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Politicizing Tragedy

Posted By Ben Shapiro On July 27, 2012 @ 12:50 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 189 Comments

After last Friday morning’s devastating shootings in Aurora, Colorado by maniac James Holmes, the liberal media responded with unbridled rage … at conservatives. First, ABC News’ Brian Ross attempted to label Holmes a Tea Partier based on nothing other than a quick Google search that turned up a “Jim Holmes” engaged in Aurora, Colorado Tea Party activity. As it turned out, the Tea Partier Jim Holmes was a fiftyish Hispanic male; the shooter was a 24-year-old white male.

Next, liberals leapt to the conclusion that lax gun control laws made the attacks possible. CNN’s Piers Morgan quickly tweeted, “America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time.” He followed up that gem with this one: “More Americans will buy guns after this, to defend themselves, and so the dangerous spiral descends. When/how does it stop?” The answer, of course: the cycle stops when people defend themselves and shoot incipient murderers in self-defense.

Piers was merely the first to jump the gun, so to speak. “Soothing words are nice,” intoned New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, between seizing the sodas of passersby. “But maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.”

Bloomberg’s line is the most telling. Liberals love nothing better than to myopically focus on one event, blow it out of proportion, and then use it as an excuse for national legislation. It’s the same pattern they pursued in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting, when suddenly the apparent killing of a teenage hoodlum by an overzealous neighborhood watchman turned into a national story about race … which, predictably enough, turned into a national controversy about “Stand Your Ground” laws and voter ID. Even though George Zimmerman, the shooter, hadn’t even initially claimed a defense under the “Stand Your Ground” statute.

But that’s the pattern: take an instance, freeze it, magnify it, polarize it, use it as a weapon. It’s pure Alinsky. That’s how the media turns the shooting of Gabby Giffords by Jared Loughner into a national debate over civility in politics. Ignoring the actual identities of the shooters in these cases is crucial – the facts usually cut against a good leftist narrative; so the left simply ignores the facts.

This is a perversion of our political system. Even if each and every nutty mass murderer was a mad hatter from thea Tea Party, that still would not justify shutting down free speech for an entire nation, or labeling all Tea Partiers criminals, or instituting vast new regulatory schemes. Not every local issue is a national issue.

But that point seems to be lost on the left.  Bullying, a local problem, is now it’s a national issue, requiring federal assistance. Your toilet is clogged? Get your Congressman on the phone!

James Holmes’ actions had nothing to do with any particular political ideology. They didn’t have to do with the gun laws in Colorado – he ordered much of his ammunition from out of state. Until we stop painting the entire nation with the brushes of local villains like Holmes, we will continue living in the unreality of a left that is always anxious to see the national identity of America as a problem.

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