Conservative commentator Ann Coulter told Fox News Monday that the 18-year-old school shooter at Arapahoe High School was inspired by his leftist beliefs because “liberalism is on the spectrum of mental illness.”
Coulter said all assassination attempts in American history that were politically motivated were done by liberals, and that libertarian Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh doesn’t count as a conservative because he was a pot smoker.
Coulter and Fox News host Sean Hannity were reacting to news that The Denver Post stealth-edited a profile of Arapahoe shooter Karl Pierson to remove the word “socialist.”
“The media needs to start telling the truth whether they like it or not,” Hannity said during a segment titled “Left Wing Lunatics.”
“Maybe they should start with the fact that the presence of armed guards inside the Colorado school … was a key factor in preventing more deaths,” he told Coulter. “I’ve been saying, if you really want to stop school shootings, put in retired policeman, retired military people and it will end. This proves my point.”
“Um, this proves we should keep liberals out of schools, I think,” Coulter laughed. “The real thing that all these shootings have in common is that it is crazy people [sic]. The problem is the mental health law in America.”
“The left has a 200-year history of engaging in political violence,” she added. “Every single presidential assassination in the United States — sometimes it’s just a run-of-the-mill nut. But to the extent they have been political, they are always liberals. They’re communitarians, they’re socialists, they’re communist. There have been four members of Congress were assassinated. Two were just crazy people. And the two — the first and the last were committed by liberal nuts.”
“We find out often is the case [sic] that the people responsible for the shootings are left-wing lunatics, except we don’t blame them,” Hannity said. “We blame the mental health system. We blame the individual.”
“Well, as I was the first to say and other people ripped it off — liberalism is an aspect of mental illness,” Coulter responded. “So it is not surprising to the extent any of the political violence or any assassinations are political, it is always, always, always liberals. There has never been a right-wing assassination attempt on a president or a member of Congress. Certainly not a successful one.”
Hannity mentioned right-wing Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who wanted to overthrow the federal government during President Bill Clinton’s administration.
“But that’s not a part of what we define as conservative,” Hannity said.
“No it’s more than that,” she said of McVeigh. “He, like Jared Loughner, like a lot of these guys, just by the way, are big pot smokers and any doctor will tell you that a lot of people have a predisposition for schizophrenia. Marijuana is one of the things that will set off that predisposition.”
Psychiatrist Dr. John Smith who evaluated McVeigh and testified at his trial said he “has no major mental illness.”
Adan Lanza, the Newtown shooter who Coulter mistakenly identifies as the Virginia Tech shooter during the segment, was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to process information from the five senses — not a mental illness. Despite speculation, he was never formally diagnosed with schizophrenia.