This week, another evil mass shooter unleashed horror at a gay club in Colorado Springs, killing 5 and wounding another 25. The shooter — whose name I refuse to mention in order to disincentivize future shooters, who seek notoriety — was clearly mentally ill: Just last year, the shooter reportedly threatened his mother with a bomb, resulting in his arrest. Yet Colorado’s red flag law, which could have deprived him of legal access to weaponry, was not invoked by either police or relatives. The Colorado Springs massacre, then, is yet another example of a perpetrator with more red flags than a bullfighting convention, and no one in authority willing to take action to do anything about him.
Yet the national conversation, as it so often does, has now been directed away from the question at hand — how to prevent mass shootings — and toward broader politics. Instead of seeking methodologies that might be effective in finding and stopping deranged individuals seeking murder without curbing rights and liberties for hundreds of millions of people, our political and media leaders have decided to blame Americans who oppose same-sex marriage, drag queen story hour and “family-friendly” drag shows. Disagreement with the radical Leftist social agenda amounts to incitement to violence, they argue.
Thus, NBC News senior reporter Brandy Zadrozny said, “there is a pipeline. It starts from some smaller accounts online like Libs Of Tiktok, it moves to the right wing blogosphere, and then it ends up on Tucker Carlson or ends up out of a right-wing politician’s mouth, and it is a really dangerous cycle that does have real-world consequences.” Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times wrote, “it seems hard to separate (these murders) from a nationwide campaign of anti-LGBTQ incitement… They’ve been screaming that drag events… are part of a monstrous plot to prey on children. They don’t get to duck responsibility if a sick man with a gun took them seriously.” Brian Broome wrote in The Washington Post that the shooting could not be “blamed on mental illness”; no, he stated, “It’s right-wing rhetoric that sparks these nightmares… The bottomless list of homophobes and transphobes on the right don’t need to throw the rock and then hide their hands. Instead, they use someone else’s hands entirely.”
The Left’s attempt to lay responsibility for violence at the feet of anyone who opposes the transgressive social agenda doesn’t stop with blame — it extends to calls for full-scale censorship. “We’re living in an environment that’s driven by two things,” averred Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “Politicians who are using us to bolster their careers by creating division and hate, and number two is social media platforms that are monetizing hate, and especially against marginalized communities. They’re — they’re choosing profits over hate, and it’s killing, literally killing our community.” Social media, the logic goes, ought to shut down or demonetize any video disagreeing with the GLAAD agenda.
This is cynical politics at its worst. It’s also nothing new. The Left routinely cites violent incidents as reason to crack down on free speech with which they disagree. As the inimitably imbecilic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-Instagram, tweeted, “After Trump elevated anti-immigrant & anti-Latino rhetoric, we had the deadliest anti-Latino shooting in modern history. After anti-Asian hate w/ COVID, Atlanta. Tree of Life. Emanuel AME. Buffalo. And now after an anti-LGBT+ campaign, Colorado Springs. Connect the dots, @GOP.”
Yes, according to AOC, virtually every major mass shooting of the last seven years is the result of her political opponents — none of whom has called for violence. But in the world of the Left, disagreement is violence merely waiting to be unleashed. Which is why censorship, they believe, is the only way to achieve a more peaceful world.
Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”