Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) was so desperate to defend the National Rifle Association and guns that he literally blamed anything except guns for mass shootings.
King recently shared an offensive post on Facebook attacking Parkland school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez. Then Thursday, while participating in a “politics and pizza” event, the congressman threw nearly every argument he could at the crowd to avoid admitting that guns are the crux of the problem.
“It isn’t the gun,” King declared. “There’s a whole series of things that are part of it.”
According to the Des Moines Register, King blamed lack of prayer in school, divorce, video games, and pharmaceuticals.
“We are medicating our children with Ritalin from kindergarten on up and other medication that’s there,” he said. “When they’re going on that medication, they’re more dangerous than before when they started. When they get their medication stabilized, it’s OK in many cases, when it’s balanced these pharmaceuticals are good but when they stop taking them, when they’re going off of those drugs they’re more dangerous than they were before they started to take them.”
“Families are breaking up, prayer’s out of the public school, we have kids that are playing the video games day and night they kill — all day and all night without consequence because they live again even when they’re killed in the video,” King continued. “Put this all together I want to study every one of these killers and I want to understand what the common denominators are, what we can do to reduce or eliminate (them).”
If you compare the number of people in the US who are avid video gamers with the number of people who commit gun violence, it is easy to see that number is wildly disproportionate. The argument breaks down, even more, when you compare gun violence statistics in other countries to the numbers of video games played worldwide. Studies show time and again that there is no link between video games and violence.
And, despite what Republicans like King say, prayer is allowed in schools. The Supreme Court has ruled that teachers and administrators can’t lead students in prayer, nor can schools mandate prayer. Students can choose to pray if they want to do so. King’s real complaint is that students aren’t being forced to pray anymore. Also, if all those “thoughts and prayers” Republicans have sent over the years hasn’t stopped a single shooting.
King whipped out the old “broken family” argument as well. Just like with violent video games, living in a single-parent family did not make me want to go out and shoot up my school. Millions of kids grow up in different family structures other than the fictional “Leave It To Beaver” nuclear family of the 1950s that Republicans pretend existed. By their logic, there should be far more shootings than we are currently experiencing.
Perpetuating another conservative myth, King blamed psychoactive drugs like Prozac for gun violence. As it turns out, people who are treated with medication for depression and mental problems are less likely to commit gun violence than those who go untreated.
Despite these widely available facts, King stood in front of a crowd and spewed bullsh*t to shift the blame from our weak gun laws to… anything else. Lawmakers like King are the ones that we need to vote out of office in November 2018. Rather than accept the facts, these conservatives accept blood money from the NRA.
Let’s elect reasonable representatives who will do something concrete to prevent gun violence such as comprehensive background checks, an assault weapons ban, and raising the age-limit on gun purchases. Republicans are blaming anything but the guns in the hopes that we will all be distracted enough to forget about this issue.
That is, until the next shooting occurs and we all have to go through this all over again.
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