Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto/ Getty Images
Anna Sheffer
May 30, 2018 10:46 am

As shootings continue to take place in our schools and rob innocent people of their lives, Americans continue to search for answers. Gun control opponents have blamed gun violence on everything from mental illness to video games (basically, everything except guns). And most recently, Republican and Tennessee Representative Diane Black said that pornography is partly to blame.

Black made the statement during a meeting with Tennessee religious leaders, which HuffPost reported on yesterday, May 29th.

“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 said, according to audio obtained by HuffPost. “All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause.”

She went on to say that mental illness, violent movies, and the “deterioration of the family,” had also contributed to gun violence in schools. Black added that failure to spot warning signs — such as “wearing a black trench coat in hot weather” — had allowed the most recent school shootings to happen.

The Republican, who is running for governor of Tennessee, didn’t clarify why she felt pornography was to blame for gun violence. But her campaign spokesperson, Chris Hartline, told CNN that he felt “the context is pretty clear.”

Black’s campaign website states that she is a member of the NRA and has an A+ rating from the organization.

Okay, pornography is not without its potential issues, but the fact is there is zero evidence that it or the other factors Black listed contribute to gun violence in any way. On the other hand, places with strict gun control laws have significantly fewer shootings. A 2016 review of 130 studies in Epidemiologic Reviews found that restricting access to guns leads to a drop in the number of gun-related deaths.

The bottom line is that we don’t need to find a new scapegoat for gun violence. We need to focus on implementing common-sense gun control reform. Because our kids deserve better.

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