Here is something that you won’t hear on the news. The Dayton mass shooter who left nine people dead and some 27 people injured was a registered Democrat, a self-described “leftist” who hated Donald Trump, and a strong proponent of more gun control.
If you believe the media, the murderer from the El Paso Walmart killer to the New Zealand Mosque shooter were right-wingers.
“The white supremacist rantings are only the most recent far-right wing writings to emerge behind senseless mass shooting deaths in the past several months,” according to Time magazine, in reference to both the El Paso and New Zealand mass public shooters. A headline at NBC News proclaims: “After El Paso, Dayton shootings, world media warns about right-wing extremism in U.S.”
On Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke blamed President Trump for the violence and agreed with CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump was a “white nationalist.” One Democratic presidential candidate after another laid the blame at Trump’s feet.
This drumbeat has been going on for awhile. The Washington Post called the New Zealand mosque shooting, “One of the worst cases of right-wing terrorism in years.” CNN’s John Berman, meanwhile, said, “The person giving a sign of allegiance to President Trump is the killer here."
The logic goes that President Trump is a right winger and a racist, and that therefore he is in league with and responsible for mass public shootings by white supremacists. Supposedly, there has been a flood of these mass public shootings because Trump has engendered a culture of hatred.
But Trump’s political views are worlds apart from those of the El Paso and New Zealand killers. Both were extreme environmentalists who opposed immigration because they thought that overpopulation would damage the environment.
The El Paso killer’s environmentalism was clearly the basis for his anti-immigrant views: “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. This has been a problem for decades. . . . If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.”
Similarly, the New Zealand killer wrote: “The environment is being destroyed by over population, [and] we Europeans are one of the groups that are not over populating the world. The invaders are the ones over populating the world. Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation and by doing so save the environment.”
The El Paso killer opposed all immigration, and was upset with Trump for advocating merit-based immigration. “Recently, the senate under a REPUBLICAN administration has greatly increased the number of foreign workers that will take American jobs. Remember that both Democrats and Republicans support immigration and work visas.”
Of course, the media is silent about the fact that the Dayton killer was a self-described “leftist,” a registered Democrat, and a gun control proponent. On Feb. 14, 2018, he tweeted at Sen. Rob Portman: “@robportman hey rob. How much did they pay you to look the other way? 17 kids are dead. If not now, when?” That was the date of the mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida. He also wrote on Twitter, “I want socialism, and i’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding.”
On Sunday, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin claimed: “The facts indicate white nationalists are responsible for more deaths than Islamic fundamentalist-inspired killings under this president.”
The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) collected data on the race and ideology (political and religious) of mass public shooters. Since 1998, 58% of these killers have indeed been white, but this percentage is smaller than the white share of the US population (64%, as of 2015). Middle Easterners are by far the most overrepresented among mass public shooters, given that they represent about 1% of the US population and 8% of mass public shooters. Blacks, Asians, and American Indians are also overrepresented. Hispanics are the most underrepresented, committing attacks at a rate that is little more than a third of their share of the population.
Environmental extremism is on the rise, and doomsayers on the left should take some responsibility for the unhinged frame of mind that many young Americans now occupy. Trump certainly didn’t inspire this strain of environmental fanaticism. But instead of having an honest conversation about where such fanaticism comes from, the media would rather just stereotype all angry white males as “right-wingers” and warn of a “white nationalist terrorism crisis.”