Desperately looking for a way to avoid pegging the Chattanooga murderer Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez as anything but a terrorist, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked a childhood friend of the killer what he liked to do in “small town Tennessee”:
“Were guns a big part of activities—social or other activities?” Mitchell asked her interviewee abruptly.
“What?” her interviewee responded.
“Did he hunt, did he shoot?” Mitchell prodded. “Was that just part of small-town Tennessee activity?”
“Um, he actually wasn’t one of the guys I heard about going hunting,” Abdulazeez’s classmate responded. “He wasn’t really that kind of guy.”
Now if I were the reporter interviewing a classmate of a terrorist, those would be the last questions I would ask — if I asked them at all. There is no correlation at all between terrorism and being a gun enthusiast.
Abdulzaeez apparently owned some guns, but it is unknown whether he bought them after his return from the Middle East last year. For a terrorist, guns are a tool of the trade and not a means of self defense or anything to take pleasure from on a hunt. For Mitchell to try and equate terrorism with the gun culture instead of trying to get to the bottom of the shooter’s radicalization is horrible journalism.
About what we’ve come to expect from her.