The days since Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd watching a concert on the Las Vegas Strip have seen what has become an all-too-familiar routine in the aftermath of mass shootings. Literally within hours of the carnage’s end, Alex Jones and other conspiracy theory peddlers claimed the whole thing was a false flag intended to gin up more support for gun control.
But believe it or not, one right-winger may have made a suggestion that’s even crazier than that. How do you get crazier than claiming this bloodbath didn’t happen? Quite easily, as it turns out–by suggesting that liberals actually want more bloodbaths like this.
American Family Radio afternoon host Bryan Fischer bills himself as the voice of “muscular Christianity.” But to those of us in the reality-based world, Fischer is really serving up a diet of unhinged lunacy in Christian dress. But he may have outdone himself on Tuesday’s show. To hear him talk, Democratic efforts to push for gun control are nothing more than a sham. After all, they actually want more gun violence. No, this isn’t snark. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Fischer appeared to be going down the same path that he went in the aftermath of Sandy Hook–these shootings wouldn’t happen if we forced kids to pray in schools. If you’ll remember, within mere hours of the bloodbath in Newtown, Fischer claimed that it happened because we threw God out of our schools, and “God is not going to go where he is not wanted.” This line became more or less gospel among fundies in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.
Along similar lines, Fischer claimed that the real solution was to “reintroduce God into our culture.” As he saw it, the only way to get a handle on gun violence wasn’t “gun control,” but “God control”–encouraging this nation to become “independently dependent upon God.” To his mind, if we forced kids to pray and read the Bible, and posted the Ten Commandments in our schools, it would be hard to miss the message. He believed that we needed God in our colleges, our legislatures, and our businesses.
In other words–the only way to stop mass shootings is a healthy dose of in-your-face Christianity. Uh huh. Tell that to the families of Sandy Hook. At least two of the victims were Jewish, and one was a Sikh. Additionally, Fischer forgets that God is there even if there is just one Christian present.
But then Fischer went from standard religious right agitprop to something even loonier. He claimed that liberals actually want more mass shootings.
“The left doesn’t want this gun problem to go away, you know that? The left is not interested in solving the problem of gun violence. Why? Because that’s what they use to beat up conservatives. They want gun violence, they need gun violence so they can beat up conservatives, beat up the Republicans, beat up white people over the issue of gun violence, so they don’t want this problem solved.”
I had to listen to this twice in order to believe what I was hearing. You mean to tell me that when Democrats push to close the loopholes in our gun laws, they really don’t want to get a handle on gun violence? Gee, I thought it was the NRA, and the faceless men who sign Wayne LaPierre’s checks, who really didn’t want to do anything about this. After all, even though there is overwhelming support for tougher gun laws, the mere threat of the NRA scoring a vote has more or less ground things to a halt.
Fischer has seen this first hand. And yet, he says with a straight face that the left doesn’t want to do anything about it? The most benign interpretation of this is that Fischer is just looking for a way to gin up the outrage among an audience made up mostly of people who live in a bubble.
For all of the craziness we’ve heard from InfoWars and other conspiracy theory/fake news machines, no one has ever accused liberals of not wanting to do anything about the gun problem. Even by Fischer’s standards, this claim is grossly irresponsible.
Fischer looks even loonier now that the NRA seemingly came down from the ceiling and signaled a willingness to ban “bump stocks”–the device that allowed Stephen Paddock to spray automatic-style fire with a semi-automatic rifle. It’s not as if the NRA had a choice. After all, that bump stock allowed Paddock to pump out so many bullets that a “good guy with a gun” wouldn’t have had a prayer. Not to mention that the faceless men behind the nation’s gun manufacturers probably didn’t want to face lawsuits if it turned out they knew altering a gun in this way was possible and did nothing.
It takes a lot of effort to sound loonier than Alex Jones and Wayne LaPierre. But Fischer may have done both.
(featured image courtesy Fischer’s Facebook)