Within hours of it becoming apparent that a horrible massacre had unfolded in Paris, the wingnut fringe in this country reacted in typical form. But one tweet in particular from an American right-wing luminary caused a television host in France to hit the ceiling.
On the English edition of France 24, France’s international news channel, evening host Mark Owen was listening to a colleague read from Mother Jones’ list of the “most horrible tweets” related to the Paris massacre. One tweet in particular jumped out at Owen, from Newt Gingrich.
Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) November 13, 2015
Gingrich was referring to the attack on the Bataclan theatre, in which 87 people were killed. He was making what appears to be the standard wingnut response to mass shootings and gun-related massacres, courtesy of Wayne LaPierre–“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun a good guy with a gun.”
Owen was having none of it. After his co-host wondered if Gingrich wanted “a Wild West out there,” Owen mused that Gingrich was using the night’s horror to “make his point about people should be able to carry guns, basically.” His co-host agreed, saying that Gingrich apparently believed the concertgoers could have easily disposed of the attackers had they been armed.
Owen then let Gingrich have it:
“It’s funny how (sigh) people will very distastefully use this kind of situation to express their own political hobbyhorse. Newt Gingrich, shame on you.”
If you’re wondering why Owen was sighing so incredulously, you have to remember that most people outside this country collectively roll their eyes at the NRA-imposed inertia on gun issues. For instance, after the Charleston shooting, some of my Canadian and British friends on Facebook wondered why we in the States couldn’t have an adult conversation on this issue.
Not surprisingly, Gingrich has been kicked up, down, and sideways for his outrageous tweet. For instance, Mia Farrow’s response was even more curt than Owen’s:
@newtgingrich STOP IT
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) November 13, 2015
Even Erick Erickson of RedState joined in on the criticism:
When you’ve lost Erick Erickson, you’ve definitely gone too far.