Please stop asking me to address gun violence, I'm busy banning books
Hello, I’m a Republican lawmaker, and while I’m heartbroken over Monday’s horrific elementary school shooting in Nashville, I’d appreciate it if people would stop asking me to do something to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
I’m a busy person, and there are many important issues I and my colleagues are addressing in our quest to make the world a safe place for children. For example, books. They are often bad. Lawmakers like myself at the local, state and federal level are doing everything we can to make sure dangerous books don’t wind up in the hands of children.
Ban guns? We're busy banning books, thank you very much
How could you even suggest we consider something as useless as banning assault rifles like the one used this week to murder three children and three adults at The Covenant School when children across the country could, at any moment, be exposed to a book called “And Tango Makes Three”? That book involves gay penguins raising a chick, and it might inspire a child who has not been killed in a school shooting to think it’s OK for two people who love each other to form a family.
Let’s get our priorities straight, shall we?
I have colleagues in Missouri who, right now, are bravely working to defund the state’s public libraries, known repositories of potentially deadly (if a bookshelf falls on you) books.
'Thoughts-and-prayers' ship has sailed: Nashville shooting leaves 3 more kids dead. Don't tell me it's too soon to talk guns.
Don't get me started on drag shows – we must protect the children!
Then there are drag shows, which have not technically “killed” or “injured” or “harmed in any way” a single person, but they pose an obvious existential threat because I want to be quoted on Fox News.
We must protect our kids from drag performances, which is why Republican lawmakers in Tennessee recently banned them in public places and anywhere children might be present.
As my colleague Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said at the time: “We don’t put up with that crap in Tennessee, and we shouldn’t. And the rest of the country should follow suit.”
Strong words from a strong man who knows when strong action is needed to protect children.
GOP goes after drag shows: Tennessee Republicans target America's greatest threat. That'll save us!
Drag show bans? Sure. Gun violence? Nuthin' we can do about it.
And when he was asked about gun violence following The Covenant School shooting this week, Burchett smartly said: “We're not gonna fix it. Criminals are gonna be criminals.”
Amen, brother. We can’t go chasing waterfalls when it comes to something as complex as people having easy access to firearms and people using those firearms to kill tons of people, including children. There’s a straight line between those two points, and I’ll be darned if we’re going to waste our time following it when there are more pressing threats, like critical race theory.
When will we act on guns?: How many more students and teachers must die before lawmakers act to stop gun violence?
What if my kid is distracted by critical race theory during a school shooting?
Do you know how many children have died from critical race theory this year alone? It is definitely somewhere between zero and a lot. So it’s good that Republicans lawmakers across the country are fighting to end the teaching of this thing I can’t quite define.
A ban that would keep a powerful assault-style rifle out of the hands of a person like The Covenant School shooter is pointless. But making sure our children aren’t thinking about the history of slavery while they’re hiding from an active shooter is something concrete we can accomplish.
Want fewer shootings?: Pass tougher gun laws. Our research shows lax laws fuel violence.
We can't stop gun violence. But we can stop dangerous education
The other day, while I was not considering a way to address the frequent and uniquely American issue of school shootings, I came up with a list of the greatest threats our children face: wokeness; Disney; lesbian M&Ms; diversity; equity; inclusion; Renaissance art (aka, statue porn); the word “gay” and it being said out loud; and probably mail-in voting.
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These are all things we can and should ban to keep our children safe. But guns? Who’s that going to help, aside from the people being killed by guns?
No, as Rep. Burchett suggested, we can’t possibly stop school shootings. But we can put a stop to what me and my fellow Republicans see as the most dangerous thing that happens in schools: learning.
Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk
More from Rex Huppke:
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: After Nashville shooting, GOP still focused on book bans, not gun laws