It is now customary, after each new mass shooting in America, for Republican lawmakers to blame the shooting on absolutely anything in the nation except for widespread access to guns. We have therefore learned that shootings are caused by abortions, by Ritalin, by video games, and by having too many doors. Tennessee Rep. Diane Black, however, believes the real culprit is … pornography.
“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 continued. “All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause.”
Black’s claim raises many, many questions, none of which she seems eager to answer. Porn is available in grocery stores now? Why would seeing pictures of naked people cause someone to commit mass murder? Why do the citizens of other nations in which pornography is available not commit mass shootings? Does Diane Black know what “pornography” actually is?
Is Diane Black, to use the customary term for these things, stupid? And is this now a prerequisite for Republican officeholders, or merely a side effect of culling anyone from the party who is not willing to adhere to an increasingly ridiculous list of required conspiracy theories and inside-out policy pronouncements?
The problem here is that we, the general public, are supposed to take Diane Black seriously despite Diane Black giving us no evidence why we ever, ever should. And nuts to that, because if Diane Black wants to say that The Pornographies, or The Videogames, or The Avocado Toast leads to mass shootings, then she should either back up this novel worldview with something a bit more substantive than “here is a list of things I do not like, which I shall now match Mad-Libs style to any question posed to me” or we, as a nation, get to insult her.
But fine, let’s play! And since it has been a shitty month, no reason to sugar-coat things: Is it not equally possible that the reason for mass shootings in America today, when all is said and done, is Diane Black?
Not her alone, of course, but Republican lawmakers in general. You can draw a direct correlation between escalating NRA rhetoric and escalating gun violence. Perhaps the willingness of our politicians to back the premise that every American has the “right” to murder 20 people quickly if on any given morning they decide, over breakfast, that today’s the day such an act is needed has a lot more to do with eager murderers taking them up on the offer than all of the nation’s pornographic magazines (sorry, clips) or excessive door construction combined.
We don’t know, because Republicans barred any research that would even ask the question. It could just as easily be because she does not keep her lawn green and mowed. One or the other, maybe both, and if she’s not willing to take the deaths of her fellow Americans seriously than we’re not in the slightest bit obliged to pretend she is. Just go away, Diane Black. Just leave already.