Horrid Nashville epilogue to a Santos story
The latest massacre of children in a school by a monstrous killer with an AR-15 comes barely a month after Long Island Rep. George Santos sponsored a bill proclaiming that rifle the “national gun of the United States.”
That’s quite a follow-up to a story about a freshman congressman. But don’t expect Santos, the liar from the Nassau-Queens 3rd Congressional District, to apologize or explain this disgraceful proposal to relatives of the three children and three adults slain this week at the Covenant School, a close-knit Christian institution in Nashville.
Santos never seems to explain anything to anyone. Even if he tries the political trick of wearing Christianity as his religion of choice this week — alongside his AR-15 lapel pin — it wouldn’t mollify anyone.
For him, there are other ways of deflecting. On Tuesday night, after issuing standard condolences to those grieving, he tweeted: “The sick scum that took children’s lives in Nashville is NOT a victim.”
Consider that. He was denying a claim of victim status no sane person would make in the first place about this case. Maybe it was a coded message — to show solidarity with those who seek to score culture-war points from the fact that the killer Audrey Hale, 28, who once attended the Covenant School, was transgender.
But this really is about the gun.
The AR-15 was one of seven Hale purchased legally in a state with liberal access to lethal weapons. This, while the shooter was under a doctor’s care for an “emotional disorder,” according to Nashville Police Chief John Drake.
The most minimal common sense says Hale shouldn’t have owned or used the super-marketable AR-15. It’s made to kill in multiple numbers and quickly, a perfect tool for the job. That’s why the weapon was used in other atrocities now filed under shorthand names — Sandy Hook, Buffalo, Tree of Life Synagogue, Uvalde, Parkland, Orlando, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and others.
The national gun measure Santos is co-sponsoring was introduced by Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.). Other co-sponsors include Rep. Lauren Boebert, the Colorado Republican who ran a gun-themed restaurant.
They didn’t begin the AR-15’s enshrinement. The National Rifle Association hailed it as “America’s rifle” in a January 2016 blog post. Six months later, Omar Mateen, 29, used one to kill 49 and wound 53 in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Santos claimed to have lost four employees in the carnage — one of his many false stories.
As for gun policy, one can see where Santos might regard background checks as his enemy.
Only inside the House’s extreme MAGA caucus could a George Santos find refuge for any sort of electoral career. For protection, Santos declares fealty to Donald Trump, the former president, and made up stories about also being the victim of voter fraud in a 2020 election race he clearly lost.
But the issue surrounding Santos is no longer how he managed to become the electoral version of a computer-generated deepfake. We all know by now he invents who he is, and what he’s done, and where he gets money.
What matters now is the degree to which he will blend in with his party peers in Congress.
If Santos isn’t removed from the seat for criminal activity, for which he’s under investigation but not yet charged, he might just finish his term. That would mark a temporary win for lies, injustice and the un-American way.
COLUMNIST DAN JANISON’S opinions are his own.