- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Atlantic’s David Frum faced an immediate social media backlash on Wednesday when he used a gunman’s attack on congressional Republicans as a springboard to blast Virginia’s gun laws.

Industry peers of The Atlantic’s senior editor were incredulous at his response to a shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, an aide and two police officers at an Alexandria baseball field.

“Virginia: No background checks No licensing No registration No permit req’d for concealed carry of long guns Open carry long guns & handguns,” the pundit tweeted to over 450,000 followers.

The message was shared over 13,000 times in three hours.

“Not only grossly inappropriate, but also factually false. Shame,” replied Townhall’s political editor Guy Benson, Twitchy reported.

“VA has background checks & you can’t conceal a long gun, but don’t let facts stop you from bathing in others’ blood,” wrote Sean Davis, founder of The Federalist.

“There are background checks in Virginia, and you don’t don’t ‘concealed carry’ long guns. Why do you never do any research?” added National Review Online’s Charles C.W. Cooke.

Mr. Frum responded soon afterward: “One correction: ‘No background checks for private sales.’”

The shooter’s identity was not confirmed, and by extension the origin of his firearm, at the time of Mr. Frum’s tweet.

Sen. Rand Paul told reporters after the shooting that only Capitol Police on hand prevented “a massacre” from unfolding.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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