Jesse Watters: Masks! Masks Cause Mass Shootings! That's The Ticket!
The inconvenient thing about mass shootings, for Republicans, is not all the dead people and children. The really inconvenient thing is that there is one very obvious cause and one very obvious solution. But it's a cause and a solution they don't like. From their perspective, they think the Left, rather than looking at the obvious cause and obvious solution and determining where to go from there, is simply using these mass shootings to achieve something they want for entirely unrelated reasons. And they want to be able to do the same thing with the things they want.
Thus, they're out here trying to blame mass shootings on the existence of trans people, on women being on social media, on abortions, on not being able to force children to practice Christianity, and pretty much anything else they don't like. In fact, at this point, I think we can safely say that rightwing pundits and politicians are probably just drawing slips of paper out of a hat to determine which of their pet causes they can blame mass shootings on this time.
Jesse Watters, it seems, has drawn "masks." And Dr. Fauci! You see, Watters is very concerned that no one is even bothering to consider the fact that perhaps the reason people are going on shooting sprees is the result of entirely appropriate responses to a worldwide pandemic that has killed over one million people in this country alone.
Transcript via Media Matters:
And what word don't you hear? You don't hear Fauci's name. In all these articles, they talk about all these effects of these shutdowns. Wait a second, Fauci was the architect of the shutdown, all right? And then all the governors went along with him when Trump reopened everything back up and destroyed children's social lives and their school lives.
These kids are social animals. They couldn't play sports. They were inside not getting any sun. They're zoned out on screens all day. They're isolated. I mean, look what happened when you put a mask over someone's face for that long — that Buffalo shooter was all tweaked out over the internet, put a hazmat suit on, went to school because he was so freaked out.
During this discussion on his show, Watters also mentions the fact that, post-shutdown, there has been an uptick in kids seeking mental health care in schools. One thing worth mentioning is that while sure, a lot of that could be due to the fact that kids had trouble making such an adjustment, a lot of it could also be due to the fact that some of those kids are grieving. Because they lost one of their parents or a grandparent or an aunt or an uncle or someone else close to them to COVID. Or to something else, perhaps even because they couldn't get a bed at a hospital because there were none available, because there was a pandemic going on.
And, surely, fewer of those kids are grieving than would have been if we had done things the Jesse Watters/Fox News way. As much as he'd clearly like to pretend that the pandemic wouldn't have been traumatic if everyone just pretended it wasn't even happening, surely some of those kids would notice they didn't have parents anymore.
That being said, the Buffalo shooter "was all tweaked out over the internet" because he was radicalized by the exact same kind of rhetoric that is regularly spouted on Fox News. He didn't have to go to 4chan to get riled up about the "Great Replacement," he could have just watched Tucker Carlson. Hell, the New Zealand mosque shooter credited frequent Fox News guest Candace Owens as the inspiration for his own shooting ... and that was a year before the pandemic hit.
Look, I get it. These people want their guns. They are furious at the idea that they had to live in a world where they were the only ones bravely responding to a pandemic by saying "Fuck it! I'll do what I want! I don't care who dies!" — because the more people care about whether or not other people live or die, the less likely they are to vote Republican, and that frightens them. They would much prefer that if we are going to blame mass shootings on something, we blame it on something they don't like, rather than something they do. Even if it makes absolutely no goddamned sense. It's very understandable, but it's also very stupid and it's incorrect.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse