A Fox News segment went viral on Monday after a guest on the conservative network pointed out a pattern in school shootings.
Her concern wasn’t the common denominator in all shootings ― access to guns ― but rather unlocked doors.
“That seems to be a common pattern in many of these shootings, a side door. If we can lock the side doors and make sure that the schools are secure, hopefully we can avoid these tragedies going forward,” former FBI agent Nicole Parker said as she discussed a shooting Monday at The Covenant School in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead.
Throughout her commentary, Parker made no mention of the firearms the shooter wielded. According to police, 28-year-old Audrey Hale was carrying a rifle, an assault rifle-style pistol and a handgun when she was killed by officers at the scene.
What’s more, Hale apparently entered the school through a locked side door by shooting through it, according to Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake.
A clip of the comment posted by Twitter user and media watcher @Acyn was viewed more than 4 million times in a matter of hours.
Parker announced her departure from the FBI in an opinion article for Fox News published in January. She claimed she was troubled by “politicization” at the bureau, citing images of FBI agents who knelt during Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020.
Her comments on Fox News ignited furor online amid renewed pleas from gun safety advocates, gun violence victims’ families, Democrats and other commentators for stronger gun control laws in the U.S.
Many commenters noted the obvious ― that side doors aren’t the issue.
“Side doors don’t kill innocent children ― assault weapons do,” Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) tweeted. “But that’s not what the NRA wants you to say, is it @Fox News?”
Others pointed out that school doors ― locked or unlocked ― are not a concern in nations where people can’t easily access firearms, particularly military assault-style weapons like the AR-15.
The gun lobby has enormous influence over Fox News, whose opinion hosts and guests routinely deflect blame to other issues rather than discuss gun control measures opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the wake of gun violence.
After the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting in which 19 children and adults were killed last year, for example, everything from bulletproof blankets, tripwire booby traps, “a little bit more faith” and, again, door control, were proposed by hosts and guests on the network in lieu of addressing gun reform.