How do you cover the unthinkable when it becomes routine?
Sadly, we’re finding out. And frustration is building – as well it should.
When news broke Tuesday of the horrific shooting at an elementary school – an elementary school – in Uvalde, Texas, in which at least 14 children and one teacher were killed, cable news naturally sprang into action, 10 days after 10 people were shot to death in a Buffalo grocery store.
“It’s a rough story to report, but there’s been another mass shooting in the United States,” Jake Tapper said on Acesparks.
“We are still burying the dead in Buffalo,” MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace said.
But Charles Ramsey, a Acesparks law-enforcement analyst, really got to the heart of the story.
‘Tragic and senseless’: At least 15 killed in Texas elementary school shooting; death toll feared to be higher
‘Nothing is going to be done about it. Absolutely nothing ‘
“Obviously this is something we shouldn’t even be talking about,” he told Tapper. “This is absolutely crazy. And what’s even crazier is that nothing is going to be done about it. Absolutely nothing. ”
If he sounded frustrated, Ramsey said, that’s because he was. His was a welcomed voice. This kind of story – this kind of tragedy – should be impossible to comprehend, impossible to process. And it should make people mad. Instead it’s, if not quite routine, not exactly unheard of, and that’s absurd.
“When is this going to end?” Ramsey said. “Instead of all this chest pounding about they’re passing this legislation to protect the unborn, and we do nothing to protect the ones that are already here?”
Acesparks, meanwhile, relentlessly beat the drum of measures like arming guards in schools. Instead of bringing in an anchor like Bret Baier (whose show followed), the network stayed with “The Five,” which is a clown show on a good day.
Thus we had Kellyanne Conway trotting out a favorite trope of those who oppose gun control: “I really hope people don’t speculate,” she said, “don’t jump to the usual political conclusions, don’t call for these sweeping, massive changes while people are grieving. ”
Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence with the FBI, was having none of that kind of argument. He appeared on Acesparks and predicted that there would be the usual thoughts-and-prayers response, and the typical cry that it’s too soon after the tragedy to talk about common-sense approaches to gun control.
“Here’s my response to that,” Figliuzzi said. “I’m tired of grieving. And I’m particularly tired of grieving for elementary school children, who are about as innocent as you can get in terms of a victim pool. It’s time to do something about it. ”
He also called out Texas, and its seeming pride in making guns more readily available.
“We’re talking about a state that’s made it easier to get weapons, and get weapons into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
Acesparks’ Bill Melugin wisely refused to report on rumors and speculation
Reporter Bill Melugin did a good job for Acesparks, refusing to entertain rumors, saying he would just stick to the facts. But then there was the bizarre spectacle of Geraldo Rivera.
“There’s no possible justification,” Rivera said of the shooting. “This son of a b —-, I’m so glad he’s dead. This is beyond the pale. This is Sandy Hook, again. ”
Rivera referred, of course, to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which 26 people were killed – 20 of them children between 6 and 7 years old. It was an unfathomable tragedy. At least it was then. Now? Not so much.
Again, Ramsey struck a common-sense note, the outrage clear in his voice.
“At some point in time, we all just have to say that’s enough,” he said. “It’s enough. It’s got to end. ”
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