In Brief

Porn blamed for US school shootings

Tennessee lawmaker saying pornography and video games ‘root causes’ behind school massacres

A Tennessee congresswomen has claimed pornography is behind the epidemic of school shootings in America.

Republican lawmaker Diane Black, who is running for governor of Tennessee, told a meeting of local pastors, that porn “is a big part of the root cause” that has led to 23 separate shootings on college campuses this year alone.

Following this year’s Parkland school massacre, Florida’s House of Representatives approved a measure “declaring pornography a public health risk the same day the Republican-controlled chamber overwhelmingly voted to reject gun control measures demanded by survivors of the shooting”, reports USA Today.

As well as pornography, Black also blamed the rise in school shootings over the past twenty years on the “deterioration of the family,” mental illness and violent movies.

HuffPost, which released a recording of Black’s meeting, said there is little evidence to suggest any of these factors are linked to the rise in shootings.

“Poor social, economic and cultural conditions are primary drivers of gun violence,” it reported, citing experts who claim enacting policies to improve those conditions for people, along with reducing access to firearms, would go a long way in stemming mass shootings.

Black’s remarks “were among the latest attempts to explain the United States’ high numbers of mass shootings” says The Washington Post.

Many conservatives and the National Rifle Association cite intense news coverage of mass shootings, video games, abortion and a lack of religion, and inadequate control of entry into schools, while liberals and other advocates of stricter gun control point to statistics that suggest the prevalence of guns is the single most important variable when examining why the US has more mass shootings than other countries.

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