On Wednesday, May 25, the conservative news host attempted to create some form of connection between the Texas school massacre, the Buffalo, N.Y. supermarket shooting, and the measures that were previously in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
"Oh, so the lockdowns dramatically increase the incidence of mental illness among young people and in 10 days, we've seen two mass shootings by mentally ill young people. Could there be a connection?" he asked. "Now, that's not finger-pointing. It's not to blame [Dr. Anthony] Fauci for yesterday's shooting. We're not that low. We're not Joe Biden. But if people are becoming mentally ill because they're disconnected from others, what can we do to connect them to others and thereby reduce the incidence of mental illness? That's a real conversation."
The two deadly shootings have led to renewed calls for stricter gun laws as the shooters, both 18, used assault rifles they'd had the freedom to purchase legally. Collectively, they killed a total of 31 victims.
Despite Carlson's arguments, HuffPost points out: "Many countries implemented lengthy and isolating lockdowns during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Australia and New Zealand, which have stricter gun control measures than the U.S., experienced some of the world's longest lockdowns, yet saw no comparable shootings."
However, Republicans like Carlson insist stricter gun laws could make things worse and possibly lead to a "civil war."
"We will never get rid of all of those guns. The Constitution prohibits that and you would set off a civil war if you tried to do it," he said. "'So gun control, whether you find the slogans appealing or not, will not stop' the next mass shooters."