Many Democrats and liberal commentators have blamed a recent spate of mass shootings on the right’s support for racism and lax gun laws. But the facts are more complicated.
It’s easy to politicize a tragedy.
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
- Earlier this month, an 18-year-old – apparently motivated by a white supremacist conspiracy theory – shot and killed 10 people, injuring three more, at a supermarket in a predominantly black Buffalo, New York neighborhood.
- In response to the Uvalde shooting, many liberals and Democratic politicians slammed the GOP for resistance to passing stricter laws regulating firearms ownership.
- In the wake of the Buffalo shooting, the left widely claimed the suspect had been radicalized by racist right-wing rhetoric, singling out Fox News, Tucker Carlson and the GOP.
Less media attention was paid to shootings in California and New York City.
While the shootings which could be seen as fitting the left’s narratives often get wall-to-wall press coverage, other incidents – which paint a more complicated picture – often get ignored.
UVALDE: Salvador Ramos, the Latino suspect in the Texas school shooting, legally purchased two rifles just after turning 18, the Texas Tribune reported Wednesday, citing a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives briefing attended by state Sen. John Whitmire.
- According to the New York Post, friends and family said Ramos had been bullied severely in school.
- Ramos also had a difficult home life, which included his mother using drugs, according to people with knowledge of his family.
NEW YORK CITY: Police say Andrew Abdullah, 25, shot and killed 46-year-old Daniel Enriquez Sunday while the two were riding a subway train.
- According to law enforcement, Abdullah is a gang member with a lengthy rap sheet that includes felony assault, robbery and attempted murder.
- Abdullah was taken into police custody on Tuesday afternoon.
BUFFALO: According to law enforcement officials, Payton Gendron legally obtained the firearm he used to gun down victims in New York.
- In high school, after mentioning “murder-suicide,” Gendron was subjected to an emergency mental health evaluation but was released without being involuntarily detained, CNN reported.
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said last week during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that it’s believed the high-capacity magazine Gendron used in the shooting was purchased outside of the state.
- “The gun was purchased in a gun store in New York State legally, an AR-15. But what has made this so lethal, and so devastating for this community, was the high-capacity magazine that would have had to have been purchased elsewhere, that’s not legal in the State of New York,” Hochul said.
LAGUNA WOODS: In an act allegedly motivated by political hatred, David Chou, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, shot and killed one person, injuring four more, at a California church on May 16.
- Chou, a Las Vegas resident, legally purchased the firearms he used during the shooting years ago in Nevada, authorities said.
SACRAMENTO: Six people were killed and 12 wounded in a mass shooting in California last month that received comparatively little media attention.
- Police said the three suspects arrested in the incident are all gang members.
- “What we know is that this was clearly gang related. There was a gunfight between multiple gang rivals,” Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said at a press conference earlier this month.
BILOXI: Jeremy Alesunder Reynolds, 32, allegedly gunned down four people in late April.
- According to the daughter of one of the victims, the incident was sparked by an argument over money that escalated.