As the chase continues for the Maine shooter, many Republican officials are condemning this tragedy of mental illness and offering their prayers to show virtue. In the House of Congress, the recently elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson did his absolute best by saying: “Prayer is appropriate in a time like this, that the evil can end and this senseless violence can stop. Everyone wants this to end.” Do they really? Maine's Republican senator Susan Collins stated on Thursday that Robert Card, who was just found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 7:45 p.m. local time near the Androscoggin River in Lisbon, should never have been allowed to be sold guns due to a previous hospitalization at a mental health facility.
"“The fact that the suspect was hospitalized for two weeks for mental illness should have triggered the yellow flag law. He should have been separated from his weapons,” Collins said at a press conference Thursday. “I’m sure that after the fact, that it’s going to be looked at very closely.”
Coming off the heels of a shooting with 18 dead and 3 injured, it certainly looks like the yellow flag system is failing. But Card's story is a story we know all too well. On the website FKA Twitter, his engagement was with right wing media and political figures including former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr, Dinesh D'Souza, The Babylon Bee, Elon Musk, ZUBY, End Wokeness, Cat Turd, Benny Johnson, The Hodge twins, Dr Jordan Peterson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Robert F Kennedy Junior. He held a clear right wing ideology and all the prejudices and violence that go with it.
The violence isn't rare either. On October 2nd, Ryan Martinez opened fire on a protesting crowd donning a MAGA hat and shooting Native American protestor Jacob Johns. In August, white supremacist Ryan Christopher Palmer walked into a Dollar General store in Florida and opened fire with an AR-15 after failing to reach his true target, the historically black Edward Waters University. Again in August, Travis Ikeguchi killed Laura Ann Carleton for hanging a pride flag in front of her store in California. These shootings and more have occurred over the last three months and there are plenty of mentally ill Democrats.
It appears that the ideology that defended slavery with a civil war, regularly has members that idolize Hitler, and constantly broadcast a global media hate machine against all minority groups, has a tendency towards violence. One of the first and most effective things Hitler used when spreading propaganda was called the Volksempfänger, a cheaply made and affordable radio he used to communicate directly to his followers. Hitler's rules for propaganda were as follows:
"Never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."
These rules preceded the most infamously violent incident of the 20th century, the holocaust. Yet to make the claim that all Nazi's were mentally ill would be factually incorrect and frankly dangerous. The lesson is that propaganda is effective. The constant broadcasting of propaganda through social media, FOX news, and right wing funded 'independent journalism', is clearly a highly influential factor in this steep rise in killings. Killings being perpetrated by right wing content consumers. FOX news' 24 hour radio & doom scrolling Matt Walsh on Twitter is something Hitler could only dream of.
Despite all the facts and history, the right blames mental illness. Despite the fact that these shooters are their avid fans and supporters, they denounce and move on. The rhetorical trick is to keep the attention off of them and misdirected at the mental health facilities they defunded, which they can blame on Democrats. These shootings exist by design and are unraveling as they would in any population packed to the brim with violent vitriolic repeated hatred. The hate can't be banned due to the first amendment and the guns can't be banned due to the second. The Republican machine's goal is to continue outputting enough content and rage to cause another January 6th or civil war and performatively appealing to the constitution if rerouting course is attempted. Don't let their handwaving rhetoric fool you.