Texas Rep Bemoans Discussion About Guns After School Shooting When Rap Music And Video Games Are The Real Culprit
from the never-late dept
It feels somewhat strange to write this post today, short though it may be. We now live in the wake of yet another mass shooting, this time at an elementary school in Texas. It was only weeks ago that we were dealing with the aftermath of the racist attack on a Buffalo grocery store. In that aftermath, everyone began the usual practice of retreating to their political silos in order to blame whatever they already didn’t like for the shooting. Social media led the way, stupid as that is, followed by the equally dumb idea that somehow video games made a racist assbag murder a bunch of African Americans in cold blood. And now, after the Texas shooting, here we are again.
This is a train that’s never late. If there is a mass shooting, someone somewhere will try to blame culture in order to excuse the laughably easy access Americans, including teenagers, have to weapons designed to kill lots of people in a single sitting. Here’s Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, here to tell you that 19 children and 2 teachers were murdered the other day because of one particular genre of music and video games.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R–TX) baselessly blamed yesterday’s mass shooting of 21 people (19 young children, two teachers) not on guns, but on rap music and video games.
The mass shooting yesterday happened because “kids are exposed to all kinds of horrible stuff nowadays,” Jackson says. But he doesn’t mean the horrible weapons teens are constantly exposed to in every Republican candidate’s ad campaign — including assault weapons that they can easily buy over the counter. No, he’s talking about “the horrible stuff they hear when they listen to rap music, the video games.”
You can see the portion of the interview embedded below.
So, let’s begin with some obvious points. The most obvious of them is that gun ownership as a political issue in this country is one where opinions exist on a wide spectrum throughout the country. Fine. Another that should be obvious is that America does not have a monopoly on “rap music” and “video games.” Those cultural elements are present throughout the world, unlike the level of mass shootings we have in America. Nor does America have a monopoly on mental health issues, or social media, or fatherless children, or really any of the other scapegoats some elements like to trot out in the wake of mass shootings.
No, the outlier in America is gun ownership and our gun laws. That’s just the fact of the matter. If the gun owners of America believe that their rights to own guns trumps society’s right to not have to duck bullets in all kinds of public settings that should be safe, then I really wish they’d just say so. “I don’t care enough about these dead children in Texas to give up my AR-15” is at least a coherent, albeit morally abhorrent, position to take.
But instead you get scapegoating such as Rep. Jackson’s. Totally without logic or evidence, video games get blamed. And rap music. Why that particular genre of pop music enjoyed by millions should be singled out by a Texas politician is just a complete mystery to me (yes, that is sarcasm).
This scapegoating happens because we allow it to happen. It’s not true, Ronny Jackson knows it’s not true, but the law-abiding citizens that want to keep their toys parrot this bullshit because, well, they want their toys.