Before the body count had even been tallied, the culprit identified, or a motive discovered, the media had already arrived at the solution: More gun control.
No sooner were reports surfacing of a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, were TV reporters taking to their usual narrative-building battle stations, demanding new legislation on guns.
Had they held their fire just a few more hours, they could have saved themselves some embarrassment.
It’s since been reported that:
— The killer’s rampage was only halted when an armed citizen “engaged” him.
— The killer, whose name needs no further mentioning, was dishonorably discharged from the military, which automatically proscribes him from legally owning a gun. In other words, if he was willing to break the law to procure guns, so that he may additionally break the law by commiting mass murder, it hardly matters what new gun laws Congress comes up with next. [Update: New reports show killer was bad-conduct discharged as opposed to dishonorably discharged; however, due to his domestic assault, he was still banned from buying guns.]
CNN's Jim Acosta, for one example, used every TV appearance Sunday to mention that after the Las Vegas massacre, Trump said talk of new gun control should wait until the dust settles. That conversation, Acosta repeatedly complained, has "never occurred."
In one appearance, he upped the anti-Trump ante even further.
"When the president holds a news conference later on this afternoon with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he's very likely to be asked this question: Just when is a good time, just when is the right time for the president to take on this [gun control] issue, or is he content, as others who support the Second Amendment, with very little restrictions, are they content with the status quo?" Acosta asked rhetorically. "Is this just the way it's going to be and we'll have to deal as a country with these mass shootings exploding every month or so and having to deal with the consequences? Is that — is that the status quo? Is that the new normal that the president is comfortable with?"
NBC News's Chris Jansing, who is currently traveling with the president in Japan, used the opportunity to tout the country's "restrictive" gun control laws.
"One final note I will make is that [Trump] is in an area of the world that has some of the most restrictive gun laws and as a result has at least — we can also say has some of the smallest numbers of deaths by guns," Jansing said. "So it is something that often when you travel across the world, whether it's in Asia or Europe, puzzles our friends and allies about these mass shootings. But for now it's time for our president to be, once again, for the third in a month, the comforter in chief."
MSNBC's terror analyst, Malcolm Nance, said that even as he's a gun owner, he supports trimming back the Second Amendment: "The Second Amendment in this case has nullified the right to live for many people in this church and I think a national discussion has to happen. It's not too — we constantly run away from it but we'll keep doing this until we have that discussion"
MSNBC contributor Jim Cavanaugh likewise used his appearances in the moments after the massacre to hype gun control.
"So we had 600 people shot in one incident a month ago by a guy using a device as a bump stock on 12 different guns it looks like, I think that's correct, he had a number of them anyway in the hotel room, and he went from one to the other," Cavanaugh said. "And we can't get even the Congress to give us one sentence that we can't have bump stocks."
In another appearance, Cavanaugh that America has no choice and that passing new gun control measures "has to be done."