of listeners each day on our public airwaves, through Rush Limbaugh, has created an enormous amount of animosity towards our President. And Rush isn’t alone here. We have seen similar cases, only to find the perpetrator’s reading list included Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. These people go out and spread their dangerous views, which in turn create/empower people like Mr. Fossedal.
So if we are to say Hollywood and video games are to blame for the mass shootings out there, we would be negligent to not also address the big threats posed by right wing rhetoric, rather in print, words or television.