COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 19, 2015 — The Navy announced yesterday that Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 24, died from wounds received Thursday when he was shot by a terrorist in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The shooter also killed four Marines and wounded two others.
The reporting of this latest terrorist incident says much about the state of our country. Initial reports said the shooter was a “white male”; only later was the terrorist identified as Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez. His picture clearly shows him of Middle Eastern origin and indeed, he was born in Kuwait. How did the mainstream media report the event?
“Chattanooga shooter …” headlined NBC, ABC and USA Today.
CNN managed to avoid mentioning the shooter at all, referring to a “Deadly shooting” in their photo collection, and headlining their story “4 guns seized after Chattanooga shooting, official says.”
Did the guns fire themselves?
For the leftist press, the story is not about terrorism; it is about gun control. Forced to reveal that a human being was required to aim and pull the trigger, sympathy from the press for the terrorist ensued.
NBC says that Abdulazeez suffered from “depression” and that his family is “in shock.” USA Today says that he embraced American ideals but struggled to balance them with his Islamist faith. At MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell managed to interview a friend of the shooter, bypassing the influence of religion on his actions.
While ISIS has been encouraging attacks on U.S. military personnel for some time, officials are at a loss to explain why Abdulazeez starting shooting at Marines and others, according to NBC, the AP and CNN, which wrote, “Authorities are working to figure out why Abdulazeez — an accomplished student, well-liked peer, mixed martial arts fighter and devout Muslim — went on the killing spree.”
Certainly this is accurate reporting. U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said the shootings are being investigated as an “act of domestic terrorism,” but noted the incident has not yet been classified as terrorism. FBI agent Ed Reinhold said Abdulazeez was not on any U.S. databases of suspected terrorists nor was he connected to ISIS or other international terror groups.
To paraphrase Dan Rather, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it’s not a duck unless the U.S. government says it is. Meanwhile, the role of the press is to tell us it’s not a duck at all.
The only glimmer of common-sense reporting came from Fox News, which today reported that Abdulazeez was a radical Islamist and called the shooting a “massacre.” Fox also made clear that Abdulazeez was Kuwaiti-born, a fact one had to dig deep to find in other reporting.
It’s no wonder that more people watch Fox News than all other news channels combined. This drives the left nuts: The greatest insult a leftist can hurl at you is that you watch Fox News.
Only Fox’s reporting centered on the victims, not speculation about why Abdulazeez committed a terrorist act. The premise of the other networks is that Muslims—especially devout Muslims—are peaceful, so how could this happen? Unthinkable.
Americans have responded in appropriate ways despite the federal government’s bizarre stance. Six governors ordered the National Guard, which the States nominally control, to be armed: Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Indiana. What do all these states have in common? Republican governors. Don’t expect Gov. Hickenlooper in Colorado to join in any time soon.
Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais has drafted legislation to repeal bans on military personnel carrying firearms on military recruitment facilities and bases. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate. It is well past time that the Clinton ban is ended.
The most interesting reaction comes from citizens themselves: In Alabama and Georgia, citizens are stepping up and providing security until Congress decides on a solution. Veterans and others with concealed carry permits (where required) or open carry (where permitted) are standing in front of recruiting store fronts.
“Our trained military isn’t allowed to carry guns to defend themselves and so citizens are stepping up to act,” notes the Independent Journalism Review.
We cannot defeat the enemy unless we can name him. The enemy is radical Islam. The federal government, from the White House on down, is determined not to name it. Islamic immigrants from the Middle East like Abdulazeez are given entry visas by the hundreds of thousands while persecuted Syrian Christians are denied.
Fortunately, the states and the people are filling the void left by a willfully blind federal government. If the federal government refuses to perform its most basic function of protecting the citizenry, why do we need it?