Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
There isn’t an hour that isn’t dominated by the controlled informational hysteria waged by the media.
The better things are, the more weaponized hysteria pours out of the press. Britain during the Blitz didn’t have the sense of crisis that viewers get from 5 minutes of CNN. The rising economy, consumer confidence, terror victories and international stature are met with bigger headlines of “Doom.”
That’s what the media is like on a good day. It’s even worse on a bad day.
Last Wednesday was a very bad day. It was a bad day for Parkland, Florida, and for America.
The hysterical news cycle is bad enough when the media doesn’t have anything to work with except its Russian conspiracy theories, leaks from Muellerville and outraged identity politics protests. When seventeen people were murdered by a deranged school shooter, it got much worse.
The media viciously dragged traumatized teens out of the classroom and forced them to become activists. It encouraged student walkouts from classrooms across the country. It told them to scream at elected officials trying to explain to them that the Bill of Rights couldn’t just be hated out of existence.
A week’s worth of the media’s weaponized hysteria traumatized viewers before trying to sell them exercise equipment or diet pills. It terrorized the victims and the rest of the country for political gain.
Nikolas Cruz pulled the trigger on Wednesday on the students of Stoneman Douglas High School. The media went on gleefully pulling it for another week on the entire country.
If you believe the media (and if you do, you’re a member of a tiny gullible minority whom CNN advertisers value the same way that Nigerian royalty scammers value those silly enough to reply to their emails) then it’s the sober and sensible voice of reason, while President Trump is dangerously irrational.
And yet this week, the country turned to President Trump for common sense and comfort while the media’s talking heads shrieked, incited, denounced and harangued the nation in tones that make nails on a blackboard seem like the dulcet harmonies of tropical songbirds. Trump has excelled at driving the media crazy. And while the media stayed crazy, President Trump emerged as the voice of reason.
The media could think of only one response to the tragedy in Parkland. “BAN GUNS.” That was the message that poured of the thousands of orifices of the mainstream media from dead tree papers rotting in street corner vending machines to the slickest sites on the web. “Ban guns or you have blood on your hands.” “Ban guns or you want children to die.” “Ban guns or you’re a child murderer.”
After all the ugliness and hate, President Trump’s listening session with survivors and parents was a fresh breath of sanity. He offered common sense policies like arming teachers. The mobs whipped up by the media howled for ‘solutions’. But gun control offers no solutions to an actual shooting. Gun-free zones don’t stop shooters, they attract them. The areas with the toughest gun control also have the highest rates of gun violence. European countries ban guns, but terrorists have no trouble getting them.
“A gun-free zone to a maniac, because they’re all cowards, a gun-free zone is, ‘Let’s go in and let’s attack, because bullets aren’t coming back at us,’” President Trump said. And the data backs him up.
Instead of disarming everyone except the shooters, he had a much better idea.
"These people are cowards. They're not going to walk into a school if 20% of the teachers have guns -- it may be 10% or may be 40%. And what I'd recommend doing is the people that do carry, we give them a bonus. We give them a little bit of a bonus," he suggested.
“If the coach had a firearm in his locker... He wouldn't have had to run. He would have shot and that would have been the end of it,” the President pointed out.
Gun controllers ridicule the idea of arming teachers. Only police officers can be trusted with firearms. But there was an armed school resource deputy on the scene. He stayed outside during the massacre.
From local police to the FBI to the armed officer on the scene, law enforcement failed miserably at every step in the process. That’s why law enforcement can never be the only option for stopping a killer. Controllers refuse to allow teachers and students to defend themselves, and they are the ones with blood on their hands. Even after the failure of law enforcement in Parkland, they continue to spitefully oppose President Trump’s proposals to empower teachers to save the lives of their students.
“History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly,” President Trump pointed out on Twitter.
“Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” he tweeted. But the left wants us to lose our offensive and defensive options. When they say that we should be more like Europe, they don’t mean that gun control works in its failed socialist cities. What they really mean is that we should wait helplessly for the unarmed police to do nothing because faith in government demands a lack of faith in the individual.
It isn’t looking for “solutions” to gun violence, but to our individual autonomy and empowerment.
After a shooting, the controllers insist that the only ‘solution’ is banning guns. But President Trump offered a variety of solutions that, unlike gun bans, actually address the problem. He urged hardening schools and tackling mental health issues. He mentioned the role of popular culture and remained open to reasonable proposals, but unwilling to be swept along in the media’s weaponized hysteria.
“There is nothing more important than protecting our children. They deserve to be safe, and we will deliver,“ he tweeted.
The media has no interest in delivering anything except more hysteria. It has no answers for why these attacks are happening and its toxic habit of turning mass shooters into celebrities has already been shown to inspire more attacks. There’s another solution there that the media doesn’t want to discuss.
As another day ends and a new day begins, the media’s frenzied cable news cycle spins the same talking points. But its seemingly easy solution is no solution. That’s why the push for it is so irrational.
While the media screamed, screeched and ranted, President Trump rose above the fray. As he did at the State of the Union, he surprised the left by taking the high ground while leaving them in the swamp.
“I will always remember the time I spent today with courageous students, teachers and families. So much love in the midst of so much pain. We must not let them down. We must keep our children safe!” President Trump declared.
Unlike Obama, he actually has come in with solutions to keep Americans safe. Where his leftist predecessor had opened the border and implemented an illegal alien amnesty that may have led to hundreds of MS-13 murders, he has a plan to secure the border and build a wall. While Obama let Islamic terror migrants into America, he fought to implement a travel ban for Islamic terror states.
Government has a role in keeping us safe. But Americans are the ultimate defenders of our freedom.
President Trump reminded America of that at the listening session. The left believes that only government can stop the next mass shooter. The President believes that you can do it.
Obama’s, “Yes, we can” was never more than a hollow slogan. Trump is making it real.
Yes, we can stop the next mass shooter, the next terrorist and the next killer. And we can do it while preserving our rights and freedoms. Because we’re not helpless socialist lefties: we’re Americans.