As per usual, the mass shooting at a Florida school last week gave the liberal media an excuse to unleash an avalanche of fake news aimed less at informing the public and more at promoting a specific political agenda. Before the week was out, we “learned” that shooter Nikolas Cruz was a member of a white supremacist group, that this was the 18th school shooting so far in 2018, that the federal government is not allowed to conduct gun violence research, and that President Trump signed a bill at the beginning of last year that somehow made it easier for this kid to get his hands on an AR-15. All of it was nonsense to some degree or another, evidence that the media cares more about pushing their anti-Republican, anti-gun agenda than they do about actually reporting the news.
The most ridiculous fake news story, perhaps, was one that many outlets surged forward with this weekend. It’s one thing to get the facts wrong on day one of the shooting; it’s quite another to take your time and fabricate the news several days later. But that’s what The New York Daily News did on Saturday when they proclaimed in a big, bold headline that the National Rifle Association trained Cruz to shoot the rifle he used to kill students in Parkland, Florida. Left-wing sites like Vox and ThinkProgress helpfully spread the story to their own fake news echo chambers.
There is a kernel of fact in the story, but it is meaningless without context – context the NY Daily News deliberately failed to supply. While it’s true that the NRA gives money to schools to help with all manner of firearm safety and education programs, it is certainly not true that Nikolas Cruz was enrolled in an NRA-sponsored training program that taught him how to be an efficient killer – the insinuation that the newspaper made in their story. No, Cruz was a member of the Stoneman Douglas High School’s JROTC program, which is a program sponsored not by the NRA but by the U.S. military.
In that program, Cruz did apparently learn air rifle marksmanship and compete in events held throughout the district. And yes, his high school did receive $10,000 from the NRA Foundation as part of a larger grant of $2.2 million given to schools in 2016. The majority of this money was intended for equipment to be used by air rifle teams such as those organized by the JROTC program. This hardly makes it an NRA-sponsored rifle team.
But the left has decided that the NRA – which doesn’t even crack the top 50 lobbying groups in Washington in terms of money donated to politicians – is the number one enemy of common sense gun legislation. And as such, they will lie their tails off to make their readers believe it.