A gunman killed two people and injured nine at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday night.
According to witnesses and police, the gunman stood up a few minutes into the showing of “Trainwreck” and began firing. He killed himself when police showed up quickly to the scene.
The shooter was identified as 59-year-old John Russel Houser. Police said Friday that Houser was a drifter from Alabama, and that he had planned to escape by merging with the fleeing crowd, but a rapid response by police foiled him.
Even more impressive than the quick appearance of the cops was the rapid response of the anti-gun crowd.
Within minutes of the first news of the shooting, Buzzfeed news editor Rachel Zarrell was already tweeting gun control messages.
“Don’t pray. Push for gun control,” she tweeted within minutes of the news breaking over NBC and other networks.
“Let’s just give everyone guns, right? It’s in the goddamn constitution,” read another of her tweets that linked to a news story about the shooting.
When another person suggested Zarrell give the families of the victims at least a “moment of respect,” she snootily replied, “If this were someone in my family id want every person alive screaming about gun control to anyone who would listen.”
Because that’s a normal first reaction to a tragedy, pushing your political agenda.
The twitter-sphere was bursting with gun-control messages shortly after the shootings, but except for CNN, the major media seem to have avoided the go-to political push, at least for one evening.
Maybe they’re finally learning that calling for gun control after a shooting in a “gun-free zone” doesn’t wash with most people.
But don’t expect the second wave of reporting to be so standoffish. Only hours before the shooting, President Obama was moaning about gun control, so there will be plenty of fuel for the usual tired liberal arguments.
For the rest of us, though, we should follow Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s lead and say a prayer for the victims before diving back into politics.