Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist, told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that CNN “contributes to mass shootings” and will “have to answer for demonizing gun enthusiasts.”
Retiree Stephen Paddock fatally shot at least 58 people and wounded more than 500 from his 32nd-floor hotel room near the weekend’s Route 91 music festival before killing himself, authorities said. Police said they found more than 20 weapons in Paddock’s hotel room and more in his home in Mesquite, Nevada.
Speculating that Paddock, 64, was politically motivated, Welner claimed that “shooting for notoriety’s sake and nothing more is a young man’s crime. He’s an older man, there’s no definable history of mental cause and yet it happens now.”
Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters on Monday that his brother had “no religious affiliation, no political affiliation” and no history of mental illness.
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade pointed out that Welner’s point of view isn’t shared by the show. “A short time ago we had a contributor on ― Dr. Michael Welner ― who said CNN contributes to mass shootings,” Kilmeade said. “That’s his point of view. Not our point of view. He was just a guest on our show.”
Others on “Fox & Friends,” meanwhile, blamed Paddock’s apparent lack of religion.
“We all have our cross to bear, we all are sinners,” “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt said Tuesday morning. But “this guy did not have religion in his life.”
She said she feels sorry for Paddock because “he didn’t have God.”
Laura Ingraham agreed, saying “we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society.” She argued that gun control wouldn’t have stopped the massacre.
“There is not a government solution for every problem,” she said.
Kilmeade pushed back, warning Earhardt and Ingraham not to alienate non-religious viewers. He said he knows plenty of people who have “never cracked a Bible,” but “are some of the best people and they don’t seem to yearn for anything.”