On last Thursday’s edition of “The Five” on Fox News, co-host Greg Gutfeld criticized “emotional” media coverage of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. “The fact is, we need more rational dialogue and less emotional — less emotional time-filling commentary,” said Gutfeld. Like what? “You have to — you have to be rational about it, which means hardening soft targets through drills and training, learning combat, learning hand-to-hand combat,” said Gutfeld about countermeasures to school shootings. “This works, by the way, for terror, if there’s a terror attack. And it works for school shootings, which is essentially domestic terror. So it’s time that we actually think about this rationally and go, ‘How do you improve upon this?’ Well, you train them. That’s simple.”
After co-host Juan Williams commented that it would be “sad” to train kids just to attend school, Gutfeld said, “Self-defense classes are the best thing for a kid.”
The folks at the “Daily Show” noticed. Host Trevor Noah ripped away on his Tuesday night program: “If you told someone that they had to solve gun violence but they couldn’t talk about guns, most people would be like, ‘Well, then, there’s nothing I can do,'” said Noah. “But most people are not Fox News. Because over the last few days, Fox showed us that once you remove the obvious solution, you have no choice but to get creative.”
Cue the video clip of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro talking about “metal detectors,” “experienced cops” and so-called “perimeter controls.” To which, Noah suggested a moat with sharks and snipers on school roofs. Then came a clip from Newt Gingrich and judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano talking about having more firepower in the hands of school employees. “A minimum of six to eight teachers and administrators who are trained in the use of firearms,” said Gingrich on a Fox News segment. As for Napolitano: “It’s an issue of not enough superior firepower to stop these killers.”
As Noah showed, comedy is indeed the very best response to such proposals. “My teacher didn’t even know who was talking in class. Now you want to trust them to shoot the right kid? Think about it: How many times did your teacher yell at the kid next to the kid who was talking? Like, one time my teacher tried to hit one of the kids with a blackboard eraser, missed completely and hit the kid next to him. You want to give those people guns?”
As for Gutfeld’s proposal of hand-to-hand combat training, Noah countered: “Does this guy know what a gun is? You see, it’s only hand to hand if both people agree to use their hands.”
There were permutations in the Fox News coverage of the post-Parkland debate. On his opinion program, host Tucker Carlson didn’t try tiptoeing around gun control. He went straight after it. Arguing that the United States isn’t making an honest effort to understand the root causes of these horrific events, Carlson claimed that this “vital conversation has been drowned out and made impossible by mindless screeching about gun control led by blustery charlatans in the media. You know exactly who they are. And also in Congress, whose only real agenda is moral preening,” he said. And don’t listen to liberals who praise the work of Australia on this front, warned Carlson. Such “wholesale disarmament,” argued Carlson, was “a recipe for bloodshed and civil war” in these parts. “It’s nuts. Yet, it is a common fantasy on the left.”
So many things about mass shootings have become tragically rote. From the way that news outlets deploy for their coverage, to the warnings that policy solutions should wait out a period of mourning, to the way that Fox News assists in blunting genuine consideration of gun-control measures. Nearly a week after the shooting, however, it appears that its activism may not be working. Florida students are speaking up in favor of gun-control measures, and there’s some panic evident on the set of Carlson’s show.
In a segment titled “Is the Left manipulating kids for their gun control agenda?”, Carlson on Tuesday night said, “You can’t imagine anything worse than your kids school getting shot up, but all of a sudden you are seeing these kids involved in calls for very specific pieces of legislation.”
More: “The allegation has been that they are in some way in contact with organized anti-gun groups, and people who have suggested that have been denounced as immoral and heartless, and how how dare you question these kids or attack them — which, for the record, I am certainly not doing. But it raises interesting questions about how we make our law.”
What “interesting questions” might those be? That citizens might see fit to petition their government?
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