In the wake of last week’s grisly shooting at a Florida high school, we’ve seen a familiar pattern. Republican elected officials have parroted the standard National Rifle Association response to mass shootings–“(noun) (verb) more guns.” For instance, in my state of North Carolina, Republican lawmakers are seriously considering arming teachers.
But one right-wing luminary may have offered a dumber response than that. He actually wondered why the male students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School didn’t take Nikolas Cruz down themselves.
When high school football coach-turned-minister Dave Daubenmire isn’t peddling religious right agitprop, he’s railing about how men these days aren’t masculine enough. To his mind, what happened at Douglas High is an indictment of how we raise men. Just hours after the shooting, he mused that this whole thing could have been prevented if–wait for it–the guys had rushed Cruz and tackled him. Watch here.
While riffing about the shooting, Daubenmire wagged his finger at Douglas High’s guys for not doing their part.
“This guy’s in the hallway, shooting people. Can somebody tell me why some boy didn’t go tackle him? When his back was turned, when I’m shooting in this direction, why didn’t some wrestler, or some football player, couple football players run and tackle him?”
Oh, let’s see. Could it be because they would have been dead before they could even get close to him? Remember, Cruz was carrying an AR-15 clone that allowed him to keep firing as fast as he could pull the trigger. Moreover, an AR-15’s bullets travel at 3,251 feet per second–or almost three-fifths of a mile per second. Had Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, and the other guys taken Daubenmire’s “advice,” they would have likely been shot to pieces.
Daubenmire wasn’t done. On Thursday’s show, he claimed that the shooting was more proof that boys aren’t really being taught how to be men. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Daubenmire claimed that the male survivors have it all wrong.
“Instead of the aftermath of these shootings in Florida being, ‘Hey, dude,’ where young guys are saying to each other, ‘I’m gonna learn to fire a gun. I ain’t ever gonna let this happen again, I’m gonna learn to fire a gun!’ Instead the reaction is, ‘Oh, please take the guns away!’ The exact opposite message! Meet power with power! That’s manhood, masculinity!”
He railed that boys don’t really know what masculinity means–implying if they were really men, they would have taken down Cruz themselves. Again I ask–has Daubenmire forgotten that Cruz would have cut them to pieces before they could get near enough to haul him down? Tackling a guy with an AR-15 is more or less a suicide mission.
If Daubenmire wants to lay into somebody, why doesn’t he go after the school resource officer, Scot Peterson? It turns out that Peterson, a Broward County sheriff’s deputy, stayed outside the building for four minutes while the shooting raged. When Sheriff Scott Israel saw the tape, he suspended Peterson without pay. Rather than face certain termination, Peterson resigned hours later.
So think about it, Dave. Had the guy whose job it was to protect those kids actually gone into the building, we wouldn’t have to worry about wrestlers and football players potentially going on a suicide mission. But then again, such little things as facts never dissuaded wingnuts before.
(featured image courtesy Daubenmire’s Facebook)