In news coverage, “triggering” has taken on a literal meaning that Trump virtually pulled the trigger on victims by adding to a raging environment. It does not matter that a fair amount of violence is committed by leftist groups like Antifa. Such acts are often portrayed by advocates as merely “self defense.” The CNN special “United Shades of America” with Kamau Bell featured what Bell called the “redneck revolt” of gun toting liberals who are battling the “alt right.” Bell followed them to gun ranges and asked why “more white people” are not joining their ranks. Among the “good guys” featured was Willem Van Spronsen, who later attempted to firebomb an immigration center and died in a shootout with police.
Does that make CNN culpable in “triggering” Van Spronsen? Of course not. Yet it would appear from the coverage that Trump is still responsible for El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius, who referenced Trump and said “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It did not matter that both of these individuals apparently have serious mental health issues. It was the rhetoric of Trump that was responsible for the crimes of Crusius. It also does not matter that Conner Betts, the shooter in Dayton, described himself as a “leftist” Democrat who supported the candidacy of Senator Elizabeth Warren. He reportedly wrote, “I want socialism, and I will not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding.”