The morning after a 21-year-old white nationalist opened fire inside a Walmart in El Paso, TX, killing 20 and injuring dozens more, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told “Fox & Friends” on Sunday that he believes a lot of factors contributed to the deadly shooting in El Paso, including violence on social media, the video gaming industry and a lack of prayer in public schools.
Patrick, who was one of many conservative lawmakers who declined a request to discuss the shootings on CNN’s State of the Union, stressed that the shooter “wanted to be a super-soldier, for his Call of Duty game,” referencing a popular first-person shooter video game, and claimed that “we’ve always had guns, we’ve always had evil, but what’s changed” is now we have “a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.”
Patrick admitted the El Paso shooting was “obviously a hate crime, I think, in my view, against immigrants,” before going on to also blame “bullying people on social media” and complain that “we won’t let our kids even pray in our schools” and “we no longer salute our flag.”
Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Griff Jenkins praised Patrick’s “very important points.”
As Media Matter Notes:
They are not very important points, but they are among the lieutenant governor’s bad-faith distractions from the shooting, including warning antifa to “stay out of Texas” after the massacre (which he delivered on Fox News on Saturday).
Patrick did mention 8chan, the website where the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter and two more inspired by him (including El Paso) posted manifestoes before shooting, but Patrick used the website’s role to again attack video games and the supposed godlessness of society, instead of noting the actual 8chan link of white nationalism. Throughout the interview, Patrick and the hosts all resisted any talk of gun violence prevention policy, in order to, as host Pete Hegseth put it, “move past the platitudes and the politics” of the mass shooting epidemic.
The Texas Lieutenant Governor says it’s not firearms or white supremacy that caused yesterday’s massacre in El Paso, it’s that kids don’t pray in school anymore.
— The Resistance 🇺🇸 (@NightlyPolitics) August 4, 2019
The El Paso shooter allegedly wrote a white nationalist, anti-immigrant manifesto ahead of the attack.
Federal authorities are investigating the manifesto which stated, in part, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The reference in the manifesto, which had been circulating on the controversial message board 8Chan, was to mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer on March 15.
The shooting suspect later told investigators he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible, two law enforcement officials told ABC News.
Trump has repeatedly referred to groups of Central American migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to claim asylum in the United States as “caravans” and an “invasion.”