Does Donald Trump Inspire Mass Shootings?
There have been terrible shootings this weekend. Some you have heard about, and some you haven’t. You might not have heard that in Chicago seven people were shot to death just this weekend, and 44 were wounded. In one police district, seven were injured in a drive-by shooting, and another seven were injured in another drive-by shooting. Chicago’s Mount Sinai Hospital went on bypass Sunday morning, meaning it temporarily stopped accepting new patients. It was filled to capacity after the shootings, a hospital spokesperson said. In one of Chicago’s 25 police districts, the department had to deploy an extra 50 officers to try to slow down the carnage.
The carnage you have more likely heard about was the mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
In El Paso, a deranged, diabolical person walked into a Walmart shopping center with a powerful rifle and murdered 22 people, wounding dozens more. The murderer, who surrendered to police, is from another city in Texas, 10 hours away, and appears to have posted a manifesto online just before the rampage.
Horrifically, another despicable mass murder occurred about 12 hours later. Another young man killed three people, including his sister, near a bar in Dayton, Ohio. Wearing a mask, a bulletproof vest and hearing protection, and carrying a rifle equipped with a 100-round drum magazine, he fired dozens of shots into a bar, and then began to enter it. Police officers on patrol in the district responded within 20 seconds and fatally shot him 10 seconds later. By that point, he had killed nine people and wounded 27.
These are horrific tragedies. They raise so many gut-wrenching, fundamental, urgent questions. But what many people are focusing on right now is … President Donald Trump.
The media are convinced this is all Donald Trump’s fault. They are featuring Democratic presidential candidates doing their best to link the president to mass murderers.
But look into the facts and you quickly see how counterfactual and contorted this view is. Perhaps there has never been a more vivid example of how bizarre, deranged and dangerous the hatred against the president has become than their efforts to blame him for what happened this weekend.
The Washington Post wrote, “‘How do you stop these people?’: Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric looms over El Paso massacre,” stating: “After yet another mass murder, the question surrounding the president is no longer whether he will respond as other presidents once did, but whether his words contributed to the carnage. … Since the moment Trump rode down his gold-plated escalator four years ago to start his renegade run for the White House, us-against-them language about immigrants has been a consistent and defining feature of his campaign and now of his presidency. Absent from his repertoire has been a forceful repudiation of the white nationalism taking rise under his watch. … Although he has not directly espoused the ‘great replacement’ theory of white supremacists, Trump has openly questioned America’s identity as a multiethnic nation, such as by encouraging migration from Nordic states as opposed to Latin America.”
This is a horrible distortion of what President Trump actually said regarding nations in the Temporary Protected Status program. The “great replacement” theory is the idea that some elites are intentionally encouraging mass migration to gradually replace natives with immigrants. Notice that loaded language: “not directly espoused.” That is a classic, dishonest way of saying that someone hasn’t done something, while making it look like he has.
This Washington Post article uncritically quotes Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a “professor of history at New York University and expert on authoritarianism,” as saying: “This is a concerted attempt to construct and legitimize an ideology of hatred against nonwhite people and the idea that whites will be replaced by others. When you have a racist in power who incites violence through his speeches, his tweets, and you add in this volatile situation of very laxly regulated arms, this is uncharted territory.”
As a Post reader, you are expected to take these as facts: This person is an “expert on authoritarianism,” and your president is a “racist in power who incites violence.”
The New York Times headlined one of its articles, “El Paso Shooting Suspect’s Manifesto Echoes Trump’s Language.” The author wrote, “While other leaders have expressed concern about border security and the costs of illegal immigration, Mr. Trump has filled his public speeches and Twitter feed with sometimes false, fear-stoking language even as he welcomed to the White House a corps of hard-liners, demonizers and conspiracy theorists shunned by past presidents of both parties. Because of this, Mr. Trump is ill equipped to provide the kind of unifying, healing force that other presidents projected in times of national tragedy.”
Let’s look for a bit more truth about the shooter that the journalists are ignoring.
The Ohio mass murderer was Connor Betts, 24. Was he a Trump supporter? He posted, “#2016ElectionIn3Words This is bad” and “Vote blue,” and “I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding.” He condemned Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, posting articles accusing them of running “concentration camps,” and wrote, “Cut the fences down. Slice ice tires. Throw bolt cutters over the fences.” He bewilderingly demanded increased gun control. He expressed support for radical leftists like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and said he would “happily” vote for Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. You won’t read any of these views in mainstream stories. You won’t hear anyone laying blame at the feet of Warren or Ocasio-Cortez.
Besides that, in high school, Betts was known to have talked about killing people and made a “kill list” of male students and a “rape list” of female students. He left no manifesto, but he posted a lot on social media. His Twitter profile reads: metalhead / leftist / i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” He ended one tweet with: “#selfie4satan #HailSatan @SatanTweeting.”
This murderer was obviously evil and disturbed. But the press ignored his political views, and ignored his Satanism and fascination with evil. Some journalists instead fixated on the fact that six of the nine people killed were black, implying that racial hatred was a possible motive. The “logic”: Betts was racist, Trump is racist—ergo, Trump is responsible.
