Finley: Stereotyping Vegas victims is offensive
A despicable side narrative to the Las Vegas massacre is that because those who were murdered and wounded were attending a country music concert, they must be Republicans and therefore opponents of gun control.
And that means ... they got their just desserts? That seems to be what Hayley Geftman-Gold, a CBS legal executive, was implying when she confessed on social media that she “was not even sympathetic” to the 59 killed and hundreds wounded because “country music fans are often Republicans.”
She was rightly fired for her enormously offensive bigotry. But her thread has been picked up by fellow travelers on the left.
Most don’t go as far as Geftman-Gold in expressing outright callousness toward the victims. Instead, they are implying these country music fans, who based on their choice of music simply must have voted Republican, are culpable in their own murders because they supported politicians who support the Second Amendment.
Once again, the coastal elites inside and outside the media are displaying their vast ignorance of life in fly-over country, and making grossly arrogant assumptions about people they don’t know.
First of all, no one can say how those who were gunned down in Las Vegas voted, or whether they lean conservative or liberal, or even if they support or oppose gun control.
Nothing in the fact that they attended a country music festival in a major tourist destination even confirms that they are die-hard country fans. They may have just been doing what tourists do — taking in the available entertainment.
But even if they were mostly country music fans, they are not so easily profiled.
Some findings from an extensive Country Music Association and MRI research paper of a few years ago may surprise those smug bigots who think they know who’s listening to Carrie Underwood.
Country fans make up 42 percent of the U.S. population, are spread out over all demographic groups and geographic areas, are just as likely to drive a hybrid sedan as a pickup truck and are the most charitable group of music devotees. Half those who make more than $100,000 a year claim to be country music lovers.
Whether they are more likely to be Republicans or Democrats, I can’t say, and neither can the pundits who are stereotyping them. But as a country music fan myself, I can say with certainty that it is a lot less common to hear a political rant during a country music performance than it is at those of any other genre. The country artists tend to keep their politics off the stage.
Even if they do lean toward the GOP, the idea that Republican policy makers are now obliged to denounce the Second Amendment and embrace strict gun control policies is ludicrous.
Turn the tables: From the demographics of those slaughtered in the Orlando night club by an ISIS recruit, you might assume they were Democrats. Yet Democrats didn’t surge forward to adopt laws cracking down on the radicalization of American Muslims. Why not?
Because it doesn’t matter whether those who are killed in these mass shootings are Republicans, Democrats or political agnostics. They are all Americans. And they are all dead.
And they certainly didn’t deserve to die because of who they voted for last November.
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