Taking credit for stopping gun legislation after two mass shootings in schools, a Gun Owners of America spokesman this weekend blamed school shootings on the “liberal media,” which he said is “trying to encourage copycat shootings in order to achieve gun control.”
GOA’s legislative counsel, Michael Hammond, joined the group’s executive director emeritus, Larry Pratt, on Pratt’s “Gun Owners News Hour” program on Saturday, where the two took credit for stopping federal gun legislation after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado and the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, as well as a bill to improve the gun-sales background check process that was introduced after mass shootings at a concert in Las Vegas and a church in Texas.
“Gun Owners of America basically stopped all Clinton gun control after the Columbine massacre, notwithstanding that there’s a massive national campaign,” Hammond said. “We stopped all gun control after the Newtown massacre, notwithstanding that there was a massive campaign in that direction. And, frankly, we stopped, it appears, Fix NICS as a supposed result of the Las Vegas massacre.”
“But of course, you know, when I was growing up, the kids carried guns to schools, including semi-autos, and no one really thought anything of it. What you have now is you have gun free school zones, all of the sudden you have these school shootings and you have a liberal media that tries to turn these shooters into heroes. It lionizes them, it publishes their diaries, it puts their pictures on the front of The New York Times,” he said.
The “attention being given to all those other shooters by the liberal media” then inspires other shootings, he said.
“As a result,” Hammond said, “you have now a series of media-generated copycat shootings, which I’m afraid are not going to stop until one of two things happens: an armed citizenry rises up against these people and stops them or, alternatively, the media becomes so bored with this topic it stops trying to encourage copycat shootings in order to achieve gun control.”