Here's a List of Stuff (Other than Guns) that Lawmakers Say Cause School Shootings

click to enlarge Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) mugs with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. - Via Dan Patrick's Facebook page
Via Dan Patrick's Facebook page
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (left) mugs with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Here in the gun-crazy U.S. of A., politicians engage in plenty of creative rhetoric when it comes to harrumphing about school shootings.

It's easy to see how that comes about. On one hand, they've gotta look eager to do something, anything, to stop another tragedy. But, on the other, they're under intense pressure from the National Rifle Association, which writes hefty lobbying checks and knows how to mobilize its faithful to vote out officeholders who don't fetishize firearms.

But since the recent shooting at Santa Fe High School, that rhetoric has slipped from creative to just plain kooky (maybe a 7.9 on the Kook-a-Meter, give or take). Of course, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick got us rolling on the day of the tragedy when he argued that schools should be redesigned with fewer doors so shooters would be easier to apprehend if they tried to enter.

But, not to be outdone, other politicos — including Dan himself — have piled on more wacky (and gun-free) ideas since then. Let's recap some of the most... ahem... interesting:

Porn: Rep. Diane Black, R.-Tenn., who also happens to be running for governor of her state, recently told a group of pastors that porn is a key reason people keep shooting up schools. (Of course, that suggests she's aware of far kinkier smut than most of us have ever downloaded.) "It’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store. Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there," she said. "All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause."

Lack of Charter Schools: That's right, if parents could just pull their kids out of public schools, they wouldn't get shot! Or so seems to be the ass-backward logic behind a recent tweet by State Rep. Jonathan Strickland, R-Bedford, who said the state should give worried parents "as many different choices as possible" to keep their kids out of the firing line.

Video Games: "Psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that students are desensitized to violence, have lost empathy for their victims by watching hours and hours of violent video games,” Patrick told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during a weekend media tour to make sure everyone knows guns aren't behind school shootings. Never mind that after years of research, there's no scientific consensus that video games have a substantive influence on real-life violence.

Abortion: Yep. Good ol' Dan Patrick again. Ever eager to beat the culture-war drums like he's some kind of Bible-thumping John Bonham, Danny Boy used his recent appearances on TV talk shows to blame abortion for school shootings, saying it desensitizes young people to loss of life. "We have 50 million abortions..." CNN quotes him as saying. "And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students."

A Culture of Violence: Leave it to incoming NRA President and Iran-Contra bad boy Ollie North to come up with an ingeniously vague catch-all that covers everything else but the availability of guns to explain the recent carnage. "The problem that we’ve got is that we’re trying like the dickens to treat the symptom without treating the disease,” North told Fox News the Sunday after the shooting. "And the disease, in this case, isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence."

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.


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