By Ben Shapiro
December 26, 2012
On Christmas Eve, seven people were shot in the city of Chicago. The media made little mention of the shootings, since they're now routine in Chicago -- the city has seen some 500 shootings in 2012 alone. The vast majority of the shooters are black, and the vast majority of the victims are black. Many of the victims are under the age of 18: Anton Sanders, 15, shot on Jan. 20; Deshun Winfert, 15, shot on Feb. 5; Damion Rolle, 14, shot on Feb. 21; George Howard and Albert Guyton, both 15, shot on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28; the list goes on. A few are under age 10. You've never heard of any of them.
But when an evil white person with a history of mental instability shoots up a school, killing 20 children, most of whom were white, the media is suddenly concerned with gun control.
Perhaps that's because the media is racist. Or perhaps it's something else. If the media pays attention to the shootings in Chicago, it will have to talk about the fact that Chicago is heavily gun controlled. It will have to discuss the fact that guns are illegally flowing into areas of heavy gun violence. And it will have to talk about the impact of social ills like single motherhood, gang recruitment and poor public education.
Instead, the media focuses on Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine. Focusing on such statistically aberrant scenarios rather than the more widespread gun violence that plagues our cities allows the media to target one of its most hated groups: the National Rifle Association.
This is what the left does: they pick a target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. They use individual cases as a baton to wield against groups they hate. The Trayvon Martin case was used as a club against the American Legislative Exchange Council for their support of "Stand Your Ground" laws -- even though George Zimmerman never claimed "Stand Your Ground." The war on women was used as a club against Komen for the Cure -- even though Komen cares for more women than Planned Parenthood ever will. The left uses specific cases to destroy important institutions. It makes their future battles far easier.
That's what they've done here. The left's attack on the NRA is ludicrous. Neither the Sandy Hook massacre perpetrator, Adam Lanza, nor his mother, Nancy Lanza, was a member. The state of Connecticut has long rejected the NRA's legislative influence. The NRA takes zero -- zero -- tax dollars. Yet somehow, the NRA has been targeted as the root of all evil.
Why? Because the NRA represents the strongest single proponent of gun rights in America. And if the left can use Sandy Hook to bash the NRA, to make it unpalatable to the American public, they will. That's why the execrable Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC spouted that the NRA had "blood on its hands" despite any evidence to support that proposition. That's why Piers Morgan of CNN labeled NRA head Wayne LaPierre "dim-witted" and "dangerous" for suggesting that schools ought to have armed police, but said nothing when Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said the same thing. David Gregory of NBC was only too happy to bash LaPierre over that proposed policy, but send his kids to a school with 11 armed security guards.
So what does that have to do with Chicago versus Sandy Hook? The media knows that in all shooting scenarios, the conversation quickly polarizes into two positions: ban guns or discuss other myriad social and legal issues that lead to shootings. In communities plagued by high levels of social ills like Chicago, the second position is the more obvious one. In cases of placid communities getting shot up by a nutcase, the left can talk gun bans more easily.
And they can label the NRA the culprit more easily, too. When gang members shoot each other in Chicago, it's obvious to everyone that there are no NRA members involved. When people in Connecticut own guns, the media has made the case that they must be NRA members, even if they aren't. And so the NRA, with no relation to Sandy Hook, becomes the problem.
It's far harder to stop Sandy Hook than it is to stop violence in Chicago. But the left doesn't like the possible solutions in Chicago. They prefer to destroy their competition. So the shootings in Chicago will continue. So, in all likelihood, will incidents like Sandy Hook, thanks in large part to the left's focus on destroying its enemies rather than preventing acts of evil.