After Nashville tragedy, WH points finger at GOP without a word about the actual shooter
By Gary Abernathy
There is one person to blame for what happened Monday
Three children and three adults were killed Monday in a school shooting in Nashville. After news spread of the tragic shooting at the private Christian school, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre almost immediately took to the podium to attack Republicans.
Before hardly any facts were known about the details of the shootings, Jean-Pierre said, “How many more children have to be murdered before Republicans in Congress will step up and act to pass the assault weapons ban, to close loopholes in our background check system, or to require the safe storage of guns? We need to do something.”
I searched the internet, feeling sure I would find more comments from her than were being reported, but apparently her ire was directed only at Republicans. There was nothing I could find on Monday from her, or from President Biden, condemning the person who actually did the killing or commending the brave officers who ran headfirst into gunfire and brought her down.
The 28-year-old shooter, Audrey Elizabeth Hale, was “a biological woman who, on a social media profile, used male pronouns,” according to a police spokesperson. Clearly, she is the one to blame for the shootings, and the police officers who stopped her deserve everyone’s gratitude.
There’s much more to be learned about this case, but it’s the height of irresponsibility for the Biden White House to immediately point fingers at anyone other than the person who decided to walk into a school and start firing away. No one else did that, and it’s unlikely there are any laws that would have stopped it.
So anxious is the left to blame guns for Monday’s tragedy — and for all shootings — that some are criticizing a Tennessee congressman because he posed for a picture in 2021 showing him and his family holding guns. Here’s an excerpt from a USA Today story:
U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., whose district includes the site of Monday's mass shooting in Nashville, received widespread criticism from gun control advocates for a Christmas photo he posted in 2021 of his family posing with guns.
The photo, which remained on the congressman's Facebook page as of Monday night, shows his wife and two of his three children smiling and holding firearms in front of a Christmas tree.
What does that have to do with anything? What is the connection between law-abiding people posing with their legal guns and a deadly shooting with which none of the members of that family were connected? But that’s how too many on the left look at the issue. You support the Second Amendment? You’re responsible for people who commit murder. Wow.
There are countless federal and state gun laws on the books, and Hale broke many of them, just based on what is known. Laws are only obeyed by law-abiding people. Law-abiding people don’t commit murder. Laws do not affect people who don’t care whether they break the law. A thousand more laws aren’t going to prevent evil acts from being perpetrated by evil or disturbed people, a sad truth in this lost world.
Many mainstream media outlets seem to be having trouble covering this case in typical fashion, and we can explore the various reasons for that at a later date. For now, we know that there is only one person to blame for what happened: Audrey Elizabeth Hale. She planned it and carried it out. She’s dead, and there is nowhere else to look — and sometimes that’s an understandably empty feeling.
Prayers for the victims and their families, and for our troubled world in general.
Pat Buchanan’s GOP must chart a new course on race
In my first of two Washington Post columns this month, I noted that Pat Buchanan — long the most ubiquitous conservative on the TV airwaves in the 1980s and much of the 1990s — recently retired from column writing. Buchanan had lost much of his national influence in recent years, but, as I pointed out, his stamp is firmly on the modern Republican Party — which is fine, except in one area.
Buchanan was often accused of being a racist and antisemite.
And yet, in a 1990 profile in The Post, New Republic writer Fred Barnes — a frequent Buchanan TV co-panelist — concluded that while Buchanan’s positions on Israel might suggest antisemitism, “If your definition is someone who is personally bigoted against Jews, doesn’t want them in the country club, I don’t think Pat is that.”
When Buchanan was fired in 2012 from MSNBC after penning a book that was criticized as racist and antisemitic, among other offenses, “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski issued a joint statement opposing his dismissal. While emphasizing that they disagreed with the book’s contents, they said, “Everyone at ‘Morning Joe’ considers Pat Buchanan to be a friend and a member of the family.” Buchanan called his firing “an undeniable victory for the blacklisters.”
Is Buchanan a racist or otherwise bigoted? Is Trump? Are most Republicans racists, as some suggest? The difficulty lies in how Americans individually define the term, a distinction that helps explain why those who judge Buchanan through personal experience generally absolve him of racism, while those who know him primarily through his columns and TV appearances — which will serve as his legacy — often disagree.
Most conservatives, I noted, do not consider themselves racist because they harbor no ill will toward people based on race. But fair or not, that’s not the modern definition.
Personally rejecting racist feelings is not enough. Demonstrating a commitment to addressing institutional racism — not just verbally, but by supporting legislation on equity and inclusion — is imperative to the future success of the Republican Party. To be sure, more progress has been made toward racial equality than many on the left concede. But Republicans must admit that disparities are real and that there’s more work to do.
You can read the column here.
We all need to rediscover the lost art of tolerance
In my most recent Post piece, I point out that despite politicians claiming that our diversity is our “greatest strength,” it is in fact one of the main reasons for our national polarization. Instead of demanding that everyone agree with or accept everyone else’s beliefs, lifestyles or customs, I argue that we need to return to a standard of tolerance. Diversity is hard, and people of every race and gender acknowledge as much.
It’s not popular to say that, but most Americans know it. Just examine the opinions about our growing racial and ethnic diversity. In 2020, the Pew Research Center surveyed attitudes about the U.S. Census Bureau’s forecast that in a couple of decades, Black, Latino and Asian Americans will — combined — displace Whites as the majority population. Most respondents said the development was neither good nor bad. Eleven percent called it bad. Only 24 percent declared such a prospect a good thing — up from 14 percent in 2016, but far from an endorsement of diversity as, as then-candidate Joe Biden once tweeted, “our greatest strength.”
White people are, unsurprisingly, the least enthusiastic about the shifting population shares, Pew found. But interestingly, fewer than half of Black, Hispanic or Asian respondents called a more diverse population a good development, despite their projected growth. People of all races and backgrounds know diversity can be hard. The answer is not to “get the hell away” from each other, a cartoonist’s rant aside. The better path is to recalibrate our notion of what a functional multicultural society looks like.
All sides need to do a better job of putting up with things with which they disagree, or things which even offend or infuriate them. We Christians need to stop trying to make the U.S. government promote a “Christian nation,” and worry less about this world and more about the one to come. Progressives need to do more to respect religious conservatives. Everyone has room to be more tolerant.
We might occasionally experience moments of national unity when faced with external threats or national catastrophes, but that will be fleeting. Various polls show a substantial number of Americans believe that another civil war, once unthinkable, is a distinct possibility, thanks to the stubborn insistence from all sides on complete ideological capitulation. That must change.
The prospect of our escalating disparity need not be so bleak. If we try, we might discover that tolerance can lead to a respectful, peaceful and even fruitful community of multifaceted people and ideas over time.
You can read it here.
Discussing Trump and the NY grand jury on ‘Talkline’
Last week I joined Hoppy Kercheval on “Talkline” on WVMetroNews to discuss the New York grand jury’s investigation of Donald Trump. Watch and listen above.
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