It didn’t take long after a mass shooting at a Tennessee Christian school for The Washington Post to go into full “austere religious scholar” mode.
You remember the headline from the Post after the Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, referring to him as an “austere religious scholar.” As the BBC noted, that was later changed to “extremist leader.”
We wonder if the same courtesy will be extended to GOP Rep. Andrew Ogles after six people, including three children, were shot and killed at the Covenant School in Nashville. The shooter was later killed by police, according to Fox News, who responded to the scene.
So, here’s the Post’s current headline: “GOP congressman from Nashville district ‘heartbroken’ by shooting.” Subheadline: “Democrats, gun-control advocates highlighted a 2021 Christmas photo showing Rep. Andrew Ogles and members of his family with firearms.”
“We are sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of those lost,” Ogles is quoted as saying. “As a father of three, I am utterly heartbroken by this senseless act of violence. I am closely monitoring the situation and working with local officials.”
An initial tweet, now deleted by the Post, was even more explicit. “GOP congressman from Nashville district ‘heartbroken’ by shooting. A 2021 photo shows his family with firearms.”
Oh, so that’s to blame for the massacre that left six victims dead inside the Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, the Post was willing to imply? Picture other headlines: “Congressman’s son drowns in tragic accident. A 2018 photo shows him standing by a pool.” “Congressman’s wife dead in plane crash. A 2016 tweet pictures him at the airport.”
Sadly, the Post wasn’t the only leftist organization attacking Ogles and his family as if they were somehow responsible for the attack. Here’s gun-control activist Shannon Watts, for example:
Meanwhile, one of the small downsides of Elon Musk’s unbanning of certain Twitter personalities is that the leftist Krassenstein brothers — mega-trolls who used witless anti-Trump rhetoric to earn some degree of fame and were banned for using fake accounts back in 2019, according to Variety — are back on the platform. Here’s Brian Krassenstein, also calling attention to the photo:
And it went on, and on, and on.
Now, did Ogles radicalize the shooter with this photograph in any way? From what we know, it’s unlikely; she was a 28-year-old former student who identified as transgender and was targeting a Christian school. Speculation is just that, but one can deduce from available facts, this likely wasn’t an Oath Keeper or white supremacist. Therefore, we must focus on the guns, because otherwise there’s no liberal narrative.
However, there’s a counter-narrative here, best illustrated by podcaster Cliff Maloney — who called Ogles “a patriot.”
“He understands we MUST get rid of DANGEROUS gun free zones,” Maloney tweeted.
“He prepares his family to defend themselves in a world of maniacs. Be like Andy.”
Indeed, it’s worth noting CNN is reporting the shooter had picked a second target, but, after a “threat assessment,” decided there was “too much security.” Because the suspect was shot and killed by local police who responded to the scene, it can be properly assumed that a lack of guns in the hands of capable school security officials — as opposed to a surfeit of guns in general — was partly to blame.
Radio host Dana Loesch, formerly with the National Rifle Association, also noted how there was nothing wrong with the photograph:
The 2021 photo was about celebrating the God-given constitutional right to self-defense via firearms, not criminality. In fact, it may well turn out that, if more people had been exercising that right inside the Covenant School, this shooter would have been stopped dead in her tracks.
It’s improbable that this murderer ever saw this photo, much less knew who Rep. Ogles is. Nevertheless, the Post was willing to give him the full “austere religious scholar” treatment. The rest of left-bubble Twitter wasn’t far behind. Because when you can’t blame the ideology, you blame the weapon — and the Republicans who support the constitutional right to own them.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.