They make money and gain influence by peddling false claims about tragedies. They make claims from un-verified reports; in the case of Oregon, the unverified reports about targeting Christians which law enforcement conspicuously would not validate or confirm. The guns-and-Bibles pushers then CONTINUE to push their inaccurate but scary narrative, even after the facts are clear their statements and positions are false. Follow the money; they do this because there is bloody $$$ in it for them, from the religious right and from the gun promoters.
To update that old line “there’s money in them thar hills!”, there is money in those ‘shills’. From dictionary.com:
The Oregon shooter, like the Columbine shooters he emulated, did not target people for their religion, much less specifically for being Christian.
From the Inquisitr:
Even initial reports that Mercer was targeting Christians now appear to be incorrect. Initial reports indicated that he asked victims if they were Christian, and shot them in the head if they answered yes.
But new reports from witnesses say that Mercer did ask questions about religion, but it did not appear to be a motivating factor in who he shot and who he did not.
“‘Do you have a God? Are you Christian? Do you have a religion?’ It was more so saying, ‘You’re going to be meeting your maker. This won’t hurt very long.’ Then he would shoot them,” said Stephanie Salas, whose son, Rand McGowan, was wounded in the attack, in an interview with the Associated Press.
We saw something similar in the Columbine mass shooting back in 1999. There were false claims made then about religious persecution in the targeting of victims. And it is likely from the information known to date that the Oregon shooter, who had a sick interest in becoming famous (or more precisely notorious and infamous) like those other shooters, was to some degree emulating the Columbine shooters.
This shooter – and I won’t use his name, precisely to deny him that notoriety, was into Goth. The Columbine shooters were erroneously widely reported to be into Goth. The Columbine shooters were, again erroneously, widely reputed to be outcasts, without friends, part of the ‘trench coat mafia’. And the Columbine shooters (who were really trying more to be bombers) were widely reported to have targeted certain groups, notably jocks, minorities, and Christians.
Watch the news coverage of the Oregon shooter unfold. Then take a look at his proto-type mass shooting, Columbine. The parallels are chillingly clear that the Oregon shooter was emulating the myths and the actual behavior of the Columbine mass shooting in a number of ways.
From the most definitive research on Columbine, Dave Cullen’s book Columbine, via the article 7 Myths about Columbine:
Myth #3: The Columbine killers targeted certain kinds of students.
Truth: Although initial news reports claimed the Columbine killers had targeted minorities, jocks, and Christians, the killing was indiscriminate. Their initial plan was to blow up hundreds of students in the cafeteria. When the bombs failed to go off, they killed students randomly. Interestingly enough, Eric’s friends described him as a sports enthusiast, and two of his best friends were Asian and African American.
Myth #6: Cassie Bernall was martyred for her faith in God.
Truth: According to the eyewitness under the table with her, Cassie was shot when Eric poked his shotgun under the table and said, “Peekaboo.” The 911 tape verifies this testimony.
The martyr story arose from the testimony from another student in the library, Craig Scott (brother to victim, Rachel Scott), who recounted a conversation that took place across the room. Valeen Schnurr was the one who actually professed her faith in God, and this took place after she was shot. As she lay bleeding, she prayed, “Oh my God, don’t let me die.” Dylan turned around and asked her, “God? Do you believe in God?” Valeen said, “Yes, I believe in God.” When the killer asked why, she replied, “Because it’s how my parents raised me.”
We also heard, about Columbine, that those two mass shooters would have been stopped if someone had a gun. There were two armed cops who were unsuccessful in stopping those two shooters. Likewise, there was a security guard, and numerous armed students, mostly trained veterans, on the Oregon campus – it was NOT a gun free zone – and they did NOTHING to prevent the tragedy from taking place. In fact, no civilian with a gun has EVER prevented or stopped a mass shooting in the United States, even when on the scene.
Conservatives like to play the victim card, claiming to be victims when they are not. It is one of the more annoying aspects of conservatives. The religious right is particularly prone to making these false claims. Pro-gun advocates likewise push the notion they could be attacked at any moment, by fill-in-the-blank adversaries, and they likewise push the factually faulty notion that if they have their gun(s) with them they will shoot the bad guy dead, the good-guy-with-a-gun fallacy. All of which sells more guns to stupid people who are not fact or reason based, the goal of the NRA. Because gun sales need two things, a ginned-up threat and the myth that another gun in circulation in the hands of a civilian carrier is the solution.
Pro-gun candidate Ben Carson is trying to gin up his support from the religious right based on the false initial claims that Christians were targeted in the Oregon shooting. God-and-Guns scam artist Mike Huckster-bee, promoter of fake diabetes treatments to desperate sick people for cash, and Bible-thumping pro-gunner, is also trying to gain political advantage from the tragedy. We also see Donald Trump doing the same, with a less explicitly religious persecution angle. And we have the Lt. Gov. of Tennessee claiming that Christians should be arming themselves because they are a persecuted minority – both factually false claims.
Whether it is claiming they’re some kind of martyr if you don’t wish them Merry Christmas, to the false claims they were targeted in the latest mass shooting — by a self-proclaimed fellow conservative — they try to spin gain, including political capital from these false victim claims. Pushing the “we are victims” at every opportunity, no matter how factually false is also part of the right wing propaganda that keeps the right wing, especially the radical and extremist right, feeling angry and agitated. That gets unqualified crooked con artists elected, and it sells a lot of guns.
It does not get us good governance or greater safety. It is based on lies and corrupt money, corrupt power. Only the foolish and the willfully ignorant should support this effort to propagandize, manipulate, and gain advantage from these efforts to push an us vs. them national mentality of fear and divisiveness. They lie, they profit, they gain advantage and power. DON’T LET THEM. They will make you their victims, not the victims of some shooter who should never have had access to legal guns in the first place, much less 14 of them (yes, they found another one).