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Florida's NRA governor blames churches, grandparents for mass shooting

NRA poster boy Rick Scott blamed everything he could think of — except guns — for the latest mass shootings in his state.

By Eric Boehlert - August 27, 2018
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Rick Scott

Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, who boasts an “A+” rating from the NRA, provided a bizarre laundry list of possible reasons for Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in Jacksonville.

Included on the list were grandparents, schools, churches, synagogues, and a paucity of male role models.

Not included? Guns.

The horrifying Jacksonville shooting at an esports tournament in Jacksonville left three people dead, including the gunman who opened fire on the tournament after reportedly getting into an argument with another gamer. Sunday’s shooting also came just two days after a triple shooting at a nearby Jacksonville high school football game.

Addressing reporters after the esports shooting, Scott said that society needed to figure out why young men, like the 24 year-old shooter, were killing people.

“They’re not valuing life, something is causing that,” Scott said. “There’s something wrong. Whether it’s the parents or the grandparents. Whether it’s our schools. Whether it’s our churches and our synagogues. Whether it’s elected officials. You know there’s something that’s changed in our society that young men don’t have value like they used to.”

Scott also suggested, “Maybe there’s not enough male role models.”

In contrast to Scott, Florida Democrats want to directly address the threat of guns.

“I really think we’ve got a gun problem in America,” Jacksonville city council member Reginald Gaffney said following the tournament killing. “I think we’ve got a gun problem in Jacksonville. The real issue we need to talk about right now is gun control.”

When pressed on Sunday about the easy access to guns in a Republican-run state like Florida, Scott was dismissive. “The first thing people are going to go to is this political fight,” he said.

Trump has loudly endorsed Scott’s run for the U.S. Senate this year.

Mass shootings have come to define Scott’s time in office as governor. Following the high school gun massacre in Parkland earlier this year, Scott skipped out on a nationally televised town hall on gun violence.

It’s possible that Scott wanted to play down his relentless support for the NRA, an organization that has become more politically toxic in recent months thanks to the activism of Parkland students.

During Scott’s re-election campaign in 2014, the NRA was ecstatic over his radically pro-gun agenda.

“Rick has signed more pro-gun bills into law in one term than any other governor in Florida history,” the organization cheered.

Scott’s far-right gun agenda as Florida governor has included “lifting restrictions on guns, preventing doctors from asking patients about their weapons, opposing stricter background checks and cutting the cost of getting a concealed weapon license,” according to the Miami Herald.

No wonder Scott places more blame on grandparents than he does on guns.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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