Former Texas legislator Rick Green ran for the Texas Supreme Court in 2010 (he lost), makes speeches for David Barton’s WallBuilders’ outfit about “compelling historical and Biblical facts that create interest and inspire patriotism,” and runs his so-called Patriot Academy “to equip a new generation of leaders to champion the cause of freedom and truth.” But Green can’t be bothered to check the “facts” on the urban myths he helps circulate on the Intertubes. Nope, he crowdsources!
Last week Green posted this on his Facebook page:
“This is the first I’ve heard about the liberal democrat affiliation of all these mass murderers. I’d like to verify this. If anyone has documentation and verification on the claims in this letter to the editor, I’d appreciate you posting it here. THANKS!”
His post (which he also published on his website) includes a scanned copy of a letter someone else sent to a newspaper somewhere. Headlined “Shooters were Dems,” the letter asks: “(W)hy is it the progressive liberals acquire guns, then kill movie goers and children in schools? Why are no conservative NRA members involved in mass shootings?” The letter writer then offers a list of mass shootings in recent years and claims the shooters were “registered Democrats” and “progressive liberals,” including the shooters at Fort Hood; Virginia Tech; the theater in Aurora, Colorado; and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
It’s a puzzle why Green (supposedly) hadn’t heard such claims before – they’ve been making the rounds on right-wing blogs and other websites for a while now. Just Google “were the shooters Democrats” and see for yourself.
In any case, maybe Green could have taken a few minutes out of his busy speaking schedule (it wouldn’t have taken much time) to do a little checking on his own. What he might have found is that James Holmes, the shooting suspect in Aurora, wasn’t even registered to vote. The man arrested in the Fort Hood shooting couldn’t have been a registered Democrat in Texas, which doesn’t have partisan voter registration. Neither does Virginia, his previous residence. We found no evidence at all indicating the party leanings of the Sandy Hook shooter. It’s also unclear whether the shooter at Virginia Tech was even a U.S. citizen. (His family immigrated to the United States from South Korea in the early 1990s, and news reports offered contradictory information on whether the shooter had become a naturalized U.S. citizen or not. But Virginia doesn’t register voters by party anyway.)
Commenters on Green’s Facebook post offer a riot of ignorance and additional distortions, such as:
“ppl have looked up ALL These ppl on democratic voting rolls… its not rocket science. even the columbine shooters parents were registered DEMOCRATS!!! jared laughtner was a democrat. none of these shooters are conservative. also timothy mcveigh was an atheist!”
Actually, Timothy McVeigh wasn’t an atheist. He had been, however, a registered Republican in New York, a member of the National Rifle Association and a fan of the racist and anti-Semitic novel “The Turner Diaries.” And Jared Loughner, the man arrested in the shooting of a DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN and numerous others in Tucson in 2011, was a registered independent who apparently didn’t even vote in 2010.
One of our favorite comments:
“not sure they have registered party in affiliation in virginia. so the VT shooter claim may be misleading, but doesn’t mean he didn’t lean left.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t lean left.” Awesome.
Can you imagine the fun if Green had actually won a seat on the Texas Supreme Court?