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Republican House member adds another gun violence scapegoat to the list — porn

According to Rep. Diane Black, it’s a factor in the rise of school shootings. 

Office Of Management And Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Testifies To House Budget Committee On Trump's FY2018 Budget
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)
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Republican Congress member and Tennessee gubernatorial hopeful Diane Black added another scapegoat to the gun violence list: porn.

“I think it’s deterioration of family ... violent movies ... pornography,” Black said, as part of a discussion with ministers in Clarksville, Tennessee, last week, during which she touched on the rise in school shootings.

Black also suggested that kids were using the internet in ways that could lead to violent behavior. “They are looking for something … maybe on the internet, maybe with a small group of friends, and they are going in the wrong direction,” she said, according to a recording published by HuffPost.

Black didn’t explain how pornography leads to gun violence in her remarks. A spokesperson for her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gun rights advocates have pointed to a number of issues in recent years to explain the root cause for firearms violence. Mental illness, violent video games, movies, and even music have all been blamed. Research is mixed on the extent to which some of these factors may be linked to school shootings.

“Today I still cannot watch one of those violent movies where people are being blown up, because I’m not desensitized to that, I didn’t watch that when I was a kid,” Black said, adding, “I believe mental illness is something we have got to address.”

There is a body of research, though, that has shown it is possible to reduce gun violence and gun deaths by regulating guns. In Australia, for example, murders and suicides plummeted when they confiscated 650,000 guns. In Connecticut, the murder rate dropped by 40 percent and suicides dropped by 15 percent when they required gun purchasers to first get a license, as Dylan Matthews reported.

My colleague German Lopez puts it this way: When guns are curbed, lives are saved. Lopez writes:

Last year, researchers from around the country reviewed more than 130 studies from 10 countries on gun control for Epidemiologic Reviews. This is, for now, the most current, extensive review of the research on the effects of gun control. The findings were clear: “The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths.”

That’s because where there are more guns, there are more deaths:

...when researchers control for other confounding variables, they have found time and time again that America’s high levels of gun ownership are a major reason the US is so much worse in terms of gun violence than its developed peers.

The school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, have reignited calls for stricter gun control laws, but many who support gun rights have argued that access to firearms isn’t at the core of the problem.

Instead, they continue to point to everything from violent video games to mental illness to … porn.