A horrifying tragedy occurred in Charleston on Wednesday night. Nine people were shot to death by a young white man at a black church Bible study. In response, we have seen the Left and Right aligning in their concern and outrage. Glenn Beck announced he would travel to Charleston and that Martin Luther King's niece, Alveda King, would be joining him. "Let’s gather tomorrow and show this community that they are loved," he wrote. On the other hand, we're also seeing variations in coverage on the topics of racism and gun control in relation to this story.
Before we get to those perspectives, we'd like to direct your attention to a new guest post up our blog this week. In "How Partisan Politics Narrows Your Thinking", political writer Beth Ballentine argues that our partisan system has obstructed rational and critical thinking for American society as a whole. See if you agree with her.
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Snippets from the Right
Fox News
"Like so many other attacks, the massacre took place in a gun-free zone, a place where the general public was banned from having guns. The gun-free zone obviously didn’t stop the killer from bringing a gun into the church.
Indeed, the circumstantial evidence is strong that these killers don’t attack randomly; they keep picking the few gun-free zones to do virtually all their attacks.
For some reason, people who would never put up a 'gun-free zone' sign in front of their own homes, put up such signs for other sensitive areas that we would like to protect.
Time after time, we see that these killers tell us they pick soft targets. With just two exceptions, from at least 1950, all the mass public shootings have occurred in these gun-free zones."
Snippets from the Left
"In an interview with NBC, a cousin of Pinckney said she spoke with a survivor, who reported that the suspect had reloaded his gun five times. When the survivor's son tried to talk him out of shooting more, he replied, 'I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.'
Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP as well as an African Methodist Episcopal minister, released a statement on Thursday in which he expressed outrage about the 'mass hate crime.'... 'There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture.'
In a Facebook profile photo, Roof appears to be wearing a jacket affixed with patches representing apartheid-era South Africa and the unrecognized, white-dominated state of Rhodesia -- both potent symbols of white supremacy."
Snippets from the Center
"'We do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,' Obama said at the White House. 'At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.'"
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, however, was skeptical that a government solution was available.
'What kind of person goes in a church and shoots nine people? There's a sickness in our country. There's something terribly wrong, but it isn't going to be fixed by your government,' the Kentucky senator said…"