Diane Black (AP/Matt Rourke)

GOP congresswoman ignores guns, blames porn for school shootings

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said porn is the "root cause" for the rise of school shootings


Rachel Leah
May 29, 2018 9:13PM (UTC)

There have been 23 school shootings this year so far, which averages out to more than once a week, and the blame is spread across a wide spectrum. While Republicans, including President Donald Trump, believe that untreated mental health issues are the problem, many young people plagued by school massacres have been steadily advocating for sensible gun control laws to curb easy access to firearms. But according to one Republican, porn is to blame.

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., recently argued that the reason there have been so many massacres in schools is due to "pornography." That's what she told a group of local pastors in Clarksville, Tenn. last week during a listening session.

"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 added. "All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause."

Black did not expand on what about porn causes gun violence, nor if she blames any specific porn category.

According to HuffPost, "Beyond naughty movies, Black said school shootings are on the rise because of the 'deterioration of the family,' mental illness and violent movies." Many politicians continue to attribute school shootings and other mass murders to mental illness, even though the data proves otherwise. "One study concluded that only about 22 percent of those who commit mass murders suffer from serious mental illnesses; the vast majority, or 78 percent, do not," U.S. News reported. "A 2016 research study concluded that the large majority of people with mental disorders do not engage in violence against others, and that most violent behavior is due to factors other than mental illness." More pertinent factors are social, cultural, and economic conditions and gun access, the research says.

This report added that if mental health issues were the primary indicator of violence than Western Europe would have similar gun violence rates as the U.S. Their mental illness rates match ours, but their murder rates do not. Instead, the correlation between gun ownership and gun violence is telling. "U.S. states that have significantly higher rates of gun ownership also have higher rates of homicides, suicides and 'accidental' gun deaths," according to U.S. News.

And Tennessee is considered a "gun friendly" state given its lax laws on firearms. In fact, one website that categorizes gun laws by state called Tennessee's gun control laws as "some of the least-restrictive in the United States." There is no mandatory waiting period to purchase firearms, however, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation does add a $10 tax to conduct a background check. Also, a permit is not required to purchase a firearm either.

Perhaps Black missed the significant research connecting gun violence to gun access. But she made sure to congratulate the incoming president of the NRA. "Our constituents deeply cherish their 2nd Amendment rights protected under the U.S. Constitution, and we trust that those values will be upheld under his leadership," she said.

Black is also a fundamentalist anti-choice activist and recently introduced the "Border Wall Trust Fund Act" to crowdsource public donations for Trump's border wall.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

MORE FROM Rachel Leah

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

Diane Black Donald Trump Gun Violence Gun-control Mental Health Porn Pornography School Shootings Tennessee

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