The journalists are doing a better job of covering the El Paso mass murderer, Patrick Crusius, 21. They point out that he drove 10 hours from his residence to target a shopping center in El Paso, which is close to the border. Six of those killed were Mexican citizens. The journalists are highlighting certain lines from an unsigned online manifesto that he most likely wrote—but not so much other lines from the same manifesto. Report after report links this manifesto to President Trump. But if you want to read the manifesto for yourself to verify that claim, it’s really hard to find. So you have to allow the left-wing media to tell you what it says.
I found the full text of it, and the media is not reporting the whole truth.
The author does state outright, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” so he is definitely anti-immigration. And he criticizes Democrats and Republicans, but Democrats more so. But what else did he write? He wrote about automation, universal health care, universal basic income, big corporations and environmentalism—environmentalism so radical as to involve getting rid of people. He wrote:
- “The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat and Republican, have been failing us for decades. They are either complacent or involved in one of the biggest betrayals of the American public in our history. The takeover of the United Sates government by unchecked corporations. I could write a 10-page essay on all the damage these corporations have caused ….”
- “The American lifestyle affords our citizens an incredible quality of life. However, our lifestyle is destroying the environment of our country. The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources.”
- “[T]he next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”
The bizarre manifesto itself is titled “An Inconvenient Truth,” named after the 2006 documentary featuring Democrat Al Gore’s claims that industrialized nations are causing global warming.
This murderer’s views mix several Elizabeth Warren–Bernie Sanders–Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking points with some extreme right-wing views. But the media focus only on the bits that link him with the president and pretend the rest doesn’t exist.
The first line of the manifesto states, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto.” That shooter killed 51 people and wounded 40 in New Zealand, and he targeted them at their mosques. The media have identified the killer as far-right, and have emphasized his manifesto’s mention of Donald Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” But we don’t know much else in that manifesto because the New Zealand government banned its publication. The part about President Trump is emphasized, but other parts are not. Is it because they undermine leftists’ efforts to influence people?
According to the National Review, John Lott, head of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of More Guns, Less Crime, tweeted in March: “New Zealand killer’s manifesto says that he did attack to get more gun control/gun bans in New Zealand and the U.S., Killer was a socialist, environmentalist who hated capitalists and trade.” After this post, Twitter blocked Lott’s account without explanation. Lott later noted that the killer had even called himself an “eco-fascist” and had written, “The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.” Lott included a link to his website explaining further details about the killer’s views.
“Lott appealed to Twitter and asked for specifics,” National Review wrote. “He was informed he had lost his appeal, but Twitter officials still gave no reason for blocking his account. Off the record, a Twitter representative explained to me that their move likely resulted from the company having to comply with regulations that the New Zealand government imposed, banning publication of quotes from the Christchurch manifesto. But the Twitter representative did not explain why Twitter had not blocked left-wing tweets linking to avowedly racist quotes from the manifesto. Sounds like a PC [politically correct] double standard to me.”
The left is uninterested in looking at the full picture of what causes mass murders. And they don’t want anyone else to have the full picture either. They want to use these opportunities to hammer their favorite causes: gun control and attacks on a president they despise.
The Christchurch killer is clearly evil. But he is not the Trump supporter the media makes him out to be. If he has been “radicalized” by extreme rhetoric, then as much of that rhetoric came from the left as from the right. But you don’t hear about that. No one is blaming Prince Harry for his rhetoric on reducing the population to conserve resources, for example.
The El Paso killer is clearly evil. But he is not the Trump supporter the media make him out to be. (His apparent manifesto states that his opinions “predate Trump and his campaign for president.”) If that killer has been radicalized by extreme rhetoric, as much of that came from the left as from the right.
The Dayton killer is clearly evil. But he was not the Trump supporter the media were straining to make him out to be. He was an Elizabeth Warren supporter.
The pattern is strong: politicians and journalists contorting their coverage of Chicago, El Paso and Dayton this weekend in order to avoid links with the policies of Democrats and to emphasize and create links to the rhetoric of the president.
But even this is not the whole truth.
What all journalists, both Democrat and Republican, are missing is the root cause of horrific mass shootings like these, which goes even deeper than the warped ideologies of their perpetrators.
Regarding the El Paso shooting, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touched on this deeper cause. It has to do with the ongoing, powerful influences we subject our minds to. “And I look at this evil act,” he said, “and let’s condemn it for what it is: evil. Evil.” After mass shootings, people use that term, but Patrick dwelled on it to make a point. This is not about an ideology or chemical imbalance but about a spirit influence of evil. Patrick went on to talk about the video game industry, which is bigger than the movie and music industry combined, teaching young people to kill, combined with the bullying people engage in on social media. “[H]alf the country [is] getting ready to go to church, and yet tomorrow, we won’t let our kids even pray in our schools. [I]t’s time to look deep inside of who we are as a country.”
Last week we broadcast programs on video games and horror movies. As we emphasized, demonic acts are inspired by a demonic spirit. And the demonic spirit is inspired by a very real, very evil spirit world. Can you look at what these murderers did, let alone their extreme, self-contradicting thoughts, and not say that there is such a thing as evil? And can you know that there is such a thing as evil and not say that there is such a thing as an evil influence from a real, literal devil?
The spirit world is real. The source of good, our Creator, is real. And the source of evil, Satan, is real. That is the whole truth. The sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can make sense of the senseless—and eventually put a stop to not only the horror of mass shootings but also the distortions and coverups that cause so much further damage.