26 people are dead after America's latest mass shooting. There's no way to spin that into a feel-good story — but the conservative media are trying their hardest to do so, and to keep the conversation away from gun safety.
Even before all the victims have been publicly identified, conservative media outlets have rushed to portray the savage gun massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, as some sort of feel-good event — because the victims were killed in a church, or because an armed citizen tried to stop the gunman.
Conservatives are so desperate to never question the madness that fuels gun violence in America, they’ve been reduced to pretending a shooting that turned a small church into a mass morgue somehow comes with an uplifting ending.
And in their readiness to echo NRA-approved talking points about gun violence and mass shootings, they’re willing to present this ghastly massacre — which took the lives of four percent of a small town's population — as some kind of American success story.
"This is why we need the Second Amendment," crowed The Daily Caller, touting the story of the Sutherland Springs local who opened fire on the gunman. "TEXAS. STRONG." echoed the Independent Journal Review.
Conservatives are gleefully touting the fact that the man who shot nearly 50 people didn’t get the chance to shoot even more. That’s the new bar for success?
That’s madness. And it’s a deliberate, NRA-approved attempt to normalize the uniquely American pattern of gun massacres, and to cling to the hollow idea that a "good guy with a gun" will always deliver justice. It’s part of the NRA’s stance that the only way to solve gun madness in America is for everyone to buy more guns.
Note that last week in Colorado, there was no "good guy with a gun" to stop a shooter who calmly strolled in a Wal-Mart, shot three people, and then walked out the front entrance. Last month in Las Vegas, there was no "good guy with a gun" to stop a sniper from killing 58 people and shooting hundreds more. And nobody was able to save the 26 dead in Texas on Sunday.
Meanwhile, on Fox News Monday morning, "Fox and Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt suggested the silver lining to the Texas massacre — one of the "positives" — was that it occurred in a church.
“I was downstairs talking with some people that work here that we all talk about our faith and we share the same beliefs. We were saying there’s no other place we would want to go other than church,” she said.
“I feel very close to Christ when I’m there. So, I’m trying to look at some positives here and know that those people are with the Lord now and experiencing eternity and no more suffering, no more sadness anymore.”
And then there was this take from the far-right site, The Federalist:
Tip to right-wing media: stop looking for "positives" the next time a gunman opens fire on a crowd of innocents. There is nothing positive about mass murder, or about toeing the NRA line to keep even the notion of gun safety out of the conversation.