Texas’ Lieutenant Governor Uncovers the Cause of Mass Shootings: Abortion

And video games, of course.

What’s to blame for the recent spate of mass shootings? Ask an expert and they might point you to the persistent availability of high-powered weaponry, or, as my colleague Mark Follmnan has reported, even the media coverage of the shootings themselves. Domestic abuse and toxic misogyny are also common denominators among shooters. Yet on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick offered his own theory in response to the mass shooting at a high school in Santa Fe that killed 10 people on Friday. Mass shootings are becoming more prevalent, Patrick argued, because legal abortion has desensitized kids to violence:

Patrick, a Republican best known as the champion of his state’s bathroom bill, is perhaps the elected official you’d most expect to say something like this. When, in 2013, Republicans twisted the rules of the legislature to end a filibuster of an anti-abortion measure, Patrick (then a state senator) explained that elected officials had a duty to shut down the debate because it would save “thousands of lives.” During a debate over a previous anti-abortion measure, he’d asked his colleagues, “If those aborted souls were in the gallery right now, what would you say to them?”

But it’s worth paying attention to what’s happening here. On Friday, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said he was open to new gun laws, although he stopped short of making specific proposals. Patrick, who has spent years attempting to reshape the state GOP in his extremely socially conservative image, is now pushing the debate in the complete opposite direction—away from guns, and back onto the familiar turf he’s spent his career fighting on.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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