The 6 Most Offensive Things Said in the Wake of the Aurora Shooting
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After reeling in shock from the horrifying details of the Aurora, Colorado massacre, many of us were soon reeling from the callous, exploitative reactions.
I'm perhaps not the only person who was aghast by the number and intensity of responses declaring the problem with Aurora was that not enough citizens were armed. There is a race to come up with the most farfetched things to blame--anything, essentially, besides the ease of purchasing firearms and a system that doesn't provide for the mentally ill.
Even Mitt Romney has gone on the record saying he doesn't think gun laws had anything to do with the tragedy--even though the alleged perpetrator easily purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition and deadly weapons with complete legal immunity.
Without further ado, here are the six worst reactions I found (with a few retractions and clarifications included):
1. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert says the attack is the result of an attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and that the killings might have been avoided if the country returned to the ways of God.
During a radio interview on the Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live!" show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country. "You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place," Gohmert said.
Later, Gohmert apologized for causing pain and said he was taken out of context. Listen to his words yourself:
2. Mike Huckabee blames sin. The fervently religious politico-turned-pundit says we don't have a gun problem or a crime problem, but a "sin problem" and blames--what else--a mythical encroaching secularization.
“Ultimately,” Huckabee concluded, “We don't have a crime problem or a gun problem – or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we ordered God out of our schools and communities, the military and public conversations, you know, we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.”
3. Extremist evangelicals Jerry Newcombe and Fred Jackson blame the liberal media, say victims who aren't Christian are in hell.
A great post at ThinkProgress sums up some of the worst statements from extreme evangelical pastors. From Jerry Newcombe, who predictably blames loose morals, the victims had better been right with God: "iI they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place."
And the other key quote is from the American Family Association's Fred Jackson: "Whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the Internet, whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God" are what "give us these kinds of incidents."
4. Internet conspiracy theorists blame government, Obama, Illuminati. At Gawker, a quick look through the Internet reveals a number of long rants about how President Obama, the government and others armed and trained the killer and set him up in order to somehow turn American against guns. Quoth one loony: "This is somebody who was selected for a mission, given equipment to carry it out, then somehow brainwashed into getting it done." Okay then. There's also the guy who declared [sic] "Not one week from the rumored Obama signing of the UN Gun Ban Treaty, on Friday the 27th and Obama is 'Gift Wrapped' this horrific slaughter, that he can take and use to Obliterate our God given Second Ammendment Right's." That's the state of the rumor-mongering before we even get to the Illuminati. Read the post here.