In the wake of the deadly Madden NFL tournament shooting in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend, NRATV host Grant Stinchfield knew what to blame: Gamer headsets.
In a Monday segment on his eponymous NRATV show, first spotted by liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, the host showed viewers a clip of the mass shooting, posted online by Twitter user @LaYzR96.
“I want to show you something that’s very, very important, of that gaming video,” Stinchfield said as @LaYzR96’s clip played, showing a desktop computer live-streaming the Madden tournament as gunfire broke out, with what appears to be a blue headset in the foreground.
“If you listen over the talking that person doesn’t hear the shots. Why? Because their headphones are on,” Stinchfield continued. “This is another example of people not being aware of their surroundings. I heard at least four, or five, or six shots while that person was taking a cellphone video of the game. There’s no running for cover, there’s not even any looking around. They’re still focused on the screen in front of them as someone is firing a handgun through the crowd.”
Aside from his bizarre need to criticize gamers for wearing headsets, there’s one glaring problem with Stinchfield’s rant: The video he cited was not an “over-the-shoulder” shot of a participant not reacting to the gunfire.
In fact, it wasn’t even filmed at the tournament event.
Reached by The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon, user @LaYzR96 confirmed his video was of his home desktop live-streaming the horrific events as they happened.
And the headset Strichfield was so eager to criticize? It was draped over a computer screen, not on someone’s head.
Nevertheless, Stinchfield concluded: “You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings at all places,” he said. “I know it’s hard when you’re wearing headphones, but we talk about this all the time, whether you’re jogging and wearing headphones, whether you’re at a video game wearing headphones, if they’re so loud you can’t hear what’s going on around you, you are living in your own world. That can become deadly.”
The NRATV host’s bizarre segment is just the latest of many examples in which prominent pro-gun activists suggest the actions of mass-shooting victims are partly to blame for a massacre committed by a gunman.
Two days after the tragic Santa Fe High School shooting that left 10 dead, incoming National Rifle Association President Oliver North blamed the “disease” causing such tragedies on a “culture of violence,” and, inexplicably, the ADHD prescription drug Ritalin.
“If you look at what has happened to the young people, many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten,” North said on Fox News Sunday. “I am certainly not a doctor, I’m a Marine, but I can see those kinds of things happening.”
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick infamously blamed the Santa Fe shooting on the existence of “too many entrances and too many exits” in school buildings.
The same occured months earlier, in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and sparked a national movement for gun control. Instead of reflecting on the role that guns played in school shootings, NRA officials criticized “the media, the FBI, and Democrats.”
In fact, after the Santa Fe shooting, the NRA directly blamed the media for mass shootings.
“The media has got to stop creating more of these monsters by oversaturation,” said NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. “Constantly showing the image of the murderer, constantly saying their name, is completely unnecessary.”
Similarly, her colleague Colion Noir said at the time that school shooters “are being inspired by the infamous glory of past shooters who they relate to. And no entity on the planet does a better job, whether directly or indirectly, of glorying these killers, and thereby providing the inspiration for the next one, than our mainstream media.”
“We at the NRA are Americans who continue to mourn and care and work every day and contributing real solutions to this very real problem,” NRA executive Wayne LaPierre added at the time. “Real, practical action to truly protect our children.”