US lawmaker asked why they can act so fast to ban abortions but not guns
‘Why can’t you protect living 10-year-olds?’
A US state lawmaker was torn apart live on air by a CNN anchor who couldn’t grasp why states are so fast to ban abortions and yet so slow to address the very real issue of mass shootings.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota interviewed Texas State Representative James White on Wednesday regarding the recent mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school.
“And the reason I ask is because we’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas ― your local legislature ― can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” she began, having asked the 57-year-old lawmaker what his solution is. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”
CNN's @AlisynCamerota asks Texas State Rep. James White (R) " we've all seen how quickly and creatively Texas, your local legislature, can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo. Why not act with that alacrity
to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds?" pic.twitter.com/L64rT2urQB
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 25, 2022
She added: “Use that same blueprint that you used for your abortion law. Make there be waiting periods, make them have to come back to the scene more than once. Make them have to answer questions. Why can’t you protect living 10-year-olds?”
White read straight from the playbook of familiar counter arguments - naturally, the Republican lawmaker evoked the Constitution.
The Buffalo mass shooting was 10 days ago.
There have been 14 mass shootings in America between that tragedy and this one.
Source: Gun Violence Archive
— Victor Blackwell CNN (@VictorBlackwell) May 25, 2022
“Let me tell you why we have not taken that approach consistent with the legislation you brought up as it relates to innocent unborn life in the womb,” he said. “Because we have this thing called the Constitution.”
Mental health is over often cited as reasoning in these situations, especially by right-wing commentators and politicians like Donald Trump, who had previously said: “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”
White also referenced deteriorating mental health, stating that “we need to look at our mental health system.”
“There’s no evidence there’s a mental health issue here sir,” CNN’s Victor Blackwell replied, who you might remember from a particularly emotive speech after the grocery store mass shooting in Buffalo earlier this month. “The governor has said there is no known connection to mental health illness.”
After arguing that “deranged is a state of mental health”, White added: “We always look at the firearms. But at the end of the day, we’re gonna look at the people who do these acts, we’re gonna convict them, and we’re gonna punish them.”
Camerota then pointed out that “you can’t convict him” as “he was killed along with 19 children in the school.”
Blackwell also noted that White’s solutions are the same he proposed “four years ago” after the 2018 Santa Fe High School in Houston.
- Texas shooting: Gunman posted warnings on Facebook just minutes before shooting
- Texas shooting: 10-year-old girl was shot as she called 911, heartbroken grandmother says
- Texas school shooting: Tearful NBA coach slam’pathetic’ US gun control in powerful speech