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GOP congressman: We have mass shootings because we don't teach kids not to covet

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) thinks suicides and mass shootings happen because politicians encourage “jealousy” and “covetousness.”

By Josh Israel - September 11, 2019
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Rep. Louie Gohmert

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told House colleagues that teaching the Bible in schools is the only way to stop gun violence. And he blamed the rise in suicides and mass shootings on politicians teaching children to desire stuff.

At a House Judiciary Committee markup on Tuesday, lawmakers considered legislation to address gun violence through “extreme risk protection orders” (red flag laws that allow courts to temporarily arm those deemed a violent threat to others or themselves), limits on high-capacity magazines, and new restrictions on gun ownership for those convicted of hate crimes. All three measures passed, but Gohmert was not happy.

“I would just submit to you that we can use these words and try to craft laws,” he argued. “But people will continue to kill themselves at a higher and higher alarming rate. And there will be continuing these mass shootings we didn’t use to deal with.”

He then implied that the solution to these problems is religious education in public schools.

“Perhaps there was something good when children in school were taught that you shouldn’t covet, you shouldn’t be jealous, you shouldn’t kill, that those are things you should not do,” Gohmert continued. “And today we have more politicians encouraging jealousy, covetousness, and we’ve divided the country and it needs to stop. That will do more than any of these bills in taking away constitutional rights.”

It is unclear which public education system Gohmert is referring to. Schools still teach kids commonly accepted norms, including that they should not kill or take that which does not belong to them. Indeed, the statewide school curriculum in his own state of Texas mandates that all kindergartners be taught things like “the foundation for responsible citizenship,” “basic human needs and ways people meet these needs,” and “the purpose of rules and the role of authority figures in the home and school.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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