Conservative writers have established a set of standard responses to each new mass shooting. Jason Wilson looks at those much in evidence this week
Some differences of opinion are permissible in conservative media. Not everyone agrees about wars, foreign powers, terror, or drugs. Some are not fans of the current president. Some even risk unconventional pro-choice opinions.
But the second amendment virtually unrestricted access to guns is sacrosanct. Across the spectrum of rightwing opinion, from libertarians to the Christian right, pretty much everyone agrees that Americans unique access to firearms should continue. We can put this down to any number of things, from the countrys history of frontier settler violence to the influence of the NRA. But there it is.
When a massacre happens, rightwing pundits have work to do: they need to convince any waverers that easy access to semi-automatic weapons has nothing to do with mass-casualty shootings. They also need Republican legislators to remain aware that any moves to restrict access to guns will ruin their career.
Accordingly, rightwing pundits have evolved a series of standard responses to mass murder. Today well look at five of them, all of which have been in evidence this week.
The conspiracy theory
Conspiracy theory is now an ingrained response to mass shootings. If it was once a marginal pursuit, the alt-right surge and the election of a president who is himself an inveterate conspiracy theorist mean that these beliefs have a large audience and a new quasi-legitimacy.
As you would expect from highly influential radio show host Alex Jones, his website and radio show are canvassing the full gamut of conspiracy theories about the event. So far, Jones and his reporters have put forth a number of theories: that the shooter was targeting conservatives; that he was connected to Islamic extremism; that he was in league with anti-fascists.