“Absolutely disgusting”: MTG pushes transphobic shooting claim and urges more “good guys with guns”

Right-winger faces backlash for using "children being murdered as an opportunity to promote transphobia"

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published March 28, 2023 9:03AM (EDT)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Right-wingers faced swift backlash after using Monday's Nashville school shooting to attack transgender people and gender-affirming care.

Police said a former student armed with two "assault-type" rifles killed six people at the Covenant School, a private Christian school, before being killed by officers. Authorities said the shooter was transgender and used he/him pronouns. Some far-right lawmakers and pundits seized on the report to rail against trans people while defending guns.

"How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking?" tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. "Everyone can stop blaming guns now."

Donald Trump Jr. cited the shooting in suggesting that "rather than talking about guns we should be talking about lunatics pushing their gender affirming bullshit on our kids."

Turning Point USA co-founder Charlie Kirk tweeted, "instead of banning 'assault rifles' we should ban gender affirming care for kids."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed the transphobic attacks when asked about Greene's tweet after House votes on Monday.

"It's absolutely disgusting and she should be looking into a mirror as to why she's defending and posing with the same weapons that are being used to kill children, teachers and educators," Ocasio-Cortez told The Independent.

Greene told the outlet that "it's not about their identity."

"It's the questions or this is what kind of hormones are they on?" she said. "What kind of medications are they taking for mental illness? What is causing this aggression in this biological female who identifies as a male for them to go in and murder children?"

More than 50 people are killed by guns each day in the U.S., according to data from the CDC, but there is no evidence that hormones are linked to violent behavior. About 98% of mass shootings since 1966 have been committed by men, according to The Violence Project.

"There's a special place in hell for people like Marjorie Taylor Greene who use children being murdered as an opportunity to promote transphobia," tweeted author Meena Harris.

"Republicans look for any excuse to be transphobic, and any excuse to not talk about solutions to our gun violence crisis," wrote activist Melanie D'Arrigo.

Former federal prosecutor Michael Stern urged Greene to focus on the "endless string of white Trump MAGA shooters who have slaughtered countless more children than the Nashville shooter."

"Without the guns the shooting would not have happened," Stern added. "The guns are the common denominator in all the shootings."

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

Greene meanwhile thanked the "good guys with guns" for stopping the shooting while blaming "gun grabbers like Joe Biden and Democrats" for endangering children.

"School shootings should NEVER happen and will end immediately when our nations children are defended the same way Joe Biden is by good guys with guns!!!" she tweeted.

There are numerous instances of "good guys with guns" being unable to prevent mass shootings, including in Uvalde, Texas, where numerous armed police officers refused to engage the gunman for more than an hour because they feared his AR-15-style rifle. In 2018 there were school shootings in Parkland, Florida; Santa Fe, Texas; Kentucky's Marshall County High School and Maryland's Mills High School. In each instance, "attackers stormed campuses despite the presence of armed guards" and in each case the guards failed to stop the shooter, according to The Trace, a non-profit newsroom that covers gun violence. A 2021 study similarly found that armed resource officers in schools "do effectively reduce some forms of violence in schools, but do not prevent school shootings or gun-related incidents."

"The good guys with guns weren't able to stop the murders of six people, including three children," former Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh wrote in response to Greene, "but thanks for your prayers."

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

MORE FROM Igor Derysh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Alexandria Ocasio-cortez Guns Lgbtq Marjorie Taylor Greene Nashville School Shooting Politics