The media takes it upon itself to declare the narrative of the day based on the news that is out there. Every news organization does it and it’s not just what we commonly refer to as the liberal media, which makes up the vast majority of the media most Americans are exposed to.
In Colorado Springs, before the facts of the case of the Planned Parenthood shooting were (and still largely are) known, the media proudly marched out Right Wing Rhetoric as the reason the shooter went on his rampage. There is no evidence of this – in fact, the man had no running water or electricity, had a history of increasingly odd behavior, and did not seem to target any Planned Parenthood doctors or staff.
In San Bernardino, the same thing happened. And talk of gun control happened. It wasn’t until that night, when the name of one of the shooters finally came out, that the “Right Wing Rhetoric” claims went away. The gun control claims still linger, however.
What is worse is that the Democrats screamed and complained and moaned and whined when the Republicans blocked legislation that would make it illegal for anyone on the terror watch list to purchase a gun. “REPUBLICANS WANT TERRORISTS TO HAVE GUNS,” they screamed.
Except, background checks already include a cross-reference with the terror watch list. The FBI is notified if there is someone wanting to purchase a gun who is on the list.
That doesn’t change the narrative, however. The narrative remains the same: we don’t control guns enough in this country. We don’t do enough to stop gun violence. What’s left in California but to seize all weapons and blanket ban them? California already has some of the strictest laws in the country.
The problem is not the Right Wing Rhetoric or the lack of “sensible” gun laws. The problem has been a refusal to look at mental health issues and violent Islamists who have been repeatedly saying they want to destroy the West. No, not every person with mental health problems is going to go violently insane and no, not every Muslim is a terrorist waiting to kill us. But, the major shootings we are seeing in the news of late have featured these types of shooters.
Setting a narrative instead of just reporting the news is bad enough. Setting a narrative that looks at the wrong issues and doesn’t change even when the facts do? That is so much worse.
Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jcunninghamwrites.