Trump Calls to Ban All Muslim Immigration, and 9 Other Absurd Right-Wing Reactions to CA Shooting
In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead, right-wing media and conservative politicians did what they do best: nativist fearmongering about people who had nothing to do with the attack. Here are 10 absurd right-wing reactions to the shooting and to President Obama's speech Sunday on combating terror.
1. On Monday afternoon, GOP front-runner Donald Trump topped a day of fierce Islamophobia among right-wing media with a statement to "Make America Great Again!' by banning all Muslim immigration to the U.S. "Without looking at the various polling data, it's obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension," Trump opined about the people forced to leave their lives behind to come to America.
"Where this hatred comes from, and why, we will have to determine," he continued. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
Over the weekend, Trump also pledged to continue retaliating against innocent people, promising to deploy a more muscular foreign policy—against wives.
“At least I would certainly go after the wives who absolutely knew it was happening, and I guess your definition of what I’d do, I’m going to leave that to your imagination,” he said on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Trump also attacked the sister of shooter Syed Farook, who said over the weekend that she had no prior knowledge of his plans. Citing no evidence at all, Trump said he didn't believe her.
“I would go after a lot of people and find out whether or not they knew. I’d be able to find out. 'Cause I don’t believe the sister,” he said.
2. Breitbart.com advanced its absurd crusade against a child, plastering up a picture of Ahmed Mohamed, the teenager arrested in his Texas town for bringing a clock to school. The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether his rights were violated during his arrest and interrogation. But Breitbart has the real scoop: "Mosque near 'Clock' boy Ahmed's Texas Home Connected to Terrorism," blares the headline—under a picture of Ahmed flashing a peace sign.
The story tries to link the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, whose members were found guilty of providing material support to Hamas, and the Dallas teenager, who was six years old when HLF members were first tried. The verdict in the HLF case remains controversial, with the government basically arguing that in sending money to Palestinian humanitarian groups, the members were indirectly helping Hamas.
3. Fox News analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters helped elevate the national discourse by calling the President of the United States a "pussy" on live television, apparently because President Obama didn't instantly flood five countries with ground troops in response to the San Bernardino shooting.
Peters continued keeping it classy by excoriating the president for caring more about "thugs in Guantanamo and thugs in Ferguson, Missouri than law-abiding American citizens."
4. Last week the New York Times reported that a handful of Democratic lawmakers planned to attend the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, in a show of solidarity with American Muslims.
“After Paris and after the House resolution a few weeks ago, we just thought it was really important to continue to reiterate to the many, many peace-loving Muslim Americans that they were still a welcome part of our community,” said Representative Don Beyer, D-Virginia, according to the New York Times.
The right-wing website Free Beacon responded with a wildly inaccurate depiction of the mosque, calling it a front for Hamas and the "home" of Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam killed in a drone attack in Yemen almost a decade after he worked at the mosque. Although al-Awlaki did work there years before he was targeted by the U.S. government, the Free Beacon neglects to mention that during al-Awlaki's tenure, he was considered a moderate and that the mosque's leadership has disavowed his turn toward extremism, while continuing their critique of America's drone assassination policies, the Washington Post has reported.
The Dar al-Hijrah mosque has experienced repeated threats over the years.
5. A Nevada rep. who recently sent a Christmas card portraying her entire family holding firearms threatened to fly to Paris to shoot refugees in the head.
"I'm about to fly to Paris and shoot 'em in the head myself!" Michele Fiore said on her radio show. "I'm not OK with Syrian refugees, I'm not OK with terrorists, you know I'm OK with putting them down, blacking them out. Just put a piece of brass in their ocular cavity and end their miserable lives. I'm good with that."
6. The Free Beacon kept it simple, with a headline inviting its conservative readers to conjure their own imagery of invading hordes: "680,000 Green Cards to Immigrants From Muslim-Majority Nations in Past Five Years."
7. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, an actual elected official, has figured out the President's evil plan to destroy the Second Amendment. It involves unleashing terrorists, refugees and illegal immigrants as a pretext to snatch away white people's guns:
Refugees that have been allowed in the country, some of whom are violent terrorists, and they’ve been let in the country, and then when they do some act of violence, we’re told, and I know they haven’t said these words but basically by the position the administration is taking, they’re saying, ‘Yep, we’ve let all of these terrorists, these criminals come into the middle of our country, so all of you law-abiding citizens are going to have to give up your Second Amendment rights because I’ve let all these terrorists in; we can’t let terrorists go in and buy guns so we need to be really restrictive.’
8. Rush Limbaugh helpfully weighed in with his own gun/ISIS conspiracy theory.
"These attacks, such as San Bernardino and all in the future are going to be used by this administration to somehow enact even greater gun control measures. That's what this is all about," he said on his radio show Monday.
9. Before the government takes away everyone's guns, Brevard County, Florida's Sheriff Wayne Ivey is encouraging Americans to be as paranoid as possible while armed to the teeth in a video he posted to Facebook.
"Let there be no mistake in what I'm about to say. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Ivey said in a video posted to Facebook. "Now is the time more than ever to realize that you and you alone may very well may be the first line of defense for you, your family.
"This is about an attempt to survive an attack by armed, evil people," he continues.
"We have to be mentally and physically prepared to respond to an attack, so we can defend and protect ourselves."
While Ivey's message might resonate with gun owners who fear for their safety, research shows that more guns results in more homicides. Also, people without military or police training rarely know how to behave in emergency situations and have a greater chance of shooting themselves or a family member than a "bad guy."
10. And finally, because someone had to do it, Christian right-wing preacher Alex McFarland blamed the shooting on abortion and gay marriage.
"People are saying, 'Why didn't God prevent this?' Look, we've for 45 years told God to leave us alone. Fifty-seven to sixty million babies aborted, now our Supreme Court has deviated from natural law to case law and we've redefined marriage ... God forgive us for the murder of the unborn, God forgive us for kicking prayer out of public schools, God forgive us for making sodomy mainstream and redefining marriage.
"The greatest sin of all is abortion in our nation and the judgment of God will only escalate until we turn to the Lord."