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.
“We need to remember, the side door, I don’t know the exact facts of this moment but from what I understand a side door was unlocked. That seems to be a common pattern in many of the these shootings. A side door” pic.twitter.com/8aRZ0e6j2f
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 27, 2023
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?”
— Tina Smith (@TinaSmithMN) March 27, 2023
Good to know what’s at the bottom of all of these gun-based shootings that include guns and people acquiring and firing guns.
— Colin Stevens (@ColinDStevens) March 27, 2023
The Sandy Hook shooter shot his way through a security door and committed his murders all in under 11 minutes. Next stupid excuse, please.
— Tyler McCarthy (@TylerMcCarthy) March 27, 2023
Clearly they just need to ban side doors and this would stop happening.
— Jonathan (@JonathanOC) March 27, 2023
The common pattern in these shootings are people who have access to guns when obviously they should never be allowed.
Side doors don’t obtain guns, load those guns, and murder people. https://t.co/BUDlmzLOYA
— Narelle (@narelleford) March 27, 2023
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.
Schools all over the world have side doors. But only America suffers these kind of mass shootings in schools, because we are the only nation that allows easy access to military weapons like the AR-15. Ban the sale of assault weapons now. https://t.co/mgXRtBKSav
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) March 28, 2023
heartbreaking to live in the only developed country with this level of side door problems https://t.co/6OInNQbAa1
— Erik Strobl 🌹 🦝 (@erikstrobl) March 27, 2023
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.