Sometimes you have to know when to keep your powder dry and on other days you simply come out swinging.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-NY22) clearly went with the latter choice during an interview on local radio yesterday when being asked about the mass shooting in Florida and various gun control measures under discussion. She had a number of good points to make, particularly when it comes to balancing Second Amendment rights with safety, but the interview went viral when she attempted to characterize the people most likely to commit such crimes. Rather than going with the mentally ill or career criminals, she opted for a more direct answer. It’s usually Democrats. (USA Today)
A New York Republican congresswoman said the people behind many mass shootings turn out to be Democrats.
Rep. Claudia Tenney didn’t mince words while speaking with on an Albany-area radio show Wednesday.
“Yeah, well, obviously there is a lot of politics in it, and it’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but the media doesn’t talk about that either,” Tenney told talk show host Fred Dicker…
During the interview, Tenney also noted that she was worried about what would happen to legal gun owners in the wake of the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people. “What scares me most is that a lot of these legal gun owners are going to be targeted now,” Tenney said. “In their demographic, they have the least amount of crimes of virtually any other demographic.”
First, by way of disclosure, Claudia Tenney is my Representative in Congress. I like her. I voted for her. We even kicked in a few bucks for her campaign. So take that as you will.
When asked to apologize for the remarks, Tenney demured and released the following statement:
“I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy,” Tenney said to CNN. “While we know the perpetrators of these atrocities have a wide variety of political views, my comments are in response to a question about the failure to prosecute illegal gun crime. I will continue to stand up for law-abiding citizens who are smeared by anti-gun liberal elitists.”
As to what she said, it never hurts to point out a lot of the hypocrisy which comes from the left on contentious issues, including gun control. It happens among conservatives as well and Democrats are always quick to jump on it. But on the question of mass shooters, it might seem like a random throwaway line to say that most of the mass shooters are Democrats, but that’s not the sort of charge one can easily make stick.
Even if a shooter is found to be a registered member of either party or even an activist on some issue or another, when they reach the point of mowing down a large number of people the politics sort of go out the window. Neither party, at least to my knowledge, has ever endorsed mass shootings as an effective means of advancing their ideological agendas. The people who leave behind “manifestos” when they kill large numbers of people generally come off as being more insane than partisan.
In most of the mass shootings where the culprit has been identified, it’s frequently tough to even figure out what sort of statement they were trying to make. The only exception which jumps to mind is a couple of abortion clinic shootings where one could certainly point to an ideological motive which had become distorted beyond the edge of sanity. The Columbine shooters never really revealed any sort of motive or partisan leanings beyond a general hatred of society. What motivated the Las Vegas shooter? We may never know.
Tenney is drawing plenty of fire in the media for her comments, but will anything come of it? Probably not. But I just wanted to chime in and say that if it was a joke it wasn’t an especially funny one, particularly at this specific moment in time. And if she was serious, the charge lacks quite a bit in terms of evidence.