Within hours of a woman allegedly opening fire at the YouTube campus in San Bruno, California, a range of hosts, reporters, and experts on the National Rifle Association’s TV channel had trotted out their mass shooting–response playbook.
Bottom line: The NRA thinks YouTube’s security infrastructure is to blame.
There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the suspected shooter, her motive, and whether she was an employee of the company. But that didn’t stop NRA personalities from filling up nearly two hours of airtime with speculation about YouTube’s security protocol.
“The weakness will be found. Otherwise it wouldn’t have happened,” said Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who now has his own show on NRA-TV with the tagline “Making the world a better place by debunking one liberal myth at a time.”
“How do you correct the weakness. If it was a weakness we’ve seen before, why did we not learn from it? Wait for the facts to come out with situations like this and then make sure this never happens again," Bongino added.
Silicon Valley companies, like YouTube and Google, generally don’t take chances when it comes to security. But, Kara Swisher, co-founder of Recode, told Time that those companies also tend to “feel like college campuses in a lot of ways.” “It’s easy to come in and out of doors. It’s relatively easy to get access to these buildings,” Swisher said. Swisher said the San Bruno YouTube campus spans about 200,000 square feet, and includes a “lap pool, a basketball court, and a slide going between the second and third floors.”
Grant Stinchfield was one of several talking heads who railed against the notion that “access security” keeps you safe. “Entry control is not security,” said Stinchfield. Yeah, you gotta press the buzzer to be buzzed in, but there’s two 62 ladies behind the desk. Is that gonna do anything?”
“We want to be careful we’re not speculating here,” interjected NRA-TV host and spokesperson Dana Loesch. “It's odd because on almost every campus you have security guards, access points and access units, that a lot of people believe to be security precautions and aren’t.”
But the speculation continued.
“How did the guy or the gal get inside? And where was the weakness? Always there’s a weakness that was exploited. Where was the weakness and can it be fixed?” mused Stinchfield. “Sometimes evil manages to slip through. Those cases are rare.”
Echoing the solutions they put forward in the wake of the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting, the consensus seemed to be that more guns means more safety.
“Access control is not security. It can contribute to security, but it is not security. Gun control is not security,” said former Army Ranger turned NRA-TV correspondent Chuck Holton. “The only thing that is security is that cordon of law enforcement that is now parked around YouTube headquarters.”
Early indications from Tuesday’s shooting suggest that the suspect was romantically involved with one of the victims, a 36-year-old male who was reported to be in critical condition after the shooting. “It’s not just Silicon Valley. It’s every company across America. Even say it's just a domestic dispute case - some estranged lover wants to kill their lover. This could happen to anyone,” said Stinchfield. “You don’t know what your cube-mate is going through... You could get caught in the middle of things in any time.”
Holton also noted California’s strict gun laws. “Liberals are always trying to fight the last battle and not the next one,” said Holton. "In this case, age restrictions wouldn’t have done anything. California has a ban on assault rifles. They have a ban on high-capacity magazines. There’s a 10-day waiting period for any firearm purchase.”
Holton’s comments about liberals and gun control came not long after Stinchfield and Bongino had commiserated over what they were reading on Twitter.
“It’s sad — you go to Twitter and you see right away, the stuff that goes right to the top of the feeds... is a couple of knuckleheads trying to make politics out of a situation,” said Bongino. “It’s unforgivable.”