Six Things the Right Has Blamed for Texas School Shooting

The Robb Elementary shooting on Tuesday in Texas has sparked numerous debates on what was the cause of the tragedy as well as the preventative measures that should be introduced.

At least 19 young children and two teachers were killed following the shooting at the school in Uvalde, Texas, authorities said. The gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos, 18, was killed by authorities during the incident.

Among the many reasons suggested, right-wing commentators have offered six significant suggestions that could be blamed for the shooting: lockdowns due to COVID-19, mental health issues, a lack of guns in schools, unlocked doors at schools, children not being home schooled, and the impact of social media.

School kids
Following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, multiple Republicans have suggested how to prevent future shootings and offered reasons why the tragedy occurred. Above, a stock image of children running at a school. Getty Images

Lockdowns Due to COVID-19

Fox News' Tucker Carlson questioned whether lockdown had an impact on mental health and was a contributing factor during his show on Wednesday night.

"So the lockdowns [have] dramatically increased instances of mental illness among young people and in 10 days we have seen two mass shootings by mentally ill young people. Could there be a connection?" Carlson said. "That is not finger-pointing, that is not to blame Dr. Anthony Fauci for yesterday's shooting, we are not that low, we're not Joe Biden."

He continued: "But if people are becoming mentally ill because they are disconnected from others what can we do to connect them to others and thereby reduce the instance of mental illness? That is an important question, is there a more important one?"

Mental Health Issues

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas suggested during a Wednesday press conference that mental health was a reason for the shooting and dismissed the idea that new gun regulations were needed.

"The ability of an 18-year-old to buy a long gun has been in place in the state of Texas for more than 60 years, and think about during the time over the course of that 60 years, we have not had episodes like this," Abbott said.

"One thing that has substantially changed," he continued, "is the status of mental health in our communities. What I do know is this: we as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health. Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge, period."

A Lack of Guns in Schools

Some politicians have argued that mass shootings in schools could be better prevented if schools have more guns in them, kept by either teachers or security.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has suggested giving extra pay worth $500 to teachers who are willing to carry firearms and be trained to protect children in schools. Gingrich, a Republican, told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that each school should have some members of staff who are trained and who could receive extra pay as a result.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said that placing more armed officers in schools or giving teachers guns would prevent mass shootings. Cruz proposed stationing more armed law enforcement officers at schools, saying this would be more effective than tightening gun control laws.

"We know from past experience that the most effective tool for keeping kids safe is armed law enforcement on the campus," the senator told reporters. "Inevitably, when there's a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it. You see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. That doesn't work."

Unlocked Doors at Schools

Cruz also spoke to reporters following the shooting and suggested that school layouts needed to change to prevent mass shootings. He said that there should be one door for entrance and exit from the school and no unlocked back doors.

"The killer entered here the same way the same way the killer entered at Sante Fe, through a back door, an unlocked back door," Cruz said. "I sat down at round tables with the families from Sante Fe and we talked about what we need to do to harden schools, including not having unlocked back doors."

"Having one door that goes in and out of the school and having armed police officers at that one door," he said.

Children Not Being Home Schooled

Online conservative publication The Federalist suggested that the shooting at the elementary school strengthened the argument for home schooling.

"Name-calling, blame-shifting, and calls for gun restrictions fill social media in the public's quest to find a solution. But to protect the most precious innocent lives among us, parents must educate their kids at home," the article said.

It went on to say that the government cannot be trusted to protect the lives of its staff or its children at school and was critical of schools that create gun-free zones rather than ensuring multiple security guards are carrying a weapon to use in an emergency.

The Impact of Social Media

Former Fox sports radio host and commentator Jason Whitlock spoke to Tucker Carlson on Wednesday and said that the influence of social media was relevant to the shooting.

"Big tech, these social media apps, this dopamine addiction that they have given all of us, our smartphones, they are our enemies," Whitlock said. "They are disconnecting our human connection, this young man, Salvador Ramos lived a very isolated life."

He added: "This whole world we have built, this social media matrix, it is not good for our minds. Take it down to these kids, and how they built their entire lives around their social media platforms. 'How can I be famous?' And they don't care how you become famous over social media, if it's the slaughter of other human beings or if it's shaking your rear end nakedly on OnlyFans accounts. Whatever it takes.

"We got a mental illness pandemic going on across America, really across the globe, and we are ignoring it because 'hey, let's just get rid of the guns,'" he said.

Newsweek reached out to Fox News, Ted Cruz, Jason Whitlock, Newt Gingrich and The Federalist for comment.